Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #296

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

Quote of the Week.“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain [H/t WUWT] Number of the Week: $56.60

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President

Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions.

The notion has been checked by several atmospheric physicists. One issue is putting the concept into a format that is easily understandable, without many highly technical equations.

The concept has the potential of partially explaining the hiatus in measured atmospheric warming despite increasing carbon dioxide (CO2). If correct, adding more CO2 will produce a cooling, not a warming of the atmosphere. Does it sound counter-intuitive? YES!

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Christy and McNider: Patrick Michaels gives some historical background in discussing recent analysis by Christy and McNider (December 2 TWTW) of atmospheric temperatures (from surface to 15 km (50,000 ft.)). The statistical analysis does not eliminate changes in total solar energy received by the globe. If those who claim total solar energy was increasing in the latter the record are correct, then the calculated result overestimates the influence of CO2. Even with the solar influence included, the calculations show that a doubling of CO2 will produce a warming of about 1.1 degrees C, less than one-half that estimated from the global climate models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the IPCC have proclaimed that the planet must hold a temperature increase from CO2 to less than 2 degrees C. If a doubling of CO2 will increase temperatures by about 1 degrees C, then the goal has been achieved, making all the highly publicized efforts of the UNFCCC, its many conferences, and the celebrated Paris accord, meaningless. The stated goal of the UNFCCC and the Paris accord was to prevent a warming of the globe of more than 2 degrees C by sharply reducing CO2 emissions in developed countries first, and reducing them in other countries by 2030. Based on atmospheric temperature data, as analyzed by Christy and McNider, a 2 degrees C warming will not occur from CO2. Thus, the entire exercise is a meaningless waste of resources. If the planet continues to warm, we should look at other causes, not fossil fuels.

In his essay, Michaels mentions the Japan Meteorological Office’s (originally) 55-year “reanalysis” data (JRA-55), which may be the most rigorous surface temperature record existing. mentioned in last week’s TWTW, from January 1979 to 2015-2016 El Niño, these surface data are consistent with the findings of Christy and McNider for atmospheric data. Michaels promises a comparison of the two types of data in an upcoming post. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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IPCC AR-5 Synthesis: The research by Christy and McNider, using temperature observations of the atmosphere where the greenhouse gas effect occurs, stands in marked contrast of the work of the IPCC, which relies on surface temperature records that may report the greenhouse effect of increasing CO2 along with many other effects of human activities on the surface of the earth. The Summary for Policymakers, of Synthesis Report of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5, 2014) opens with:

“This Synthesis Report is based on the reports of the three Working Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including relevant Special Reports. It provides an integrated view of climate change as the final part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

 

“This summary follows the structure of the longer report which addresses the following topics: Observed changes and their causes; Future climate change, risks and impacts; Future pathways for adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development; Adaptation and mitigation.”

It goes on to say:

“SPM 1. Observed Changes and their Causes Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.

And:

“SPM 1.1 Observed changes in the climate system Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”

The major issue is with the evidence that anthropogenic (human) emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are causing unprecedented changes to the climate system, mainly temperatures. An examination of historic records in proxy data suggest that current surface temperatures are not unprecedented. The analysis by Christy and McNider suggest that human emissions of greenhouse gases will not cause an atmospheric warming that will indirectly result in unprecedented surface temperatures.

Of particular interest is Figure SPM.3 on page 6 of the report which is titled “Contributions to observed surface temperature change over the period 1951–2010. The caption underneath reads:

“Figure SPM.3 Assessed likely ranges (whiskers) and their mid-points (bars) for warming trends over the 1951–2010 period from well-mixed greenhouse gases, other anthropogenic forcings (including the cooling effect of aerosols and the effect of land use change), combined anthropogenic forcings, natural forcings and natural internal climate variability (which is the element of climate variability that arises spontaneously within the climate system even in the absence of forcings). The observed surface temperature change is shown in black, with the 5 to 95% uncertainty range due to observational uncertainty. The attributed warming ranges (colours) are based on observations combined with climate model simulations, in order to estimate the contribution of an individual external forcing to the observed warming. The contribution from the combined anthropogenic forcings can be estimated with less uncertainty than the contributions from greenhouse gases and from other anthropogenic forcings separately. This is because these two contributions partially compensate, resulting in a combined signal that is better constrained by observations. {Figure 1.9}”

The bars showing “Natural forcings” and “Natural internal variability” are 0.0 degrees C with ranges of plus or minus 0.1 degrees C. The “Observed Warming” bar shows a warming about 0.6 degrees C plus or minus 0.05 degrees C. “Greenhouse gasses” bar shows a warming of about 0.9 degrees C with an error of plus or minus about 0.4 degrees C. The “Other anthropogenic forcings” show a cooling of -0.2 degrees C with an error of plus or minus 0.3 degrees C. The “Combined anthropogenic forcings” bar shows a warming of 0.07 degrees C with an error range of 0.1 degrees C.

From this summary, several questions arise, two of them are: 1) how can a combining of two types of measurements, each with a different error range, produce a result with an error range smaller that the error ranges of both the components; and two, what are the anthropogenic forcings that cause a net surface cooling?

As shown by Christy and McNider, volcanoes cause a cooling of the atmosphere through aerosols, but volcanoes are natural. If the supposed cooling is from human-emitted aerosols, they would be so powerful that they would overcome the well-established urban heat island effect. The December 2 TWTW links to the study by Menne, et al. in an AMS journal showing the density of the coverage from 1950 to 2010 is sparse and it is largely in westernized countries. In general, these countries have undergone rapid urbanization. Where is the direct evidence of such aerosols world-wide? See links in the mentioned TWTWs and under Defending the Orthodoxy.

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Endangerment Finding: Ross McKitrick has an essay on the EPA finding that greenhouse gas emissions, namely CO2, endanger human health and welfare. McKitrick cites several of the omissions the EPA made, and the finding by the EPA Inspector General that the EPA failed to meet the required standard for such a finding. McKitrick concludes:

“Regardless of Pruitt’s views on climate science, he should agree that the regulatory process needs to be honest and procedurally sound. This alone gives him sufficient grounds to initiate the review that was supposed to have been done years ago.”

No doubt a new review will create an uproar, to which McKitrick states:

“While climate activists may object, they have also spent years insisting that the science is settled, so if they are right, they have no reason to worry about the outcome.”

In preparing their petition to the EPA requesting reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding, co-petitioners CEI and SEPP considered several alternative approaches, recognizing that the petition must be brief. They settled on the strongest physical evidence for and against the finding – atmospheric temperature data where the greenhouse effect takes place. Any future decision by the EPA on the Endangerment Finding will be litigated. But most judges understand the concept of physical evidence, or the lack thereof.

The Supreme Court does not change readily. It took 58 years for the Court to begin to tear down the repugnant laws based on the “separate but equal” doctrine of racism established in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. The Endangerment Finding is not as repugnant, but it can have long lasting impacts, detrimental to the citizenry. Already, we are seeing the Endangerment Finding being used in litigation against energy companies and extending to the Trump administration. Some of the intricacies of the issues will be discussed in a future TWTW. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Litigation Issues.

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Arctic Report: NOAA’s Arctic Program has produced another “report card” of conditions in the far north. As can be expected, the executive summary emphasizes dangers in what is happening to the Arctic environment: warming, ice melt, loss of Greenland ice, greening of the tundra, etc.

“…there are many strong signals that continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a ‘new normal’. While modulated by natural variability in regional and seasonal fluctuations, this ‘new normal’ is characterized by Arctic air temperatures that are warming at double the rate of the global temperature increase.”

“Temperatures are increasing in the surface of the Arctic Ocean, contributing to later formation of the sea ice cover in the autumn. Temperatures are also increasing in the permafrost on the adjacent continents. Arctic paleo-reconstructions, which extend back millions of years, indicate that the magnitude and pace of the 21st century sea-ice decline and surface ocean warming is unprecedented in at least the last 1,500 years and likely much longer.”

The last assertion is absurd. NOAA claims millions of years of records, yet claims the recent warming is unprecedented over the past 1500 years. What about 2000 years ago? Certainly any warming was not cause by CO2 emissions.

Further, the recent record is based primarily on satellite observations. Past alarms, such warming in the 1920s are ignored.

That said, the findings in the section “Arctic Ocean Primary Productivity” are encouraging:

“Estimates of ocean primary productivity via satellite observations showed widespread positive (increasing) anomalies for 2017 (relative to the 2003-2016 mean) for all regions, with the most pronounced overall trends over the years 2003-2017 occurring in the Barents Sea and Eurasian Arctic regions.

 

“The regional distribution of positive (negative) anomalies in chlorophyll-a concentrations can often be associated with a relatively early (late) breakup of the sea ice cover.

 

During May 2017, strong positive anomalies in chlorophyll-a concentrations occurred in the northwestern Bering Sea and in the southeastern Chukchi Sea off the coast of Point Hope, while widespread negative anomalies occurred in the Barents Sea. Negative anomalies for 2017 were also prevalent across broad areas of the Kara and Laptev seas, particularly during June, July, and August.

 

“Some of the most significant increases in chlorophyll-a concentrations over the years 2003-2017 have occurred during May in localized areas of the Labrador Sea and the Barents Sea.”

 

The northern oceans are becoming more productive for plant and animal life. See links under Changing Cryosphere.

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Changing Human Condition: Anthony Watts posted some interesting graphs on his web site showing remarkable improvements in the human condition, particularly in the developing world. One graph showed world hunger, poverty, illiteracy and child mortality down by at least 40 percentage points since 1990. The sources of the graphs were not clear. One of the sources could be the UN’s The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2015.

Part of the change in the human condition has been the use of fossil fuels in developing countries, replacing traditional sources of energy. As seen in China, large increases in fossil fuel use can cause air pollution (the real pollutants, not CO2). But, as seen in the West, power plants can be fitted with pollution control devices that work. For coal-fired power plants, proper disposition of fly-ash is needed as well.

Unless hard evidence can be presented that CO2 emissions endanger humanity, which the EPA failed to present, there is no reason to stop use of fossil fuel until reliable, affordable alternatives can be found.

When Bjorn Lomborg produced “The Skeptical Environmentalist” in 2001, he suffered the wrath of many environmentalists and many in the science community in Washington. The retiring president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) spent his farewell speech deriding Lomborg. Such is the status of many scientific organizations in the city. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy

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Market Failures: Many of those who demand government should intercede in the private economy often insist that the private market is failing. Writing in Master Resource, Robert Bradley Jr. discusses three “market failures,” two are largely imaginary to the US in today’s economy. The two largely imaginary ones are: 1) national security risks associated with energy imports, because North American can be energy independent; and 2) the infant industry argument, i.e., past subsidies do not justify subsidies to new industries, unless they are clearly new and very promising.

The partially imaginary market failure is the environmental costs of fossil fuels. In the US, real pollution from fossil fuels has been largely eliminated. The costs of CO2 must be balanced with the benefits from CO2. The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and other government entities have failed to assess the benefits of increasing CO2 and the benefits of fossil fuels.

One real market failure involves marginal cost pricing of electricity from wind and solar by electricity market operators. (Also called variable cost pricing.) Generally, such pricing creates the lowest costs to the consumer. However, in the electric grid, stability is paramount. The pricing mechanism needs to ensure reliability on demand. Thus far, with the introduction of unreliable wind and solar, such a pricing mechanism is yet to be achieved. Political popularity with subsidies, etc. of wind and solar only intensify the problem. See link under Subsidies and Mandates Forever.

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Number of the Week: $56.60: According to Platts (subscription required), the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie estimates the “weighted average break-even” for a barrel of crude produced from North Dakota shale is $56.60. Generally, the estimates include a modest profit.

Areas with higher estimated costs include: Niobrara (Rockies), $75.5; Canada Oil Sands, $70; Deepwater US, $63; Deepwater Angola, $73; Offshore Nigeria, $64; and Shallow Water Europe, $60. The estimates reviewed did not include Texas. No doubt, the petro-states of OPEC are concerned with hydraulic fracturing in the US. See Article # 1.

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Weak Solar Activity And La Nina Forebode Cooling Temperatures For The Months Ahead

The Sun in November 2017

By Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (Translated and edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Dec 13, 2017

http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/13/weak-solar-activity-and-la-nina-forebode-cooling-temperatures-for-the-months-ahead/#sthash.frIRwflH.dpbs

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013

https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-II/CCR-II-Full.pdf

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

http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2b/pdf/Full-Report.pdf

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

Download with no charge

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Satellite Bulk Tropospheric Temperatures as a Metric for Climate Sensitivity

By John R. Christy and Richard T. McNider, Asia-Pac. J. Atmos. Sci., Nov 30, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

[New link]

Global Science Report: Another Indication of Lukewarming

By Patrick Michaels, CATO, Dec 12, 2017

https://www.cato.org/blog/global-science-report-another-indication-lukewarming

Brown and Caldeira: A closer look shows global warming will not be greater than we thought

By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Dec 15, 2017

https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/15/brown-and-caldeira-a-closer-look-shows-global-warming-will-not-be-greater-than-we-thought/#more-23690

[SEPP Comment: Strongly challenging “a recent paper by Brown and Caldeira published in Nature that predicted greater than expected global warming.” See link to paper under Defending the Orthodoxy.]

Revisiting the EPA Endangerment Finding

Obama’s EPA used semantic tricks to avoid rigorous scientific evaluation. Is Trump’s EPA more honest?

By Ross McKitrick, National Review, Dec 15, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454662/epa-clean-power-plan-basis-rules-may-be-faulty

Some of the most encouraging graphs about the human condition you’ll ever see

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 8, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/08/some-of-the-most-encouraging-graphs-about-the-human-condition-youll-ever-see/

One possible source of data: The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2015

By Staff Writers, UN, 2015

http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/2015_MDG_Report/pdf/MDG%202015%20rev%20(July%201).pdf

What’s at Stake in US Adoption of Climate Alarmist Policies

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Dec 15, 2017

http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/4090

Defending the Orthodoxy

Climate Change 2014, Synthesis Report, Summary for Policymakers

By Staff Writers, IPCC, AR-5, 2014

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

Climate change is going to be even worse than previously predicted, scientists warn

By Rob Waugh, Yahoo, UK, Dec 7, 2017

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/climate-change-going-even-worse-previously-predicted-scientists-warn-110750537.html

Link to paper: Greater future global warming inferred from Earth’s recent energy budget

By Brown and Caldeira, Nature, Dec 6, 2017

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature24672

The researchers analysed current climate models by testing them on the recent past – and found that more pessimistic models seemed to be more accurate.

Dr Caldeira says, ‘It makes sense that the models that do the best job at simulating today’s observations might be the models with the most reliable predictions.

The researchers concluded that models which predicted bigger rises were the most likely to be accurate – with rises of 0.5C higher than previous estimates.

[SEPP Comment: See critique in link above by Lewis!]

Heavyweights offer sweeping changes to Puerto Rico’s grid

By David Ferris, E&E, Dec 12, 2017

https://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/12/12/stories/1060068733

Link to plan: Build Back Better: Reimaging and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico

Prepared for: Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York, Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico, and William Long, Administrator FEMA

By Staff Writers: New York Power Authority, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, et al, Dec 2017

https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/PRERWG_Report_PR_Grid_Resiliency_Report.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Close reliable nuclear and build unreliable rooftop solar? According to the report the system needs to be able to withstand 155 mph winds. The solar panel that can do that is not discussed! The power plants did not fail, the distribution system did.]

New York mayor, NY attorney general to hold ‘people’s hearing’ on climate rule repeal

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Dec 15, 2017

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/365176-new-york-city-mayor-state-ag-to-hold-peoples-hearing-on-climate

“Mayor Bill de Blasio and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, announced their plan Friday for a ‘people’s hearing,’ complaining that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rebuffed their calls for a formal hearing on the matter in New York.”

Macron Saves The World!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 15,2017

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/macron-saves-the-world/

“Understandably French scientists are dismayed that this money could have been used within their own universities, rather than make an empty gesture.

Given the billions spent on climate research in the US each year, I cannot see how $70 million will make the slightest difference either way.”

The CIA on Climate Change [August 1974]

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Dec 14, 2017

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/12/the-cia-on-climate-change.php

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Scientific peer review: an ineffective and unworthy institution

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/scientific-peer-review-an-ineffective-and-unworthy-institution/

“However, for any innovations in scientific publication to succeed two conditions would need to be met. The first, as noted above, is the provision with a publication of all the information necessary for independent reproduction and repeatability of the research, and the second is the improvement in the culture of science such that less than rigorous work and deceptive publication practices are no longer tolerated.

“With the scientific method itself at risk, the stakes could not be higher.”

Right on plastics and PCBs, wrong on acidification

The BBC’s Blue Planet II is superb, but got a few things wrong

By Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist, Dec 12, 2017

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-blue-planet-on-acid/

Link to paper: The reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea exhibits parabolic responses to ocean acidification and warming

By Castillo, Ries, Bruno and Westfield, Proceedings B, The Royal Society, Dec 22, 2014

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240989/

Link to meta-analysis: Vulnerability of marine biodiversity to ocean acidification: A meta-analysis

By Hendricks, Duarte, Alvarez, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Nov 24, 2009

https://www.climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Hendriks-et-al.-YECSS3172.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Asserting that PCBs lead to sterility in marine mammals, particularly those that eat other mammals.]

 

Canadian Inuits: There May be “Too Many Polar Bears Now

By Selwyn Duke, New American, Via GWPF, Dec 12, 2017

https://www.thegwpf.com/canadian-inuits-there-may-be-too-many-polar-bears-now/

Are California Coastal Wildfires Connected With Global Warming: The Evidence Says No

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

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/12/are-california-coastal-wildfires.html

“Wildfires are not a global warming issue, but a sustainable and resilience issue that our society, on both sides of the political spectrum, must deal with.

Summing up, perhaps Mark Twain said it best: ‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’”

California’s ‘new normal’ of winter wildfires doused by climate scientists

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, Dec 11, 2017

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/11/california-wildfires-new-normal-baseless-climate-s/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTXpGbE9XUXlNR1V6WmpVMiIsInQiOiJyb1NLYkQ2R1hIQzlkVERhMDBNaVJWQjRGSEhyM1wvbzNockVZaTZ1VGRacHJlbDJ6UnNaOEMxeXBvOTNISE82cVZTYTF4VlY4WGhia0RSM1phWVwvNHZqa0RFTE1qZlVHOWZOQ2EzUDVvUVppYjV6Y0NGRHVWS2NTa2cxV081MFFRIn0%3D

More Research Points To “Temperature Decline In The Coming Decades And Centuries”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 15, 2017

http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/15/more-research-points-to-temperature-decline-in-the-coming-decades-and-centuries/#sthash.VdJE5gTK.dpbs

After Paris!

2017 in perspective

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Dec 15, 20117

http://scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/2017-perspective

“The international IPCC travelling circus continues to put out bullish statements, but the reality is that there is no longer concerted international political action. Instead, the mitigation programme proceeds via voluntary agreements, with many governments making big claims while doing comparatively little.”

New Paper Questions Paris Agreement’s Dubious Temperature Limits

By Sebastian Lüning, Institute for Hydrography, Geoecology and Climate Sciences, Ägeri, Switzerland, Via GWPF, Dec 14, 2017

https://www.thegwpf.com/new-paper-questions-paris-agreements-dubious-temperature-limits/

Link to paper: Paleoclimatological Context and Reference Level of the 2°C and 1.5°C Paris Agreement Long-Term Temperature Limits

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, Frontiers in Earth Science, Dec 12, 2017

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2017.00104/full

[SEPP Comment: Questioning the validity of the UNFCCC’s politically created temperature limits]

Paris Climate Conference V2: “only real commitments of real money for tangible projects will be discussed”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 11, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/11/paris-climate-conference-v2-only-real-commitments-of-real-money-for-tangible-projects-will-be-discussed/

Climate victims seek justice, on the street and in the courtroom

By Marlowe Hood, Amélie Bottollier-Depois, Phys.org, Dec 10, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-climate-victims-justice-street-courtroom.html

‘Losing the battle’: Emmanuel Macron delivers bleak assessment of fight against climate change

The French president says that there are no more excuses when it comes to climate change.

By Staff Writers, Euronews, Dec 12, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/12/losing-the-battle-emmanuel-macron-delivers-bleak-assessment-of-fight-against

Change in US Administrations

Trump Supreme Court shortlister takes on Chevron doctrine

By Amanda Reilly, E & E, Dec 11, 2017

https://www.eenews.net/greenwire/2017/12/11/stories/1060068663

Here’s how Trump could make a quick (and complete) exit from the Paris climate agreement right now

By Marlo Lewis, Fox News, Dec 12, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/12/heres-how-trump-could-make-quick-and-complete-exit-from-paris-climate-agreement-right-now.html

Social Benefits of Carbon

Global Agricultural Boom: A Million Thanks to Climate Change!

By Vijay Jayaraj, Cornwall Alliance, Dec 12, 2017

https://patriotpost.us/opinion/52886

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Understanding the climate impact of natural atmospheric particles

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Dec 4, 2017

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171204112938.htm

Link to article: Substantial large-scale feedbacks between natural aerosols and climate

By C.E. Scott, et al, Nature Geoscience, Dec 4, 2017

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-017-0020-5

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

The Interactive Effects of Elevated CO2, Phosphorus and Cyanobacteria Seed Inoculation on Mungbean

Dey, S.K., Chakrabarti, B., Prasanna, R., Singh, S.D., Purakayastha, T.J., Datta, A. and Pathak, H. 2017. Productivity of mungbean (Vigna radiata) with elevated carbon dioxide at various phosphorus levels and cyanobacteria inoculation. Legume Research 40: 497-505. Dec 15, 2017

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V20/dec/a9.php

The Response of Two Branching Corals to Ocean Acidification

Sekizawa, A., Uechi, H., Iguchi, A., Nakamura, T., Kumagai, N.H., Suzuki, A., Sakai, K. and Nojiri, Y. 2017. Intraspecific variations in responses to ocean acidification in two branching coral species. Marine Pollution Bulletin 122: 282-287. Dec 14, 2017

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V20/dec/a8.php

“Sekizawa et al. say they ‘succeeded in detecting clear intraspecific variations in calcification responses to acidified seawater, suggesting that corals might be able to cope with future acidifying ocean within their phenotypic plasticities (e.g., epigenetics; Putnam and Gates, 2015) and/or by altering genotypic composition within populations if the intraspecific variations are tightly related to genotypes.’”

[SEPP Comment: As with the expected change in ocean chemistry, the experimental seawater was not acidic; it was only somewhat less basic than average seawater, which is happening with natural changes in some seawater.]

Elevated CO2 Reduces the Growth-inhibiting Impacts of Potassium Deficiency on Soybean

Singh, S.K. and Reddy, V.R. 2017. Potassium starvation limits soybean growth more than the photosynthetic processes across CO2 levels. Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 991, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00991. Dec 13, 2017

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V20/dec/a7.php

“In light of all of the above, it would appear that soybean plants grown in areas of the world that are experiencing K deficiency will benefit considerably from the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.”

Model Issues

On the ‘IPCC climate model’

Guest essay by Dr. Antero Ollila, WUWT, Dec 11, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/11/on-the-ipcc-climate-model/

[SEPP Comment: Lengthy post.]

Changing Weather

New mechanism for El Nino enhanced storm systems

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 12, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/12/188739/

Link to papers: Atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic processes driving the western North Pacific anomalous anticyclone during El Niño. Part I Maintenance Mechanisms

By B Wu, T. Zhou, & T. Li, Journal of Climate, AMS, Nov 7, 2017

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0489.1

Atmospheric Dynamic and Thermodynamic Processes Driving the Western North Pacific Anomalous Anticyclone during El Niño. Part II: Formation Processes

By B Wu, T. Zhou, & T. Li, Journal of Climate, AMS, Nov 7, 2017

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0495.1

5 New Papers: Climate And Weather Events Become LESS Erratic And Severe During Warming Periods

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 14, 2017

http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/14/5-new-papers-climate-and-weather-events-become-less-erratic-and-severe-during-warming-periods/#sthash.7HQxG2wM.dpbs

Study: a ‘statistically significant downward trend since 1950 exists’ in hurricane landfalls

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 9, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/09/study-a-statistically-significant-downward-trend-since-1950-exists-in-hurricane-landfalls/

Link to paper: An Energetic Perspective on United States Tropical Cyclone Landfall Droughts

By Ryan E. Truchelut, and Erica M. Staehling, Geophysical Research Letters, Dec 8, 2017

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL076071/full

Climate Science Defied…Extreme Rainfall Events In Arizona Have Decreased Over The Past 50 Years

Researchers surprised: extreme rainfall in Arizona has decreased over the past 50 years despite climate warming

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated and edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Dec 12, 2017

http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/12/climate-science-defied-extreme-rainfall-events-in-arizona-have-decreased-over-the-past-50-years/#sthash.ah1zU5Mg.dpbs

“Natural Variability Was The Dominant Cause Of Recent Winter Floods”– Met Office

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 15, 2017

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/natural-variability-was-the-dominant-cause-of-recent-winter-floods-met-office/#more-31294

Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations

Scientists revamp ‘Out of Africa’ model of early human migration

“The initial dispersals out of Africa prior to 60,000 years ago were likely by small groups of foragers,” researcher Michael Petraglia said.

By Brooks Hays, UPI, Dec 8, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

https://www.upi.com/Scientists-revamp-Out-of-Africa-model-of-early-human-migration/7031512739851/

Link to paper: On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives

By Bae, Douka, & Petraglia, Science, Dec 8, 2017

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6368/eaai9067

[SEPP Comment: According to this paper, the earliest migration pattern is east, across north Africa about 300,000 years ago. The pattern from tropical east Africa did not start until about 200,000 years ago. Any role of drying and greening of the Sahara is not presented.]

Changing Seas

Climate change activists used ‘arbitrary’ adjustments to exaggerate sea level rise, scientists claim

The PSMSL collected data from three sea level recording sites in Indian Ocean

A study reveals it based its interpretation of the data only on higher readings

Researchers used non-aligned data to reconstruct the most likely sea level rise

Their analysis suggests there was a steady, gentle rise, rather than a dramatic increase as the PSMSL suggested

By Shivali Best, Daily Mail, UK, Dec 14, 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5178953/Climate-change-activists-exaggerate-sea-level-rise.html

“The Permanent Service of Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) collected raw data from three key sea level recording sites at Aden in Yemen, Karachi in Pakistan, and Mumbai in India.”

Oceans Cool Post Nino

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Dec 11, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/oceans-cool-post-nino/

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

NOAA’s Arctic report card released at #AGU17

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 12, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/12/noaas-arctic-report-card-released-at-agu17/

Link to Arctic Report Card: Update for 2017Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades

By Richter-Menge, Overland, Mathis, and Osborne, NOAA, Nov 17, 2017

http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2017/ArtMID/7798/ArticleID/685/Executive-Summary

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Population Growth and the food supply

By Andy May, WUWT, Dec 11, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/11/population-growth-and-the-food-supply/

Lowering Standards

ExxonMobil at ALEC: Bring Back Lee Raymond!

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Dec 14, 2017

https://www.masterresource.org/american-legislative-exchange-council-alec/exxonmobil-alec-raymond/

ExxonMobil caves to climate activists

By Mike Bastasch, WUWT, Dec 12, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/12/exxonmobil-caves-to-climate-activists/

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

U.S. Energy Storage Surges 46% Led by Big Project in Windy Texas

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg, Dec 7, 2017

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-07/u-s-energy-storage-surges-46-led-by-big-project-in-windy-texas

[SEPP Comment: Insignificant!]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Laughable claim: Presenting facts as ‘consensus’ bridges conservative-liberal divide over climate change

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 11, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/11/laughable-claim-presenting-facts-as-consensus-bridges-conservative-liberal-divide-over-climate-change/

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Emails: Disney annoyed by Obama push to use ‘Frozen’ brand

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Dec 12, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/364370-emails-disney-annoyed-by-obama-push-to-use-frozen-brand

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

One starving bear is not evidence of climate change, despite gruesome photos

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 9, 2017

https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/09/one-starving-bear-is-not-evidence-of-climate-change-despite-gruesome-photos/

What everybody got wrong about that viral video of a starving polar bear

Dubbed the ‘Face of Climate Change,’ a starving polar bear photographed in Canada’s Arctic might have nothing to do with climate change

By Tristin Hooper, National Post, Canada, Dec 12, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/what-everybody-got-wrong-about-that-viral-video-of-a-starving-polar-bear

The starving polar bear raises a question: Is fake news okay for a good cause?

By Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail, Canada, Dec 11, 2017

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/is-fake-news-okay-if-the-cause-is-good/article37290997/

[SEPP Comment: We lie to the public only because our cause is just?]

The Truth Behind Sea Legacy

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/the-truth-behind-sea-legacy/#more-31273

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Twenty companies join nations planning coal phase out

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 15, 2017

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/twenty-companies-join-nations-planning-coal-phase-out/#more-31305

“Conclusion: None of these new members of the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” will make the slightest difference, as they either do not use coal, or are already phasing it out anyway.”

Questioning European Green

German GHG and Renewables Update

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 12, 2017

http://www.powerforusa.com/2017/12/12/german-ghg-and-renewables-update/

“If CO2 is such an existential threat, why is Germany still using coal, and why is Germany eliminating nuclear power?”

Energy Union vote opens EU Parliament rift

By Frédéric Simon, EURACTIV.com, Dec 8, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/energy-union-vote-opens-eu-parliament-rift/

The Political Games Continue

Inside the battle for the right’s climate conscience

By Zack Colman, E&E News, Dec 11, 2017

https://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2017/12/11/stories/1060068569

Litigation Issues

Lawsuits to Force Climate Regulations on US

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 15, 2017

http://www.powerforusa.com/2017/12/15/lawsuits-to-force-climate-regulations-on-us/

Youth climate trial reaches federal appeals court, as judges signal it’s going to trial

By Andrew Freedman, Mashable, Dec 11, 2017 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

https://www.yahoo.com/news/youth-climate-trial-reaches-federal-223316505.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

[SEPP Comment: Shopping for the right judge is a major part of the game. Will we see the hard evidence for proof of cause?]

Memo to Supreme Court: Grant Cert in the Weyerhaeuser Case!

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Dec 13, 2017

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/12/memo-to-supreme-court-grant-cert-in-the-weyerhaeuser-case.php

[SEPP Comment: US Fish and Wildlife controlling private land use to protect a frog where it does not exist?]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Energy Tax Preferences: Rid Them All (2013 Cato letter to House working group revisited)

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

https://www.masterresource.org/energy-tax-reform/energy-tax-preferences-rid-2013-cato-letter-house-working-group-revisited/

Company Accused of Running Empty Buses for Green Subsidies [in China]

An electric bus that racks up 30,000 kilometers is eligible for up to $75,000 in government funds.

By Bibek Bhandari, Sixth Tone, China, Dec 13, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1001382/company-accused-of-running-empty-buses-for-green-subsidies

EPA and other Regulators on the March

The Man They Love to Hate

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s recipe for success: fearless defiance of his political and media foes

By Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard, Dec 15, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-man-they-love-to-hate/article/2010851

Energy Issues – Non-US

Gas shortage PANIC: Italy declate [sic] state of emergency after huge Austrian gas plant blast

ENERGY prices across Europe have soared after an explosion ripped through one of the continent’s biggest supply hubs.

By Simon Osborne, Express, Dec 13, 2017

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/891284/Austria-gas-plant-blast-Europe-energy-crisis-fuel-shortages-Italy-state-emergency

Gas shortage to push up bills after ‘perfect storm’ of energy problems

By Jillian Ambrose and Gordon Rayner, Telegraph, UK, Dec 12, 2017

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/12/fears-uk-gas-prices-could-soar-winter-shock-events-hit-supply/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

The gas that came in from the cold: Britain turns to sanctioned Russian energy to avoid big freeze

By Staff Writers, RT, Dec 14, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.rt.com/uk/413034-russian-gas-sanctions-uk-shutdown/

China suffers natural gas shortage as coal ban backfires

By Joe McDonald, AP, Dec 14, 2017

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article189691449.html

Engie To Ditch Natural Gas By 2050 [A French utility company]

By Zainab Calcuttawala, Oil Price.com, Dec 4, 2017

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Engie-To-Ditch-Natural-Gas-By-2050.html

Energy Issues – Australia

Transformation glitch? Biggest issue facing South Australia is electricity say 70%

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 11, 2017

http://joannenova.com.au/2017/12/transformation-glitch-biggest-issue-facing-south-australia-is-electricity-say-70/

“A Sunday Mail survey (paywalled) shows that despite SA having more ‘free, cheap and clean’ renewable electricity than just about anywhere in the world, the number one biggest issue for most South Australians is … ‘electricity’. And despite all the renewable jobs created, the second most common concern is ‘jobs’. Going for the Paradox-Trifecta: most strangely of all, with elected leaders who are leading the largest energy transformation since civilization began, the third ‘biggest issue’ facing South Australians is ‘political leadership’.”

Back to black? Australia industry prepares for possible blackouts

By Sonali Paul, Irish Independent, Dec 5, 2017

https://www.independent.ie/business/world/back-to-black-australia-industry-prepares-for-possible-blackouts-36378234.html

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

US Fuels the World as Shale Boom Powers Record Oil Exports

Americans are expected to end the year pumping oil out of the ground at rates unseen since the early 1970s.

By Staff Writers, Bloomberg, Dec 12, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.industryweek.com/supply-chain/us-fuels-world-shale-boom-powers-record-oil-exports

The cost of displacing fossil fuels: some evidence from Texas

By Peter Hartley, Climate Etc. Dec 14, 2017

https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/14/the-cost-of-displacing-fossil-fuels-some-evidence-from-texas/#more-23687

[SEPP Comment: The timing of depletion of fossil fuels is highly questionable.]

Return of King Coal?

While the West Retreats, Asian Banks Are Pouring $600 Billion into 16000 New Coal Power Plants

By Staff Writers, Financial Time, Dec 11, 2107

https://www.thegwpf.com/forget-paris-banks-are-pouring-630-billion-into-1600-new-coal-power-plants/

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear fusion project hails halfway construction milestone

By Frank Jordans, AP, Dec 6, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/nuclear-fusion-project-hails-halfway-construction-milestone-51618309

Laser Boron Fusion — What if it works? (Forget “climate change”)

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 15, 2017

http://joannenova.com.au/2017/12/laser-boron-fusion-what-if-it-works-forget-climate-change/

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

A new project will supply Chile with solar power, even at night

By Michael J. Coren, Quartz, Dec 6, 2017

https://qz.com/1147953/a-new-project-will-supply-chile-with-solar-power-even-at-night/

[SEPP Comment: Using batteries yet to be determined?]

Don’t Bank On Solar Power In Winter!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 11, 2017

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/dont-bank-on-solar-power-in-winter/#more-31240

[SEPP Comment: Keep those panels clean when the snow flies.]

More on going off-grid in UK

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Dec 13, 2017

http://euanmearns.com/more-on-going-off-grid-in-uk/#more-20446

“Once more using 10 Mossbank Way [a UK homeowner] as an example I find that there are circumstances in which it might make marginal economic sense for Mossbank to install up to one Powerwall, but that again that there is no realistic combination of Powerwalls and overgeneration that would allow Mossbank to power itself year-round with solar alone. Going off-grid is again found to increase Mossbank’s electricity costs substantially no matter what combination of the two is adopted.”

Global warming will weaken wind power, study predicts

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 15, 2017

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/global-warming-will-weaken-wind-power-study-predicts/#more-31292

Link to paper: Southward shift of the global wind energy resource under high carbon dioxide emissions

By Kristopher B. Karnauskas, Julie K. Lundquist & Lei Zhang, Nature Geoscience, Dec 11, 2017

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-017-0029-9

Global warming will weaken winds in the Northern Hemisphere, but speed them up downunder!

By Jo Nova, Her blog, Dec 14, 2017

http://joannenova.com.au/2017/12/56418/

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Electric Vehicles and Climate Policies

By John Constable, GWPF, Dec 12, 2017

https://www.thegwpf.com/42069-2/

Carbon Schemes

The Dirty Secret of the World’s Plan to Avert Climate Disaster

By Abby Rabinowitz, MNS News, Dec 10, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/the-dirty-secret-of-the-world%E2%80%99s-plan-to-avert-climate-disaster/ar-BBGu7DI?ocid=spartandhp

Environmental Industry

Keystone is anti-hydrocarbon zealotry in microcosm

Guest essay by Paul Driessen, WUWT, Dec 10, 2017

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/10/keystone-is-anti-hydrocarbon-zealotry-in-microcosm/

Other Scientific News

Viewpoint: Why so many scientific studies are flawed and poorly understood

By Henry Miller and Stanley Young, Genetic Literacy Project, Dec 13, 2017 [H/t GWPF]

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/12/13/viewpoint-many-scientific-studies-flawed-poorly-understood/

[SEPP Comment: Exposing a few statistical tricks that produce phony results.]

Sea urchin spines inspire fracture-resistant cement

By Staff Writers, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany (SPX), Dec 08, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Sea_urchin_spines_inspire_fracture_resistant_cement_999.html

Link to paper: Mesocrystalline calcium silicate hydrate: A bioinspired route toward elastic concrete materials

By Andreas Picker, et al, Science Advances, Nov 29, 2017

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/11/e1701216

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Today in Climate Comedy

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Dec 12, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wsie]

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/12/today-in-climate-comedy.php

I know where I’m placing my bet!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Dec 9, 2017

http://climatechangepredictions.org/uncategorized/3294

“Humans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, according to Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders of the effort to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He blames overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change.

“For years now, we have heard that we are at a tipping point. Al Gore warned us in An Inconvenient Truth that immediate action was required if we were to prevent global warming.”

“Only two conclusions can be drawn: Either these old warnings were alarmist, or we are already in far bigger trouble than the U.N. Claims.”

Reuters, 18 Jun 2015

ARTICLES:

1. Fracking Our Way to Mideast Peace

Low oil prices have so eroded Arab states’ power, they now see Israel as a protector.

By Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, Dec 11, 2017

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fracking-our-way-to-mideast-peace-1513035925

SUMMARY: The fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor of foreign affairs at Bard College uses President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the beginning of his discussion on what he considers:

“…most important strategic reality in the Middle East: Arab power has collapsed in the face of low oil prices and competition from American frackers.

 

“The devastating oil-price shocks of the 1970s, orchestrated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, nearly wrecked the world economy. Ever since, the U.S. has looked for ways to break OPEC’s parasitic and rent-seeking grip on the oil market—and thereby to reduce America’s geopolitical vulnerability to events in the Middle East.

 

“Victory did not come easily. Intense conservation efforts made the U.S. much more energy-efficient. New oil discoveries in Africa and elsewhere significantly broadened the available supply. Renewable energy sources added to the diversification. But the most decisive development was that decades of public and private research and investment unleashed an American oil-and-gas boom, leading to a revolution in energy markets that has sent geopolitical shocks through world affairs.

 

“The consequences reverberate in the Middle East and beyond. Future oil revenues to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and Iraq will fall trillions of dollars short of what once might have been expected. The shift in energy markets will benefit consumer economies like Japan, China, India and the nations of the European Union. The U.S. and similarly situated nations, like Australia and Canada, can look forward to faster growth and greater foreign investment, since they will capture much of the oil revenue that Russia and OPEC lose.

 

“Low energy prices already have given the EU’s struggling southern countries a chance to return to growth. They have limited Russia’s prospects and forced Vladimir Putin onto a tight budget. They have largely offset the gains Iran had hoped to make from signing the nuclear deal and escaping Western sanctions.

 

“But the greatest consequences are being felt in the Arab world, where the long-term decline in oil revenues threatens the stability of many states. It is not only the oil producers that will suffer; the prosperous Gulf economies have been a major source of opportunity for Egyptians, Pakistanis, Palestinians and many other Middle Easterners.

 

“The shining cities that rise where the desert meets the Gulf may be in for harder times. The sheikhdoms’ glassy skyscrapers, gleaming malls and opulent apartment complexes were conceived for a world in which runaway energy demand and limited sources (remember “peak oil”?) led to inexorably rising prices. These fragile and artificial economies require hothouse conditions that a weakened OPEC can no longer provide. Now the great Gulf Bubble seems set to slowly deflate.

 

“There’s more. The staggering affluence of the Gulf countries during the OPEC era concealed the Arab world’s failure to develop states and economies capable of competing effectively in the 21st century. As their dream of revival through oil riches fades, they are waking to a new era of weakness and dependency.

 

“The Gulf states increasingly see Israel not as an insect to be crushed by resurgent Arab power, but as a lion that can defend them from Iran. Syria, once a citadel of Arab nationalism, now haplessly hosts Russian, American, Iranian and Turkish forces that the Assad dynasty can neither control nor evict.

 

“Arab diplomats, lobbyists and financiers must brace for more bad news: As the declining long-term prospects of the OPEC states become apparent, their diplomatic and economic influence across the West can be expected to wane even further.

 

“Many analysts look at the frustrations of America’s policy in the Middle East and conclude that the U.S. is in retreat and hegemonic decline. That misses the deeper truth. American diplomacy has had its share of failures, but the region is now being fundamentally reshaped by drillers in Texas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and elsewhere.

 

“Even with OPEC’s hold broken, the Middle East will remain a problem for American policy. Moreover, not all the consequences of OPEC’s decline are good. In the short term, Russia and Iran are likely to double down on adventurous foreign policies as a way of distracting their populations from the tough challenges ahead. Instability in America’s key Gulf allies and in Egypt could create major headaches for the U.S.

 

“Nevertheless, reducing OPEC’s ability to capture rents, while forcing more corrupt petrostate oligarchies to contemplate reform, is likely over time to reduce both the costs and the risks of American foreign policy. This is what winning looks like.”

*****************

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11 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #296

  1. Was it me not paying attention or has the number of Ads in this web page increased A LOT recently? At least in the mobile version. And in many cases it’s the same ad repeated once and again and again…

  2. Interesting, indeed VERY interesting that in the 1970s and before, as far as climate, aerosols were considered the dominant component of industrial production .. so the Chicken Littles of the time said they feared man-made global cooling.

    But today it seems that both skeptics and alarmists rarely include aerosols in their analysis.

    Alarmists posit that we would have 1°C of direct warming from a doubling of CO2, and then, unbelievably, up to 3.5 additional degrees in positive feedback from water vapor (high clouds). Skeptics say that the feedback will be NEGATIVE, so that 1° becomes like a half or quarter degree. The late Dr. Bill Grey did a great job explaining the negative feedback, saying that any CO2 caused warming would not be amplified but in fact greatly diminished by evaporative ocean cooling and sun-blocking low clouds and convective cooling (see the 7 to 29 minute marks):

    Now, in addition to Dr. Grey’s discussion of negative feedbacks above, we also must consider aerosols as being an inseparable part of human CO2 emissions and as having an indisputably negative impact on temperature. Combine Dr. Grey’s negative feedbacks with the aerosol impact and you quite likely have a zero or actually negative impact of man’s CO2 emissions on temperature.

    If as new papers suggest that CO2 residence time is as little 4 years, and with those aerosols likely having a similar lifespan, then it’s clear that the effect on temperature of the aerosol output must be considered in tandem with the effect of CO2. To me it seems like it’s probably a wash. And when you consider that there’s no recent or long-term historical evidence that CO2 has any effect on temperatures I am led to conclude that probably the aerosol and negative feedback effect from CO2 emissions predominate, leading to truly zero impact on temperature.

  3. The regional distribution of positive (negative) anomalies

    I am sure this makes sense to someone, somewhere. Maybe if I drink a lot.

  4. Because of the Precautionary Principle and its progeny, the Endangerment Finding, the EPA can promulgate misguided regulations even though scientific knowledge that supports their actions is lacking. They only need to show a small possibility of adverse consequences to justify actions to prevent harm to the public, the one percent solution. All of the good scientific work discussed above will likely have zero influence on EPA actions. A winning argument has to show that the consequences of taking actions create greater risks to the public that taking no actions or taking contrary actions, i.e., actions to mitigate global cooling.

  5. Because of the Precautionary Principle and its progeny, the Endangerment Finding, the EPA can promulgate misguided regulations even though scientific knowledge that supports their actions is lacking. They only need to show a small possibility of adverse consequences to justify actions to prevent harm to the public, the one percent solution. All of the good scientific work discussed above will likely have zero influence on EPA actions. A winning argument has to show that the consequences of taking actions create greater risks to the public than taking no actions or taking contrary actions, i.e., actions to mitigate global cooling.

  6. Because of the Precautionary Principle and its progeny, the Endangerment Finding, the EPA can promulgate misguided regulations even though scientific knowledge that supports their actions is lacking. They only need to show a small possibility of adverse consequences to justify actions to prevent harm to the public, the one percent solution. All the good scientific work discussed above will likely have zero influence on EPA actions. A winning argument must show that the consequences of taking actions create greater risks to the public than taking no actions or taking contrary actions, i.e., actions to mitigate global cooling.

  7. When you do not know what causes the problem, it is difficult to guess the solution.
    Everyone is wrong and they do not want to admit it. We, Suarez & Suarez SIMPLE SOLUTIONS know why Global Warming occurs, we have data in situ that support our research work.
    This is “like when ligtning strikes” if you were not there, then you did not see it and since you did not see it, you can only imagine and thats where mistakes are made.
    In 2013 we shared our Global Warming Theory and began to crumble what climate scientists advocated as the cause of warming. If weather scientistslook different they will come to accept that Global Warming has a different origin tha they said.
    The SOLUTIONS you find will be IDEAL.

  8. Typo: delete the extra zero in:
    “While the West Retreats, Asian Banks Are Pouring $600 Billion into 16000 New Coal Power Plants”

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