Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #290

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

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President

Academic Threats? On November 3, the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released what may be the final climate report of the Obama Administration. The USGCRP was established 1989 by an executive order by President George H.W. Bush and was “mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” It comprises 13 Federal agencies and had a 2016 enacted budget of $2.6 billion and a 2017 requested budget of $2.8 billon. [These numbers are out of date, but more recent data was not found in a search of its web site.] The current executive director is Michael Kuperberg, who was appointed by President Obama in July 2015.

The preliminary report was leaked to certain favored groups such as the New York Times months ago. Based on this leaked report, CATO’s Patrick Michaels suggests that the new report will ignore critical issues regarding climate change. A major issue is that the widely used global climate models are overestimating atmospheric warming, with the average model prediction being 2.5 to 3 times that which is occurring. A second major issue discussed by Michaels is the divergence between the observed and predicted values of atmospheric temperature change with increasing altitude (lapse rate), particularly over the tropics. Again, the model estimates are about twice that of which is occurring.

Both these issues indicate that there is something very wrong with the widely accepted greenhouse gas theory, as published in 1979 by the US National Academy of Sciences, called the Charney Report, which is the premise of the global climate models. The speculated estimate of temperature increase for a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) of 3 degrees C plus or minus 1.5 degrees C (50%) have continued, with minor variation, in the 38 years since in the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and the USGCRP.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Steve Koonin argues that the new report demonstrates the need for a Climate Red Team to counter the climate establishment. Judith Curry has posted the critical portions of Koonin’s arguments on Climate Etc.

Over the next several weeks, TWTW will be reviewing the USGCRP report focusing on how well the USGCRP fulfilled a critical part of its mandate: to assess and predict natural processes of global change. If we do not understand the natural processes, we cannot hope to understand the human influence on them. Natural threats to humans from climate change are real, particularly a global cooling. Human influence on these threats may be academic or real (practical). Areas of concern will include agriculture, ocean chemistry, sea level rise, temperature change (atmosphere v. surface), etc.

It is useful to recall the distinction Admiral Rickover made to Congress in 1953 between academic and practical nuclear reactors:

“An academic reactor or reactor plant almost always has the following basic characteristics: (1) It is simple. (2) It is small. (3) It is cheap. (4) It is light. (5) It can be built very quickly. (6) It is very flexible in purpose. (7) Very little development will be required. It will use off-the-shelf components. (8) The reactor is in the study phase. It is not being built now.

“On the other hand, a practical reactor can be distinguished by the following characteristics: (1) It is being built now. (2) It is behind schedule. (3) It requires an immense amount of development on apparently trivial items. (4) It is very expensive. (5) It takes a long time to build because of its engineering development problems. (6) It is large. (7) It is heavy. (8) It is complicated.

“The tools of the academic designer are a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. If a mistake is made, it can always be erased and changed. If the practical-reactor designer errs, he wears the mistake around his neck; it cannot be erased. Everyone sees it.

“The academic-reactor designer is a dilettante. He has not had to assume any real responsibility in connection with his projects. He is free to luxuriate in elegant ideas, the practical shortcomings of which can be relegated to the category of “mere technical details.” The practical-reactor designer must live with these same technical details. Although recalcitrant and awkward, they must be solved and cannot be put off until tomorrow. Their solution requires manpower, time and money.

“Unfortunately for those who must make far-reaching decision without the benefit of an intimate knowledge of reactor technology, and unfortunately for the interested public, it is much easier to get the academic side of an issue than the practical side. For a large part those involved with the academic reactors have more inclination and time to present their ideas in reports and orally to those who will listen. Since they are innocently unaware of the real but hidden difficulties of their plans, they speak with great facility and confidence. Those involved with practical reactors, humbled by their experiences, speak less and worry more.

“Yet it is incumbent on those in high places to make wise decisions and it is reasonable and important that the public be correctly informed. It is consequently incumbent on all of us to state the facts as forthrightly as possible.” [Boldface added]

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, http://www.globalchange.gov/about, and http://ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/Rickover.pdf

Quote of the Week. “If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you, but the bureaucracy won’t.” Hyman Rickover, Admiral USN

Number of the Week: One Bonneville, or Two Niagaras, or Five Hoovers

Significant Omission in TWTW: The October 28 TWTW discussed that the earth’s climate is partially determined by the movement of two dynamic fluids: 1) the atmosphere; and 2) the oceans. Fluid dynamics is not thoroughly understood; thus, the actions of these fluids cannot be clearly defined. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Emeritus, at MIT, wrote TWTW stating a profound omission – the rotation of the globe alone is sufficient to set up a turbulence in these fluids that may take years to multiple centuries to become evident, even if the energy from the sun is constant. The turbulence applies to both the atmosphere and the oceans.

The earth’s climate will vary even without orbital variations and solar variability, which further complicate the understanding of the climate.

TWTW deeply appreciates such corrections.


ENSO – Natural or CO2 Enhanced? The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a pressing topic because 2015-2016 were warm years, as warm, or slightly warmer (but within the range of error of the instrumentation), as the previous warm year of 1998. Both periods were marked to strong El Niños. The 1998 El Niño was followed by a strong cooling, a La Niña, the cooling period in the ENSO that may or may not follow an El Niño. Thus far, a La Niña has not followed the recent El Niño, giving rise to speculation that global temperatures may go to a new, higher level than the period of 1999 to 2015, called the hiatus. Indeed, in reporting the October temperature calculations of the atmosphere by the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), Roy Spencer remarks that both he and John Christy “are a little surprised that the satellite deep-layer temperature anomaly has been rising for the last several months.”

In recent months, physicist Donald Rapp, author of “Assessing Climate Change: Temperatures, Solar Radiation, and Heat Balance”, has suggested that if the temperatures remain above the 1999 to 2015 period, it may be a signal of a human-induced CO2 influence on climate. Conversely, such an increase may be a manifestation of natural change set up years ago, or an increase in the total solar energy hitting the earth, which has not been properly measured, as suggested by physicist Nir Shaviv (below). See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Measurement Issues – Atmosphere.


A Debate: Physicist Nir Shaviv posted his comments during a debate at the Cambridge Union, the oldest debating club in the world, going back to 1815. The proposition was awkward: “This house would rather cool the planet than warm the economy”. But, it gave Shaviv an opportunity to express his concern for the lack of evidence supporting the arguments that if governments do not address global warming / climate change by forcing reductions in CO2 emissions, the results will eventually be catastrophic.

Shaviv’s arguments are mostly logical and easy to follow. He believes that the solar influence is greatly underestimated and the 1979 Charney report greatly overestimates the influence of CO2. The so called “missing heat” has already escaped.

In discussing the solar influence, Shaviv brings up his 2008 paper that the oceans can be used to measure total solar influence. In that paper, he asserts that the evidence suggests that “the total radiative forcing associated with solar cycles variations is about 5 to 7 times larger than just those associated with the TSI (total solar irradiance) variations, thus implying the necessary existence of an amplification mechanism, although without pointing to which one.” The three sets of records are: 1) net heat flux into the oceans over five decades; 2) the sea-level change rate based on tide gages over the 20th century; and 3) the sea-surface temperature variations. There are issues with these mechanisms. But, the claimed “missing heat” said to be hiding in the oceans may be solar energy not properly measured and not related to CO2. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Questioning the Orthodoxy.


Number of the Week: One Bonneville, or Two Niagaras, or Five Hoovers. The California Duck illustrates the time-of-day problem created by politicians mandating wind and solar power. These alternative sources produce well at mid-day, but poorly between 5 and 9 pm when demand is the greatest. The politicians in Sacramento “solved” their problem by passing a law requiring the utilities solve it. In an interview, the CEO of Edison International said its operating unit, Southern California Edison, can comply with the new law requiring greenhouse gas emissions to be cut 40% by 2030 by adding “10 gigawatts of energy storage and developing another 30 gigawatts of renewable energy.” Since the profits of regulated utilities are a percentage of allowable costs, if allowable costs go up profits go up. The only one hurt is the consumer. [Denmark has failed in trying to have consumers adjust their living patterns to require electrical power only when it is available.]

Storing electricity has vexed utilities for over 100 years. What is required for 10 gigawatts of dispatchable electricity storage, non-fossil fuel? That is, it can be turned on, off, and controlled as needed. Nuclear requires too much time, and solar and wind are non-dispatchable. One Bonneville, or Two Niagaras, or Five Hoovers?

Hydropower is the only dispatchable non-nuclear, non-fossil fuel, electrical power that can be ramped up and down daily, though the wear and tear on the turbines will increase maintenance costs significantly. The largest hydropower operator in the US is the Bonneville Power Administration.

“The Bonneville Power Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, sells the output of 29 federal hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin; two in the Rogue River Basin of Southern Oregon; one non-federal nuclear power plant, the Columbia Generating Station near Richland, Washington; and several small non-federal power plants.

The federal system has a total capacity — capacity is the maximum generating potential — of 17,462 megawatts, [17.5 gigawatts] and an-energy output —energy is the normal power production — of 9,871 average megawatts. Hydropower accounts for 80 percent of the capacity and 67 percent of the energy provided by Bonneville.”

A few more dams may be needed to get to 10 gigawatts, but that is insignificant to the academic power planner.

“The Columbia River is uniquely situated as a hydropower river, in that it flows through multiple mountain ranges on its 1,214-mile journey to the sea, and these engorge the river and its tributaries with millions of acre-feet of snowmelt runoff every year. Also, the Columbia drops at a fairly uniform rate of about two feet per mile, and much of its course is through solid rock, carved by repeated floods at the end of the last Ice Age. The rocky canyons provide excellent footing for dams.”

From the border with Canada to the Columbia River’s first impoundment in the US by the Grand Coulee Dam, Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir, stretches 150 miles. Based on google maps, the distance to the last dam, Bonneville Dam at the Washington / Oregon Border, is about 300 miles. Thus, the total impoundments along the Columbia River, alone, stretch about 450 miles.

Where would the politicians in Sacramento like the duplicate to be placed?

Alternatively, there is the Niagara River.

“The Niagara River is one of the world’s greatest sources of hydroelectric power. The beauty of its wild descent from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario attracts millions of visitors each year. During its short course (56 km), the river drops 99 metres, with much of the spectacular plunge concentrated in a 13 km stretch of waterfalls and rapids.


“Today the churning river provides the driving force for almost 2 million kilowatts of electricity from a number of power plants on the Canadian side. The three largest are Sir Adam Beck Niagara Generating Station Nos. 1 and 2 and the nearby pumping-generating station.


“On the American side of the border, down river from the Falls, the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant, together generate more than 2.4 million kilowatts of electricity,


Producing a little less than 4.5 gigawatts, at least two of these would be required to produce 10 Gigawatts. Where should they be located?

Alternatively, there is the Hoover Dam.

“Hoover Dam rises 726.4 feet above bedrock, equivalent to a 60-story building. The base of the dam is 660 feet thick, equivalent to the length of two city blocks. It is 45 feet thick at the crest, and the length of the crest from canyon-wall to canyon-wall, is 1,244 feet, nearly one-quarter of a mile.

“Presently, Hoover Dam can produce over 2,000 megawatts of capacity…”


The reservoir, Lake Mead, extends about 112 miles up the Colorado River. Five dams and reservoirs would be required to provide 10 gigawatts of back-up electricity. Where would the politicians in Sacramento mandate these go?

Perhaps the politicians in Sacramento confuse 10 gigawatts of electricity storage with 10 gigabytes of computer memory storage. The latter can be put on a chip the size of a thumbnail.

This entire exercise demonstrates that practical thinking about green energy is as rare today as it was about nuclear reactors when Admiral Rickover wrote over 60 years ago.

Article # 1 and links under Energy Issues – US.


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

The Global Warming Thought Police Want Skeptics In ‘Jail’

By Kerry Jackson, IBD, Oct 24, 2017


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


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Climate debate at the Cambridge Union – a 10 minute summary of the main problems with the standard alarmist polemic

By Nir Shaviv, Science Bits, Nov 3, 2017


Link to paper: Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing

By Nir Shaviv, Journal of Geophysical Research, Nov 4, 2008


What You Won’t Find in the New National Climate Assessment

By Patrick Michaels, CATO, Nov 3, 2017


Steve Koonin: A Deceptive New Report on Climate

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 3, 2017


An Informative Interview with István Markó

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 28, 2017


Sustainability Threatens Public Health in the Developing World

By Mikko Paunio, ACSH Oct 30, 2017 H/t GWPF]


“Hygienic practices in households, industrial settings and hospitals need water in quantity and rely upon an uninterrupted power grid to supply that water and related sewerage system. Reports from the World Health Organization and the World Bank have found that unhygienic conditions are the root cause of undernutrition that affects 800 million people around the globe: most notably in South-Asia.”

“An often-stated argument not to bring Brown Agenda [issues of safe water, sanitation, and drainage] back to the centre of development has been that poor countries cannot afford investments in basic environmental health infrastructure. However, United Kingdom, when she established these revolutionary policies that e.g. effectively abolished cholera pandemics and helped to eradicate under nutrition had a GDP of that of Rwanda today.”

The Carbon Tax Option

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Nov 3, 2017


“The Current Objective Should Be to Increase, Not Decrease Atmospheric CO2 Levels”

Defending the Orthodoxy

Federal report blames humans for global warming and its effects

By Timothy Cama and Devin Henry, The Hill, Nov 3, 2017


Link to report: Climate Science Special Report

Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I

“This report is an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States. It represents the first of two volumes of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990.”

By Staff Writers, USGCRP, November 2017


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Deconstruction Of The Critical YouTube Response To Our 400+ ‘Skeptical’ Papers Compilation

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 2, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Lengthy post making important distinctions among various assertions.]

A Few More Who Think The Poor Ought To Have Access To Cheap Energy

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 31, 2017


RFF on ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ Rethink: You Have Just Begun (SBC, SCG need to be added)

By Robert Bradley, Master Resource, Nov 2, 2017


[SEPP Comment: RFF is Resources for the Future. In calculating the bureaucratically misconstrued social cost of carbon (dioxide) one should include the social benefits of carbon dioxide, the social costs of government intervention. Also, one can include the social costs of providing reliable, stable electricity from alternative sources.]

After Paris!

The global Paris climate failure

By Bjorn Lomborg, The NY Daily News, Oct 27, 2017


“In June, the leaders of Italy, Germany, and France responded to the U.S. withdrawal by declaring, ‘We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible.’”

Trump Vindicated: Now Even the UN Confirms That the Paris Climate Accord Was a Complete Waste

By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Nov 1, 2017 [H/t ICECAP]


Change in US Administrations

Enviros ‘shocked’ by the depth of regulatory overhaul

By Pamela King, E&E News, Oct 30, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]


Seeking a Common Ground

What has science ever done for us?

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Nov 3, 2017


“With apologies to Monty Python, this seems like as good a title as any for what I have to say this week, prompted by an essay on the BBC website by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, current president of the Royal Society (How science transformed the world in 100 years). In a world in which science is too often feared and distrusted, it’s good to see such a prominent member of the scientific Establishment speaking out in defence of the sector.”

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

The Combined Impact of Hypoxia and Acidifcation on a Noncalcifying Cnidarian [Jellyfish]

Klein, S.G., Pitt, K.A., Nitschke, M.R., Goyen, S. Welsh, D.T., Suggett, D.J. and Carroll, A.R. 2017. Symbiodinium mitigate the combined effects of hypoxia and acidification on a noncalcifying cnidarian. Global Change Biology 23: 3690-3703. Nov 3, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Lower pH may be advantageous for jellyfish under low oxygen conditions.]

Overcoming Down-regulation in a CO2-enriched Environment to Maximize Yield Potential

Ruiz-Vera, U.M., De Souza, A.P., Long, S.P. and Ort, D.R. 2017. The role of sink strength and nitrogen availability in the down-regulation of photosynthetic capacity in field-grown Nicotiana tabacum L. at elevated CO2 concentration. Frontiers in Plant Science 8: Article 998. Nov 2, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Field experiments show that some plants adapt to higher CO2; however, the net benefits of increased CO2 still occur.]

Do Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Policies Compromise Food Security?

Frank,S., Havlík, P., Soussana, J.-F., Levesque, A., Valin, H., Wollenberg, E., Kleinwechter, U., Fricko, O., Gusti, M., Herrero, M., Smith, P., Hasegawa, T., Kraxner, F., and Obersteiner, M. 2017. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture without compromising food security? Environmental Research Letters 12: 105004, Nov 1, 2017


“In summing up their findings, Frank et al. conclude that ‘a uniform carbon price across sectors does lead to trade-offs with food security at increasingly ambitious stabilization targets. This results from rising food prices driven by the adoption of greenhouse gas abatement strategies [that] limit agricultural land expansion and increase production costs for farmers targeted by the implementation of a carbon price.’ Thus, they answer their question that started it all – reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture do [sic] compromise food security. And that is a finding all policy leaders should wise up to if they want to avoid the undernourishment and potential starvation of hundreds of millions of persons just a few short decades from now.”

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH Global Temperature Update for October 2017: +0.63 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 2, 2017


Record surge in atmospheric CO2 seen in 2016

By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Nov 3, 2017


“Researchers say a combination of human activities and the El Niño weather phenomenon drove CO2 to a level not seen in 800,000 years.”

Measurement Issues – Energy Flow

Keeping an Eye on Earth’s Energy Budget

By Eric Gillard for LRC News, Hampton VA (SPX), Oct 26, 2017


Changing Weather

Again And Again: Experts And New Findings Show No Link Between European Storm Activity And CO2

For the past there is no clear evaluation showing change in the strength and intensity of storms over Germany

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Oct 31, 2017


Why the Wine Country Fires Was a Severe Weather Event and Not Climate Change

By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 30, 2017


“Why were the winds increased so much by terrain? This is what meteorologists call a downslope wind event with a structure that represents what we call a hydraulic acceleration and jump. This is like water going over a dam and accelerating down the dam’s slope.”

[SEPP Comment: Cliff Mass reinforcing his earlier analysis.]

Deconstructing the Climate Demagoguery of the Wine Country Wildfire Tragedies

Guest essay by Jim Steele, WUWT, Oct 26, 2017


A Super Inversion is Over Western Washington

By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 28, 2017


Changing Seas

Analysis Of European Sea Level Rise

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know that, Nov 2, 2017


Link to paper: Acceleration in European Mean Sea Level? A New Insight Using Improved Tools

By Phil J. Watson, Journal of Coastal Research, Oct 21, 2017


New Paper Finds No Acceleration In Sea Level Rise

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 1, 2017


Link to paper: Short-Term Tide Gauge Records from One Location are Inadequate to Infer Global Sea-Level Acceleration

By Albert Parker, Clifford D. Ollier, Earth Systems and Environment, Oct 17, 2017


Reality vs. Theory: Scientists Affirm ‘Recent Lack Of Any Detectable Acceleration’ In Sea Level Rise

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 30, 2017


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

A normal part of nature – sea ice retreat in Antarctica

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 29, 2017


Changing Earth

Yellowstone spawned twin super-eruptions that altered global climate

By Staff Writers, Boulder CO (SPX), Oct 26, 2017


Link to paper: Santa Barbara Basin [CA] Sediment Record of Volcanic Winters Triggered by Two Yellowstone Supervolcano Eruptions at 639 KA

By James Kennett, Geological Society of America, 2017


Lowering Standards

Acceptable Opinions

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance Oct 27, 2017


Millions at risk from polluted air too dangerous to breathe–Royal College of Physicians

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 31, 2017


Link to paper: Research shows 44 UK cities breach World Health Organization guidelines on air pollution

By Staff Writers, Royal College of Physicians, Oct 30, 2017


The BBC’s Very Selective Regret

By Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, Via GWPF, Oct 28, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

World Bank likes Australia’s Emissions Trading Scheme — the “secret” ETS

According to the World Bank, Australia has implemented an ETS

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 4, 2017


Link to report: State and Trends of Carbon Pricing, 2017

By Staff Writers, World Bank Group, Ecofys, and Vivid Economics, Washington, DC, Nov 2017


[SEPP Comment: ETS – Emissions Trading Schemes of carbon dioxide. World Bank using false claims to prepare for the upcoming conference in Bonn to try to keep the Paris Accord together?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Rupert Darwall: The Spiral of Silence

From the Green Tyranny, GWPF, Nov 2, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Quote of the Week: dissing McIntyre on ‘mental health’ …backfires

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 27, 2017


From XXX “To a mathematical mind bent on understanding nature, climate dynamics strikes a perfect balance of mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, biology, and social sciences. I am also convinced that climate change is the greatest scientific issue of our time, so applying one’s mind to the problem is not only fascinating, but also critical to the survival of civilization as we know it.”

Questioning European Green

Smoke, Mirrors and Renewable Energy Costs

By John Constable, GWPF, Nov 1, 2017


“One of the replies made to Dieter Helm’s recent Cost of Energy Review is that his criticisms of the last decades of policy support for renewables were largely irrelevant, and at best backward looking, since the costs of renewable energy were now falling sharply.”

[SEPP Comment: Or have they?]

British industry faces an energy cost crisis – and it is set to grow

By Julian Ambrose, Telegraph, UK, Oct 29, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


“The picture is more worrying for industrial and commercial customers. In this league table UK businesses pay well above the average. The cost burden they bear is second only to Denmark.”

Britain’s Population Growth Requires Building More Houses

Too many people favour immigration but resist development

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Oct 30, 2017


Germany’s Climate Goals Go Up in Smoke

Germany is failing to reach its 2020 climate goals. Radical measures might bring reform back on track, but the cost to business, consumers and taxpayers could be massive.

By Thomas Sigmund and Klaus Stratmann, Handeelsblatt Global, Via GWPF, Oct 29, 2017


Storm, Price-Collapse “Expose Madness Of Energiewende” …Thousands Of Turbines To Be Dismantled As Subsidies Expire

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 1, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Too much power or too little power, make the consumer pay!]

Germans Are Getting Paid To Leave The Lights On All Day

By Tim Pearce, Daily Caller, Oct 27, 2017


Litigation Issues

Climate Scientist Mark Jacobson Sues [NAS] Journal For $10M Over Hurt Feelings

By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Nov 2, 2017


Stanford Prof sues scientists who criticized him – demands $10M

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 1, 2017


Academia Stunned As Science Anti-Free Speech Neurosis Flares…”Eminent Scientists” Sued Over Dissident Paper!

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


Prominent scientist sues critic for $10 million and the climate community is stunned

By Andrew Freedman, Mashable, Nov 1, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Wind PTC: Excessive Benefit Demands Repeal

By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Oct 30, 2017


Link to reports: 2017 U.S. Wind Industry Market Reports

By Staff Writers, American Wind Energy Association, 2017


Renewable Energy – By Royal Decree!

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Nov 4, 2017


Patriots Can Eliminate RFS Mandates

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 31, 2017


[SEPP Comment: The “need” for Renewable Fuels Standards is obsolete.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA blocks scientists who get grants from its advisory boards

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 31, 2017


EPA’s new science advisor will bolster objectivity and transparency

By Susan Dudley, The Hill, Nov 1, 2017


EPA names industry, state officials to advisory boards

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov. 3, 2017


Energy Issues – Non-US

The Do-Gooding Rich Make the Poor Pay for Their Green Follies

Editorial, The Sunday Times, Via GWPF, Oct 29, 2017


“The Cost of Energy Review, Professor Helm’s report, just published, is nonetheless important. It finds that the record of government interventions has been poor, not least because there have been far too many.”

German Wind Farms to be [may be] Terminated as Subsidies Run Out

By Staff Writers DPA/ZDF, Via GWPF, Oct 31, 2017


Energy Issues – Australia

100% renewable electricity in Australia

Guest Post by Roger Young, Energy Matters, Nov. 2017


[SEPP Comment: Wind production for the entire net varies greatly.]

Energy Issues — US

Tesla and Puerto Rico lay out plans for long-term energy solution

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal, Oct 23, 2017 [H/t Energy Matters]


Puerto Rico Devastation

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 3, 2017



John Harison, NW Council.org, Oct 31, 2008


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Big oil urges OPEC to extend output cuts beyond March 2018

· OPEC members are reportedly forming a consensus around extending their production cutting deal with other crude exporters by nine months

· When asked whether it would be necessary for OPEC to prolong the agreement beyond March next year, Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne told CNBC, “Of course they need it”

· BP CEO Bob Dudley echoed the arguments put forward by his Total counterpart and said it looked “probable” OPEC would extend its agreement next year

By Sam Meredith, CNBC, Oct 27, 2017 [H/t Energy Matters]


[SEPP Comment: It appears that calls come from European Big Oil, not American Big Oil or the independents. Of course, European producers and OPEC wish to stop American shale production.]

The ‘sweet spots’ fueling the US shale oil boom ‘will not last forever,’ Saudi Aramco CEO says

  • Saudi Aramco’s CEO says he does not worry about the booming U.S. shale oil output.
  • The “sweet spots” that American frackers are focusing on will eventually deplete, forcing them to tap less lucrative acreage, Amin Nasser says.

By Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, Oct 24, 2017


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Some days one thousand MW of solar vanishes in Australia

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 3, 2017


Germans get paid to use junk electricity: Wind power generates when people DONT want it

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 1, 2017


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

DuPont Closes Iowa Cellulosic Facility, Puts Plant Up For Sale

By Jessie Scott, Successful Farming, Nov 2, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]


“Two years after its opening, DuPont Industrial Biosciences announced it will sell the company’s $225 million cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa. DuPont cited its merger with Dow as part of the reason for the decision to close and sell the plant.

“’While we still believe in the future of cellulosic biofuels, we have concluded it is in our long-term interest to find a strategic buyer for our technology including the Nevada, Iowa, biorefinery,’ DuPont said in a statement Thursday.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

GOP tax bill ends electric vehicle tax credit, overhauls other energy taxes

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Nov 2, 2017


Other Scientific News

JASA: The Substitute for P-Values

By William Briggs, His Blog, Nov 1, 2017


JASA – Journal of the American Statistical Association,


Halloween Thoughts from a Harvard Man (Holdren can play himself tonight)

By Robert Bradley, Master Resource, Oct 31, 2017


English country garden

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predicitons.org, Nov 2, 2017


“The quintessential English garden and lawn are “under threat” from climate change, a government minister warned today. In a speech at Kew Gardens in west London, the environment minister, Ian Pearson, said in future gardeners would need to use water sparingly and choose Mediterranean plant species that could survive heatwaves and drought.”

The Guardian, 12 Sep 2006

Trick but no treat

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


“How scary are your jack-o’-lanterns? Scarier than you think, according to the Energy Department, which claims the holiday squash is responsible for unleashing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Most of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the U.S. end up in the trash, says the Energy Department’s website, becoming part of the “more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year.”

“Municipal solid waste decomposes into methane, “a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide,” Energy says.” Washington Times, 25 Oct 2015


1. Utility Touts Electrification to Meet California Climate Goals

Southern California Edison releases vision for how the state can comply with new law that requires greenhouse gas emissions to be cut 40% by 2030

By Russell Gold, WSJ, Oct 31, 2017


SUMMARY: The interviewer states:

“California can meet its ambitious goals for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, but it will require a massive shift to electric vehicles, car charging stations and renewable energy, one of the state’s biggest power companies says in a new analysis.


“Southern California Edison, an operating unit of Edison International, plans Tuesday to release its vision for how the state can comply with a new law that requires greenhouse gas emissions to be cut 40% by 2030.


“In an interview, Pedro Pizarro, president and chief executive officer of Edison International, said the most ‘efficient and affordable’ path involves increased electrification of the economy, through a ‘robust, modern electric grid’. That would mean more investment by Southern California Edison, paid for by its 15 million customers, as well as California’s other regulated utilities.


“‘It is certainly technologically achievable,’ Mr. Pizarro said, adding, ‘This is a big task and we have to get going now.’


“There were other paths to cutting emissions, but Southern California Edison said increased reliance on electricity was better than developing a hydrogen-based energy system or relying on biogas. It was the simplest, quickest way to lower emissions ‘while minimizing costs to consumers and the economy,’ the company said.


“Among the targets the company suggests need to be reached by 2030 include adding 10 gigawatts of energy storage and developing another 30 gigawatts of renewable energy.


“The utility also said the state’s drivers needed to transition from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles to ones that run on electricity. The company said the simplest path to reach the state goal requires 24% of the state’s automobile fleet—seven million cars—to go electric. About one million charging stations would need to be built in the next dozen years.


“To put that into context, there were about 134,000 electric vehicles registered in California at the beginning of this year, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.”


“Mr. Pizarro said that while reaching the greenhouse gas reduction goal will require an all-out effort, the cost to utility customers would be manageable….”

The reporter states that the estimates do not include the cost of forcing car owners to switch to electric vehicles.


2. Global Oversupply of Grains Puts a Squeeze on Giant Processors

As low prices persist, the situation grows more difficult for the grain-trading giants

By Jacob Bunge and Jesse Newman, WSJ, Nov 2, 2017


SUMMARY: As the government-funded scientists in Washington announce academic threats from global warming, farmers in the US are facing real threats from lowering grain prices caused by increased grain production in tropical countries. After an introduction, the reporters state:

“Farmers have spent the past few years cutting their spending to cope with a global glut of crops. Now it’s commodity traders’ turn.”

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Bunge Ltd. are “among the companies that dominate world-wide grain trading and processing, said this week that they are slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in annual spending and restructuring operations to navigate a world awash in corn, soybeans and wheat.

“For grain traders, ‘this has been a humbling year,’ said Soren Schroder, Bunge’s chief executive, in an interview Wednesday as after the company reported a decline in quarterly profit.

Five years of back-to-back bumper crops in markets across the globe have kept grain prices low and upended traditional dynamics in the farm sector. Trading giants like ADM, Bunge and Cargill Inc., which buy farmers’ crops to market and process, are being squeezed.

“A glut of corn is fueling greater exports from Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine, and squeezing U.S. trading companies.


“Chicago-based ADM on Tuesday said its quarterly net income dropped by 44%, weighed down by declining U.S. grain exports, as cheap Brazilian corn undercut U.S. shipments.”

The article continues with some details. But, it does not discuss that increasing yields may be associated with increasing CO2.


3. The Acid-Rain Playbook Worked Beneficially

Reasonable regulations have been successful in reducing emissions of SO2 and NOx from power generation. As a result of these reductions, air quality has improved.

Letter by James S. Falcone Jr., WSJ, Oct 31, 2017



The writer takes exception with Rupert Darwall that the “acid rain” playbook is identical to the current CO2 program. After an introduction, the author states:

“It is uncontestable that the burning (oxidation) of organic matter with relatively high amounts of sulfur and nitrogen produce heat, SOx and NOx along with COx and water among other more minor compounds. The acidic oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon all produce more acidic water when dissolved. SOx and NOx are far more acidic than carbon dioxide. In fact, as he states, natural water is slightly acidic due to carbon dioxide, but the effects of SOx and NOx can and have made rain, snow, particulate matter and water from 10 to more than a 1,000 times more acidic with negative consequences for living systems. The effects of these byproducts of fossil-fuel use in power generation were extremely well documented and severe throughout Europe and North America. Any “hysteria” was likely a result of media representations, not the workings of science. Nature is deaf and blind to human logic and consensus.


“The 2011 National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program Report to Congress clearly states that reasonable regulations have been successful in reducing emissions of SO 2 and NOx from power generation. As a result of these reductions, air quality has improved, providing significant human health benefits, and acid deposition has decreased to the extent that some acid-sensitive areas are beginning to show signs of recovery.”

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November 5, 2017 8:47 pm

4-term, semi-permanent, Governor Jerry Brown … who has also been Secretary of State, State Attorney General, and Mayor of Oakland … a permanent, lifelong leftist politician … is going out of his natural lifespan in a blaze of glory by condemning the residents of CA to die a slow economic DEATH of Energy Poverty. Our property values will fall, and eventually, the booming economy will DIE along with (near) octogenarian Jerry. Thanks for nothing, Jer. Your memory will forever be a bad joke.

Robert from oz
November 6, 2017 12:49 am

Here’s some OZ news that’s disturbing, we will now brainwash our kids about the CAGW meme .


F. Leghorn
Reply to  Robert from oz
November 6, 2017 10:13 am

I hope it’s a video game. Not that the irony will sink in to a committed leftist.

Leo Smith
November 6, 2017 12:55 am

What you need for pumped storage are glacial valleys. Found in cold high latitudes
What you need for energy is solar panels. Best in warm low latritudes.

Connecting the two only requires a few thousand miles of cable.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 6, 2017 12:57 am

For those wondering what a latritude is, it’s a latrine, with attitude. Bit like the democratic party.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 6, 2017 5:57 am

You can also put pumped storage in old coal mines, as in Germany. Or old open cast mine workings as in Australia.

You can also put in solar CSP to give you thermal resource to provide electricity overnight.

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Griff
November 6, 2017 7:58 am

That sounds like a great idea! After all, every one of a mine’s corridors is mapped (theoretically) and there couldn’t be any academic problem with that — apart from the odd sinkhole appearing and swallowing up a few houses. Right ? (Illegal war (WW1/WW2) mining by civilians has already caused this and on irregular intervals still causes this in Germany in old mining areas btw)

Second problem being you can cascade the water down easily enough … but how much energy do you propose to spend getting it back up, and how much volume do you think you can hold down there at sufficient depth ?
And will the power gained from cascading down offset the pumping back up ? Probably not.
Remember Rickover!

November 6, 2017 6:20 am

Absolutely love this piece! Simple enough explaining the output of hydro power & it’s comparison to the SSC (socialist state of California) politicians ignorant ‘mandate’. Only problem is that it’s probably too simple for the elites to understand. It’s almost as if they get bored & tune out unless a lot of gibberish is inserted that is above the average American’s comprehension. They’d like the rest of the article better, though they wouldn’t read it because they don’t agree with it.

November 6, 2017 6:34 am

To understand low agricultural product prices, see stock prices for CAT and DE the last 5 years. Modern farm equipment is reaching the 4 corners of the globe.

Mark L Gilbert
November 6, 2017 6:34 am

Uh… dumb question, what does TWTW stand for? The Week That Was? I keep seeing usage of the acronym, but it doesn’t seem to match any labels, but have not seen the long version. My OCD is bugging me. Guess it sounds better than WCANR.

Tom in Denver
Reply to  Mark L Gilbert
November 6, 2017 7:56 am

The Week That Was, You can read about it at SEPP.org

Coach Springer
November 6, 2017 7:01 am

Coal stores electricity economically and forever.

November 6, 2017 8:25 am

I appreciate all the WUWT energy and power writings except when it comes to the confusion some authors demonstrate by failing to respect the meaning of the terms energy and power and their respective units. Here are some quotations, corrected in (brackets).

energy is the normal power production (statement is nonsensical)
30 gigawatts of renewable energy (renewables generate 30 GW)
9,871 average megawatts (9.8 GW or 9800 MW; precision too)
2.4 million kilowatts of electricity (2.4 GW; el. is obvious from context)

Such inappropriate language demonstrates the lack of author’s expertise and, worse yet, propagates the misunderstanding of the two terms and units among the general public.
We should respect in our writings that energy is in J and power, being J/s, in W. Furthermore, just as we do NOT say: “ten miles OF LENGTH” we should be equally brief with “ten gigawatts and OF POWER.” Just plain “ten gigawatts” in speech and “10 GW” in writing is best. With symbols, the writing is shorter thus easier to read, and it also eliminates the wrong use of the term “energy” or the redundancy of “power.” BTW, unit symbols are understandable in any nation and any language.

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