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
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?
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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?]
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?]
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?]
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
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
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.]
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.”]
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
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 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
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
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
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.”