Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #287

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

Quote of the Week. Were it not rational behaviour based on irrational government policy, this deliberate elimination of an essential service could only be described as a form of economic self-harm.” Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia

Number of the Week: $160 billion in losses

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President

Challenging Green: On October 9, former prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott gave a noteworthy speech at the annual lecture of the Global Warming Policy Forum. Abbott is the former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, classical liberal. In his speech, Abbott challenged the false “climate consensus” and false belief accompanying it that solar and wind power can replace fossil fuels for reliable electrical power generation. Abbott’s speech indicates he now understands the delicate balance required to keep the grid operating.

[As explained in previous TWTWs, the electrical grid can be looked upon as an energized system serving all on it, but owned by no one. Utilities may own lines, poles, etc.; but, not the energized system. To function, the grid requires stability, consumers require reliability on demand, and it is the responsibility of the grid operator to balance electrical generation with demand, within a narrow range of error.]

In his speech, Abbott brings up many of the weaknesses of the global warming “consensus” and states:


“The growing evidence that records have been adjusted, that the impact of urban heat islands has been downplayed, and that data sets have been slanted in order to fit the theory of dangerous anthropogenic global warming does not make it false; but it should produce much caution about basing drastic action upon it.


“Then there’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (which is a plant food after all) are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields. In most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heat waves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial.


“In what might be described as Ridley’s paradox, after the distinguished British commentator: at least so far, it’s climate change policy that’s doing harm; climate change itself is probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm.

“Australia, for instance, has the world’s largest readily available supplies of coal, gas and uranium, yet thanks to a decade of policy based more on green ideology than common sense, we can’t be sure of keeping the lights on this summer; and, in the policy-induced shift from having the world’s lowest power prices to amongst the highest, our manufacturing industry has lost its one, big comparative economic advantage.”

In discussing energy, he brings out how green thinking of limiting carbon dioxide emission gradually became a goal of public policy and his role of not opposing green demands without sufficient rigor. He states:

“Inevitably, our Paris agreement to a 26 to 28 per cent emissions reduction was a compromise based on the advice that we could achieve it largely through efficiencies, without additional environmental imposts, using the highly successful emissions reduction fund; because, as I said at the time, ‘the last thing we want to do is strengthen the environment (but) damage our economy.’”

He no longer campaigned on power prices and lost. Also, the effort to replace fossil fuels with renewables is failing in the state of South Australia, and elsewhere.

“Throughout last summer, there were further blackouts and brownouts across eastern Australia requiring hundreds of millions in repairs to the plant of energy-intensive industries. Despite this, in a display of virtue signalling, to flaunt its environmental credentials (and to boost prices for its other coal-fired plants), last March the French-government part-owned multinational, Engie, closed down the giant Hazelwood coal-fired station that had supplied a quarter of Victoria’s power.


“The Australian Energy Market Operator is now sufficiently alarmed to have just issued an official warning of further blackouts this summer in Victoria and South Australia and severe medium term power shortfalls. But in yet more virtue-signaling, energy giant AGL is still threatening to close the massive Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW and replace it with a subsidised solar farm and a much smaller gas-fired power station relying on gas supplies that don’t currently exist.


“Were it not rational behaviour based on irrational government policy, this deliberate elimination of an essential service could only be described as a form of economic self-harm.”

After energy issues in more detail, Abbott concludes:

“A tendency to fear catastrophe is ingrained in the human psyche. Looking at the climate record over millions of years, one day it will probably come; whatever we do today won’t stop it, and when it comes, it will have little to do with the carbon dioxide emissions of mankind.”

For the speech and some commentary, see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – Abbott.


California Duck Gets Cooked? In marked contrast to Tony Abbott’s appeal to reason and responsibility regarding alternative power generation, the State of California abrogated both. The California [Electrical] System Operator (CAISO) created an effective method of graphically representing the burdens placed on the grid operator with government mandates of adding more solar and wind. As the California government mandates a higher percentage of solar and wind generation, the duck gets fatter.

During the middle of the day, solar, particularly, replaces more traditional baseload power generation as mandates increase. But, starting about 3 pm more traditional generation is needed as solar power wanes. Peak power is needed about 8 pm, when there is little or no sun. No doubt, merchant power generators running natural gas turbines (basically jet engines) enjoy the situation. They can quickly ramp up generation to meet the increasing load, and profit therefrom. Of course, straight turbines use more gas and are less efficient than combined cycle gas generation, but respond much more quickly. Anyway, only the consumer pays.

Paraphrasing Abbott: Were it not rational behavior based on irrational government policy, this situation could only be described as a form of economic self-harm.

The government of California has responded to the CAISO duck: It passed a law mandating that the utilities solve the problem. Utilities have been working on the problem of electricity storage for over 100 years. The only commercial proven system is pumped-hydro storage, which is successful for excess electricity generation from nuclear and fossil fuels. The effort to use wind powered pumped-hydro storage in El Hierro Island failed because storage requirements of the upper reservoirs was greatly underestimated. Besides, the greens in California oppose existing dams, much less new ones.

Perhaps the California government will borrow a concept from Johnathan Swift and mandate that utilities extract sunbeams from cucumbers to keep solar power operating in the evening. Certainly, a large cucumber emitting powerful sunbeams would be a great logo for the California government. For a description of the CAISO duck and the new law see links under Energy Issues – US and California Dreaming.


Obama Power Plan: US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced that the Trump administration will repeal the Obama administration’s power plan, labeled the Clean Power Plan. The action is not surprising, and the public will have sixty days to comment once the notice of repeal is published in the Federal Register. No doubt, SEPP will be commenting.

We can expect the usual sounding of the climate chorus and the greens promising the end of the world. On his blog, The Reference Frame, Luboš Motl has fitting comments:

“But as many if not most of the laymen ceased to understand, the smog and acid rains have nothing to do with the CO2 emissions. Acid rains are caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Add smoke, soot, particulates, and ozone if you want to create smog. Most of these dirty components of the smoke from the chimneys were removed across the civilized world some two decades ago if not earlier. The remaining stuff is mostly carbon dioxide which is, when it comes to its environmental impact, extremely similar to water vapor. It’s natural and life-friendly. In fact, life needs CO2 and H2O to a very similar extent.”


“While coal may be saved and the civilization may enjoy very cheap energy in the future, I am also saddened by the fact that so many people – including people who consider themselves fans of science – have been deceived about so elementary things such as the difference between CO2 and pollutants. The uneducated and miseducated nations may end up being an even bigger problems for themselves than a more expensive energy that could result from the near bans on coal and similar isolated misguided policies.”

One may add that many once distinguished publications ran articles on CO2 with photos of condensing water vapor “blackening the skies” – taken under unusual lighting conditions or with special lenses.

This action is an important first step, but it is not sufficient. The endangerment finding needs to be revoked or drastically changed. As former EPA official Alan Carlin comments:

“One very unfortunate possibility is that EPA may take no action on reconsidering and revoking the Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding (EF) until the CPP legal issues are resolved by the courts. If so, it appears likely that the delay would be considerable since the CPP repeal issues are likely to go to the Supreme Court.”


For links see: Questioning the Orthodoxy, Change in US Administrations, and EPA and other Regulators on the March


Coal Country: With a possible reversal in the Obama power plan, there is considerable speculation about what will happen to coal-fired power plants that have closed or have announced closing. Also, are natural gas prices sufficiently low to promote conversion from coal to natural gas, including pipelines necessary to transport the gas? These are among the questions that will slowly be resolved if the regulations regarding coal fired power are relaxed. As Motl stated, many of the adverse effects on health from coal-fired power plants have been exaggerated or even made up. The tiny particle (PM 2.5) effect claimed by the EPA is under sharp questioning. There are also issues regarding ozone: nature is a major source of volatile organic compounds, which can develop into ozone.

Economist Roger Bezdek of MISI has begun a four-part series on the coal industry and the damage recent regulations caused to Appalachia, which, described in his map, is a hilly (mountainous) region in the East running roughly from western Pennsylvania south to flatter lands of Mississippi. The region is traditionally one of poorest in the country, and coal mining was an important source of income. In the second part he will address questions such as:


“Specifically, the question is how much coal will be produced and utilized in the future and what will be the likely impacts on U.S. electricity generation, the economy, and jobs? Has the death of coal been greatly exaggerated?”

See links under Energy Issues – US.


Wind Shear: Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo of WeatherBELL Analytics explains why 2017 was an active year for hurricanes and how the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affects hurricanes when it shifts from El Niño to La Niña conditions. The role of wind shear in inhibiting Atlantic hurricane development is important. See links under Changing Weather.


Need for Improved Terminology? Theoretical physicist and mathematician Christopher Essex commented that when TWTW uses the term “Empirical Science” it may not convey the meaning TWTW intends to all readers: the pursuit to better understanding nature through rigorous observation and experimentation. He has in important point. We have seen the term empirical used for activities that have little to do with observation and experimentation. “Model testing” used for estimating the change in results from a change of a variable, with nothing to do with observations from nature. This is an important issue to explore and comments are most welcome.


Number of the Week: $160 billion in losses. RBN Energy reports: “The 43 U.S. exploration and production companies (E&Ps) we’ve been tracking racked up $160 billion in losses in 2015-16…” Much of the losses and jobs associated with the losses were due to OPEC deciding to allow oil prices to fall sharply to protect market share. Yet, where were no cries in Congress for subsidies and tax breaks needed to protect these non-green jobs? See link under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


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


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008


Bottom Line Climate Science: A Primer

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Oct 9, 2017


Review of second edition of “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC Report on Scientific Consensus.” Edited by Craig Idso, (the late) Robert Carter, and S. Fred Singer, published by Heartland, 2015

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Misuse of the scientific method has led to peer review failures with significant implications

By Joseph D’Aleo, CMM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, Oct 9, 2017


The Incestuous Nature of the IPCC Reports

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Oct 7, 2017


Anatomy Of An Environmental Scare [decarbonization]

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 8, 2017


“But he [Darwall] also insightfully draws the following distinction: the promoters of forced decarbonization were not again going to make the mistake of having fulfillment of their goal turn on a hypothesis that was falsifiable ‘in the present tense.’ For the next round, the prognostication of planetary disaster would be a good 100 years out.”

[SEPP Comment: Review of “Green Tyranny” by Rupert Darwall.]

New Paper: Temperature Increase From Doubling CO2 Is ‘Insignificant Compared to Natural Variability’

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 9, 2017


Challenging the Orthodoxy – Abbott

Daring to Doubt

By Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister of Australia, 2017 Annual GWPF Lecture, Oct 9, 2017


Dangerous Abbott unleashed, speaks the truth, critics froth and flounder

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 11, 2017


Tony Abbott Draws a Line in the Energy Sand

By Terry McCranne, Herald Sun, AU, Via GWPF, Oct 11, 2017


Defending the Orthodoxy

Ninety-eight scientists launch a 2,000-year global temperature database

By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Oct 3, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Link to paper: A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era

By Group writers, PAGES2k Consortium, Nature, July 11, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Steve McIntyre has punched holes into the temperature reconstructions.]

5 links between erupting volcanoes and climate change

By Scott Waldman, E&E News, Oct 6, 2017


“Skeptics who claim that volcanoes are a significant driver of global warming are wrong.”

[SEPP Comment: A strawman argument?]

Analysis: How well have climate models projected global warming?

By Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief, Oct 5, 2017


[SEPP Comment: How have they done against atmospheric temperatures where the greenhouse effect occurs? Poorly!

Questioning the Orthodoxy

EPA’s CPP Repeal Gambit

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Oct 12, 2017


America signs a peace treaty with coal

Some mixed feelings about the happy death of the Clean Power Plan

By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Oct 10, 2017


Weather Channel Founder: Life on Earth getting better – Al Gore is “guilty of scientific fraud”

Greenhouse Gases are making Our Lives Wonderful

By John Coleman, Meteorologist, founder of the Weather Channel


Climate science has become non-Popperian

It is healthy to have a bit of skepticism about climate change data

By Milan Bharadwaj, Caavalier Daily, University of Virginia, Oct 12, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


Two Big Cracks In The Climate Hysteria Edifice In One Day

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 10, 2017


After Paris!

Chinese companies to build 700 coal plants in and outside China

1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries

By Andrew Topf, Mining.com, Oct 8, 2017


Change in US Administrations

Pruitt’s Clean Power Break Will End Obama’s Climate Rules

Dismantling Obama’s regulatory attempt to kill fossil fuels.

Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Oct 8, 2017


Clean Power Plan Repeal: The March to Deregulating Climate

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Oct 12, 2017


EPA chief Scott Pruitt tells coal miners he will repeal power plant rule Tuesday: ‘The war against coal is over

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, Oct 9, 2017


Trump nominates AccuWeather CEO to run NOAA

By Max Greenwood, The Hill, Oct 12, 2017


Trump taps climate skeptic to lead White House environment office

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Oct 13, 2017


Social Benefits of Carbon

Carbon Dioxide: Benefiting the Biosphere

Video By Staff, CO2 Science, Accessed Oct 14, 2017


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Activists denounce EU’s ‘double-faced’ climate policy

By Frédéric Simon, EURACTIV.com, Oct 11, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Two Soybean Cultivars Respond Positively to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

Sanz-Sáez, A., Koester, R.P., Rosenthal, D.M., Montes, C.M., Ort, D.R. and Ainsworth, E.A. 2017. Leaf and canopy scale drivers of genotypic variation in soybean response to elevated carbon dioxide concentration. Global Change Biology 23: 3908-3920. Oct 13, 2017


The End of the Ocean Acidification Scare for Corals [Hopefully?]

McCulloch, M.T., D’Olivo, J.P., Falter, J., Holcomb, M. and Trotter, J.A. 2017. Coral calcification in a changing world and the interactive dynamics of pH and DIC upregulation. Nature Communications 8: 15686, DOI:10.1038/ncomms15686. Oct 12, 2017


“And so it appears that alarmist claims of near-future coral reef dissolution, courtesy of the ever-hyped ocean acidification hypothesis, have themselves dissolved away thanks to the seminal work of McCulloch et al. Clearly, the world’s corals are much more resilient to changes in their environment than acidification alarmists have claimed them to be.”

Percent Dry Weight (Biomass) Increases for 300, 600 and 900 ppm Increases in the Air’s CO2 Concentration:

For Triticum aestivum L. [Common Wheat]

By Staff Writers, Plant Growth Database, CO2 Science, Accessed Oct 14, 2017


Changing Weather

What Made This Hurricane Season So Active in the Atlantic?

By Joseph D’Aleo, Patriot Post, Oct 9, 2017 [H/t Tom Wysmuller]


“2005 holds the record for five Category 4 or greater and four Category 5 impact storms. Some speculated this was the new norm for the Atlantic before nature gave us that 12-year break.”

U.S. Numerical Weather Is Still Behind and Not Catching Up: What is Wrong and How Can It Be Fixed?

By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 5, 2017


“The skill of U.S. global weather prediction still trails behind major international centers, such as the European Center and the UKMET office. And we are not catching up.”

Better Hurricane Forecasting and Preparedness Mean Fewer Deaths

By Patrick J. Michaels, CATO, Oct 4, 2017


The Northern California Fires: Driven by the Diablo Winds That Were Predicted Days Before

By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 10, 2017


Media Baffled ”WHERE Have All The [Pacific] Cyclones Gone?”…Pacific Near “Quietest Season On Record”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 10, 2017


[SEPP Comment: CO2 warming occurs in the atmosphere but is claimed to be hiding in the deep ocean. Are Pacific cyclones hiding in the Atlantic?]

Changing Seas

SEA LEVEL: Rise and Fall- Part 2 – Tide Gauges

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Oct 7, 2017


[SEPP Comment: An essay asserting that Global Sea Level changes (rise, fall, steady state) are invalid if using tide gauge data uncorrected for vertical land movement. One can assert also, if the data are short-term any change may be influenced by shifts in prevailing winds.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Just two penguin chicks from colony of 36,000 survive catastrophic Antarctic breeding season

By Staff Writers, Telegraph, UK, Oct 13, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Penguins are dying from too much sea ice; yet, on the other side of the globe, polar bears are thriving with shrinking sea ice?]

Changing Earth

Large volcanic eruptions in Tropics can trigger El Niño events

Rutgers professor helps show how eruptions cool tropical Africa, spawning El Niños

By Staff writers, Rutgers Univ. Oct 3, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

“Explosive volcanic eruptions in the tropics can lead to El Niño events, those notorious warming periods in the Pacific Ocean with dramatic global impacts on the climate, according to a new study.”

Link to paper: Tropical explosive volcanic eruptions can trigger El Niño by cooling tropical Africa

By Myriam Khodri, et al. Nature Communications, Oct 3, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Questionable. Better question: Do deep ocean volcanoes trigger El Niño events?]

Lowering Standards

ABC: Let’s pretend base load power doesn’t exist, call it a dinosaur. Who’s in denial?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 13, 2017


ABC is Australian Broadcasting System

Kiribati sinking “like Titanic” but 59 million times slower

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 14, 2017


“For some reason the ABC was unable to do an internet search on the words “Kiribati, Tide Gauges, Sea Level”. With a billion dollars to spend, apparently they can only afford a one way internet cable. Just enough to upload news stories like this which are essentially a repeat of a press release, unchecked from President Tong:”

NY Times Claims Japan Floods Due To Global Warming

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 12, 2017


“While everybody obsesses about 7 inches of sea level rise in the last century, nobody seems to notice the real problem.” [pumping groundwater]

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

Dueling science: Yesterday – “Soil will accelerate global warming” Today – “Soil holds potential to slow global warming”

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 6, 2017


Potsdam Institute’s Stefan Rahmstorf Uses Tricks To Warn Against “Trickster Skeptics”

Again and again: Stefan Rahmstorf and his solar trick

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (Translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Oct 8, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

False Consensus: The 97 Percent Canard (Oreskes study debunked)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Oct 10, 2017


Claim: Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 9, 2017


Formation of most of our coal brought Earth close to global glaciation

By Georg Feulner, PNAS, Oct 9, 2017


[SEPP Comment: CO2 is the difference between snowball and hothouse earth? Therefore, if we burn coal, we risk turning earth into a hothouse?]

How global warming is drying up the North American monsoon – Or Not!!!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 13, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Al Gore unhinged – now even climate change believers are ‘deniers’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 13, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Time to be rid of those who are less pure?]

Questioning European Green

Monochrome vision

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Oct 13, 2017


Mendacity, Duplicity and Scaremongering

By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Oct 9, 2017


Conservationists take nine flights a year, despite knowing danger to environment, study shows

By Sarah Knapton, Telegraph, UK, Oct 10, 2017 [H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: The phrase “knowing danger to the environment” is highly questionable.]

“Affordable Offshore Wind”?–The Real Facts Greenpeace Don’t Want You To Know!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 9, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Ignore the costs of backing-up unreliable sources of electricity.]

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Global Warming Madness: A Lot of Pain for No gain

By Julian Tomlinson, The Cairns Post, AU, Via GWPF, Oct 12, 2017


Funding Issues

New Report: World Bank “Abandons the Poor”

By Staff Writers, GWPF, Oct 13, 2017


Link to report: The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank’s Regressive Energy Policies

By Rupert Darwall, GWPF, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Or how the World Bank disregarded the poor and became and social service organization advocating environmental extremism.]

What Your Moral Superiors Are Up To

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 12, 2017


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

UK Carbon Taxation Post 2020

By John Constable, GWPF, Oct 12, 2017


Link to report: The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future

Presented to Parliament pursuant to Sections 12 and 14 of the Climate Change Act 2008

By Staff Writers, for the Prime Minister, HM’s Government, 2017


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Reported Plunge in Renewable Costs Prompts Aussie Government to Pull Subsidies

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 8, 2017


[SEPP Comment: The full article is paywalled. Is the reported plunge used as a ploy to pull the plug? It so, then the overselling by wind developers has turned to bite them.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Clean Power Plan: It’s finally getting the ax. But climate skeptics want more

By Zack Colman, E&E News, Oct 10, 2017


EPA formally moves to repeal major Obama power plant rule

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 10, 2017


Guest Post: The Real Record of Ex-EPA Sec. Gina McCarthy

Madam Ex-Secretary McCarthy: A Humble Scientist or Environmentalist is Learned and Wise

By Stephen Heins, The Word Merchant, LLC, Via Marcellus Drilling.com, Oct 11, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]


Love Is Not An Ingredient, Says FDA

By Julianna LeMieux, ACSH, Oct 5, 2017


Energy Issues – Non-US

Only few German wind turbines profitable after end of 20-year support payments

By Staff Writers, Clean Energy Wire, Via GWPF, Oct 12, 2017


“’at the current [wholesale power] price level, only a few installations can be operated at a profit’ after that due to maintenance costs, the consultancy says.”

[SEPP Comment: Yet, there has been a significant increase in the cost of electricity to consumers over the 20 years.]

The Ever Rising Cost Of The Climate Change Act

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That Oct 10, 2017


Link to report: Energy Prices and Bills Report 2017

By Staff Writers: Committee on Climate Change, Mar 16, 2017


From the report:

“Some energy-intensive manufacturing sectors face higher costs from climate policies but those deemed most ‘at risk’ are largely compensated for those costs.

“There is a range of opportunities for UK business arising from the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

[SEPP Comment: Who pays for it?]

Energy Issues — US

Importance of Duck Curve

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 10, 2017


[SEPP Comment: A critical concept explained, which is totally overlooked by too many energy “experts.”]

Coal Industry and Appalachia: Part I A Region in Trouble

By Roger Bezdek, MISI, Oct 2017


The U.S. is at another crossroads. Specifically, the question is how much coal will be produced and utilized in the future and what will be the likely impacts on U.S. electricity generation, the economy, and jobs? Has the death of coal been greatly exaggerated?

“We address these issues in Part II.”

My Take on Energy Department’s Prompt Letter to FERC

By William Yeatman, CEI, Oct 12, 2017


Washington’s Control of Energy

Federal regulators approve two major East Coast pipelines

By Julia Manchester, The Hill, Oct 13, 2017


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Roller Coaster – Latest E&P Profits Shrink After Strong Q1, But Industry Remains Solidly Profitable

By Nick Caccione, RBN Energy, Sep 26, 2017


Nuclear Energy and Fears

The Mistaken Birth and Adoption of LNT: An Abridged Version

By Edward J. Calabrese, Sage Journals, Oct 9, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Commentary: The next solar bailout

By John McClaughry, Ethan Allen Institute, No Date


Microsoft just purchased all of GE’s newest Irish wind farm capacity for the next 15 years

By Ron Miller, TechCrunch, Oct 9, 2017


[SEPP Comment: No discussion of the back-up electricity source for data centers when wind fails.]

Offshore wind farms have powerful advantage over land-based turbines, study finds

By Eli Kintisch, Science, Oct 9, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Link to paper: Geophysical potential for wind energy over the open oceans

By Anna Possnera and Ken Caldeira, PNAS, Oct 9, 2017


From the abstract: According to the authors, if commercial-scale open-ocean wind turbines could be produced, open-ocean wind farms that are spread across approximately 3 million square kilometers could meet the current annual global energy demand of 18 terawatts.

[SEPP Comment: Higher cost of installation and maintenance, and salt corrosion are not calculated in this “masterful” analysis.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

The Cardiff Bay Tidal Lagoon – can it power 1.3 million Welsh homes?

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Oct 11, 2017


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Battery Powered Vehicle Status

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 13, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Still waiting for the breakout.]

Electric Car Putsch

The constant media push on behalf of economically unsustainable electric cars is inexplicable.

By Eric Peters, Spectator.org, Oct 9, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]


[SEPP Comment: Not everyone lives on the southern California coast, where auto air conditioning and defrosting are not highly desired?]

California Dreaming

California gets “quacking” on ending Duck Curve problem

Senate Bill 338, which mandates that utilities come up with non-gas generation options to meet peak demand, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine, Oct 12, 2017


“California has put its utilities on notice: When you’re putting together your next integrated resource plans, you’d better have non-gas generating options for meeting peak demand. That’s what Governor Jerry Brown mandated to utilities when he signed Senate Bill (SB) 338 into law yesterday.”

California Rejects Gas Plant Refurbishment, Embraces Solar + Storage

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 7, 2017


Health, Energy, and Climate

Catalonia: New Study Confirms Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Events During Cold Weather

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 13, 2017


JunkScience.com PM2.5 efforts pay-off: Form economic basis for repealing the Obama EPA Clean Power Plan

By Steve Milloy, Junk Science.com, Oct 10, 2017


Environmental Industry

The Greens versus ‘Big Oil’

By Russell Cook, American Thinker, Oct 6, 2017


Other Scientific News

[Marine] Snowfall at the equator

Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 10, 2017


Other News that May Be of Interest

Fingerprinting’s Accuracy Is Suspect, And Not Science Based

By Erik Lief, ACSH, Oct 5, 2017


Link to paper: Forensic Science Assessments: A Quality and Gap Analysis: Latent Fingerprint Examination

By William Thompson, et al. AAAS, 2017



Growing acidification of the Chesapeake Bay threatens crabs, oysters, other life

Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun, Oct 5, 2017


“One finding: As oceans around the world absorb carbon dioxide and acidify, the changes are likely to come faster to the nation’s largest estuary.”

[SEPP Comment: Pure non-science!]


By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Oct 13, 2017


“A rose may stop smelling like a rose. This is the concern of environmentalists as flowers are losing their scent due to climate change and air pollution. And their fragrance may be lost forever.” From Asia One, 22 Mar 2010

Is nothing safe?

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Oct 12, 2017


“Venice’s gondoliers are being forced by ever-higher tides to “amputate” the tail end of their boats in order to squeeze under the city’s bridges. The boatmen blame the more frequent high tides bedevilling the city on global warming and one of the rainiest seasons in years.” The Telegraph (UK) 17 May 2004, “Stormy days on canals of Venice as boatmen cut off gondolas’ tails”


1. Warren Buffett Bets on the Fossil-Fuel Highway

The sage of Omaha knows a policy bubble when he sees it—and electric vehicles are a prime case.

By Holman Jenkins, WSJ, Oct 6, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Buffett is not the flashiest investor, but among the most long-lasting.]

SUMMARY: The columnist writes:

“A sucker is born every minute, and Warren Buffett just proved it. He agreed to spend an undisclosed sum of his shareholders’ money to buy a controlling stake in Pilot Flying J, the truck-stop chain that sells food, coffee and diesel fuel to truckers. After all, aren’t truckers about to be replaced by robots, and diesel by battery power?


“The sucker in this scenario, we add, is anyone who believed such futuristic forecasts in the first place.


“Said Mr. Buffett this week on Bloomberg TV: “Who knows when driverless trucks are going to come along and what level of penetration they have?” He might have added that Bloomberg itself has been a key offender in overhyping vehicle advances. It won lots of play for its estimate in July that electric cars would overtake gasoline cars in affordability by 2025. Little mentioned was the fine print: Its forecast depends on regulators being willing to pile on enough taxes and mandates to cancel out the superior cost-effectiveness of gas-powered cars.


“A growing irony goes almost completely unnoticed. China, the U.K. and France now talk of banning the internal combustion engine as soon as 2030. Jerry Brown, California’s 79-year-old, term-limited governor, is pressing his state regulators to set a similarly aggressive date to burnish his green legacy.


“In the meantime, to prove they’re making progress, they’ve all adopted the same interim strategy: They mandate that car makers sell a set number of electric cars in return for being allowed to sell gasoline-powered cars. Fiat admits to losing $20,000 on every electric vehicle it sells in Europe. General Motors loses $9,000 on every Chevy Bolt. Even Tesla is partly sustained by selling zero-emissions credits to conventional car companies that actually make money (unlike Tesla).


“The implication is worth pausing over: In banning gasoline-powered cars, then, California and other jurisdictions would be banning the very product whose profits allow electric cars to exist in the marketplace today.”

After discussing management changes at Ford Motor Company, the columnist continues:

“China is at a different point in its policy cycle. It also has additional motives. It wants to shift air pollution from the vehicle tailpipe to the coal smokestack in hopes of making its cities more livable, and it wants to shift its dependence from imported oil to domestic coal.


“But the paradox remains: Electric cars in China will be “compliance vehicles” sustained by booming sales of gas-powered cars.


“What about robotic drivers, presumably the other flaw in Mr. Buffett’s Flying J purchase? Autonomous trucks are already used in ports and mines, and may be licensed eventually to operate on America’s limited-access, tightly-regulated interstate highways if the public and politicians will allow it.


“But such long-haul journeys (over 1,000 miles) account for only 21% of truck trips. If a wider array of goods can be profitably shipped long distances thanks to automation, it will mean more trucks and drivers navigating urban and suburban roads and regional highways, not to mention more workers to serve as warehouse hands, dispatchers, etc.


“The Journal, leaning against the wind, recently showed how Amazon and e-commerce were associated with increased overall employment. The panic about displaced truck drivers is likely to prove even more badly overstated. On present trends, robots in the U.S. won’t be putting people out of work. They will be making up for a labor shortage. Truck drivers have been in short supply for more than a decade.


“The world’s politicians are not stupid, but neither are they necessarily interested in sound, coherent long-term policy. There are other carrots and sticks operating on them. Electric cars certainly have their uses and will find a place in the world’s garages. Look at the expanding array of vehicle types—from SUVs to minivans to sports cars and crossovers and pickups—that Americans already own. Today’s average U.S household has more cars than licensed drivers.


“But put aside the dream of electric cars soon taking over, which has always depended on wizardly management by politicians who can’t manage anything. Gasoline- and diesel-powered cars will remain the vehicles of choice for many uses for decades to come. And Mr. Buffett (and his heirs) will be plying their drivers with pancakes, coffee and fill-ups.”


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October 16, 2017 12:36 am

Just read on Tony Hellers blog WUWT are still at odds. This battle is hard enough without these type of side issues. Heller andWUWT need to bury the hatchet for the sake of the skeptics. Same thing with Tallbloke. WUWT have a list of skeptic websites, many of which are irrelevant these days, yet won’t list Heller or Tallbloke. As a starting point WUWT could list their sites and perhaps this could ease the tension. Perhaps after Anthony’s long break he can see the damage this is having on the overall argument. We need compatriots of different stripes to fight these alarmists, and must get past our differences in approach in order to succeed. This is more important now than it ever has been. They are vulnerable now, so time to unite and force them to the ground. I love what all of your sites are doing so make this statement respectfully.

Roger Knights
October 16, 2017 12:48 am

Typo? Should the following say “with,” not “without”? (About Abbott):

“… his role of not opposing green demands without sufficient rigor.”

Also, change “where” to “there” in:

“Yet, where were no cries in Congress for subsidies”

The Reverend Badger
October 16, 2017 1:10 am


Might look a bit technical and obscure. Perhaps only recommended reading for those of us who use and rely on grid electricity. Have a look ! Not a difficult read.

Roger Knights
October 16, 2017 1:20 am

Changett second “and” to “a” in:
“[SEPP Comment: Or how the World Bank disregarded the poor and became and social service organization advocating environmental extremism.]”

October 16, 2017 3:48 am

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with Australia’s political parties, the Liberal Party is centre-right and they are in coalition with the National Party (provincial/rural, further right). The main opposition party is Labor (centre-left). Notable minor parties are One Nation (anti-PC, right), Green (anti [just anti], far left), Nick Xenophon (NX’s ego, random leftish) and Cory Barnardi (CB’s ego, right). Nearest USA equivalents are: Lib & Nat – GOP, Lab – Dem of old, One Nation – Tea, Green – Dem of today, NX – Populist(=James B Weaver), CB – Reform(=Ross Perot). Although it was politically pretty stable for a long time, Australia has become politically unstable in recent years – if I started to key in all the party leaders’ names, one of them would probably have changed by the time I finished.

October 16, 2017 4:48 am

Coal should be the compulsory electricity source through most of Australia, in the national interest. Gas, another precious resource but with different adaptations, should be saved for other purposes where possible though it may well be the best power option for some regions. The management of hydro should be changed so that water is released prudently, not to meet potty green quotas or spurious ‘market’ quotas. (Because I’m neither right-wing or libertarian I have no problem with a bit of regulation and bossing.)

South Australia should be encouraged to develop its vast nuclear potential, especially in view of its geological stability, (though we should refuse uranium exports to areas with questionable geology for nukes, because that spoils the brand). Nuclear waste welcome in Oz.

It should be illegal to mainstream old fashioned niche technologies like battery, solar and wind because they’re useless out of their niches and money is a precious resource which needs to be conserved as much as soil and water.

The use of oil for mainstream power should be banned on national security grounds (because Strait of Hormuz and the naughty world in general, duh).

There should be an annual official ceremony held in towns along the the Sydney-Gunnedah-Bowen Basin where coal is proclaimed KING and a gigantic Green Blob resembling the creeping mass in the Steve McQueen movie is burnt in effigy.

I’m only joking about this last suggestion…and I’m not really joking about that.

Reply to  mosomoso
October 16, 2017 7:28 am

Fittingly, The Blob was actually RED.

“The management of hydro should be changed so that water is released prudently, not to meet potty green quotas or spurious ‘market’ quotas.”

We had the same insanity here a few years ago. The local hydro dam operator was ordered to manage releases to favor downstream kayakers, not power production/flood control.

October 16, 2017 5:23 am

I’m not sure why California cannot use combined cycle gas generators for power as the sun goes down, although obviously there are plenty of times when the sun clouds over and fast reaction is required from back ups. California built several large pumped storage plants in the mountains, using pre-existing enclosed valleys – had to drill extensively to provide outlet and turbines, etc.
As I recall, the capacity was 1000 MWs but only for several hours. I don’t think there are any more sites that can lend themselves to this manner of pumped storage. As I recall, the price of one of these facilities was not all that much cheaper than a nuclear power plant, which could provide power indefinitely.
Of course, any storage capability is just that : storage, not generation. Something has to provide these pumped storage sites with the power that is to be saved. Net effect : backup power generation capacity is needed, resulting in an oversupply of capacity, which means more costs. Originally pumped storage made sense because it could displace very high priced natural gas generators. But now nat gas is so cheap it can be used for baseload generation, removing the original economic logic of pumped storage. Pumped storage is not very efficient as a storage medium – such reservoirs are usually a long way away from both their source and their final power destimation – that means transmission losses. There are also as I recall 25% loss due to the inefficiency involved in pumping water up to the reservoirs and regaining that energy thru turbines on the way down. There is also evaporation loss. The total loss is likely close to 35% to 40%, as I recall.

R. Shearer
October 16, 2017 7:09 pm

Yes, make up with Heller and Tallbloke, please. Further, The Daily Bayonet has not existed for some time and the last post on Climate Sanity was from Feb 2016.

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