Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President
Group Think: Author and journalist Christopher Booker has produced an extensive booklet for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) applying the concept of groupthink to the climate establishment. This is not the first time the concept has been so employed. Others, such as Tim Ball, have used the concept, but Booker’s effort is the most systematic and comprehensive.
Groupthink describes systematic errors made by groups when making collective decisions. It was popularized by Research Psychologist Irving Janis in his 1982 book of that title. Janis used it to describe the poor US preparation, despite warnings, for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the failed US-supported invasion of Castro’s Cuba in 1961. His work suggests that pressures for conformity restrict independent and critical thinking by individuals of the group, biasing the group’s analyses.
The forward by Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, emeritus, of MIT, discusses how well this concept applies to the Climate Establishment and its promotion of fear of carbon dioxide (CO2)-caused dire global warming:
“…Booker’s relatively brief monograph asks a rather different but profoundly important question. Namely, how do otherwise intelligent people come to believe such arrant nonsense despite its implausibility, internal contradictions, contradictory data, evident corruption and ludicrous policy implications. Booker convincingly shows the power of ‘groupthink’ to overpower the rational faculties that we would hope could play some role. The phenomenon of groupthink helps explain why ordinary working people are less vulnerable to this defect…”
Explaining his work, Booker writes in CapX:
“Since we’ve now been living with the global warming story for 30 years, it might seem hard to believe that science could now come up with anything that would enable us to see that story in a wholly new light.
“But that is what I am suggesting in a new paper, just published in the UK by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, thanks to a book called Groupthink, written more than 40 years ago by a professor of psychology at Yale, Irving Janis.
“What Janis did was to define scientifically just how what he called groupthink operates, according to three basic rules. And what my paper tries to show is the astonishing degree to which they explain so much that many have long found puzzling about the global warming story.
“Janis’s first rule is that a group of people come to share a particular way of looking at the world which may seem hugely important to them but which turns out not to have been based on looking properly at all the evidence. It is therefore just a shared, untested belief.
“Rule two is that, because they have shut their minds to any evidence which might contradict their belief, they like to insist that it is supported by a “consensus”. The one thing those caught up in groupthink cannot tolerate is that anyone should question it.
“This leads on to the third rule, which is that they cannot properly debate the matter with those who disagree with their belief. Anyone holding a contrary view must simply be ignored, ridiculed and dismissed as not worth listening to.
“What my paper does is look again at the entire global warming story in the light of Janis’s rules, and to show how consistently they explain so much of the way it has unfolded all the way through.
“The alarm over man-made climate change was first exploded on the world in 1988 by a tiny group of scientists who had become convinced that, because both CO2 levels and global temperatures were rising, one must be the cause of the other. Unless something very drastic was done, they urged, the planet was heading for catastrophe.
“In November that year two of these fervent believers in what they called “human-induced climate change” were authorised to set up the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. This would report to the world’s politicians on the basis of computer models programmed, according to their theory, to predict just how fast the world was likely to heat up over the next 100 years.
“With startling speed, their theory was soon proclaimed as being supported by a scientific “consensus”, backed by governments, all the main scientific journals and institutions, environmental pressure groups and the media.
“In fact right from the start, many scientists, like the eminent physicist Richard Lindzen of MIT, were highly sceptical, both of the theory itself and of those computer models. These, as Lindzen wrote, were so narrowly focused on CO2 that they were far too simplistic to allow for all the other natural factors which shape the earth’s climate.
“But such dissenters were ignored. And for nearly 20 years the ‘consensus’ rolled on, ever more extreme in its apocalyptic claims, with each new IPCC report scarier than the last. By 2006 Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was outdoing them all.”
Booker then discusses problems the Groupthink experienced, such as Climategate and other scandals, and how the world is emerging differently from those who initiated the fear envisioned.
Interestingly, before “Groupthink” was published, in 1967, Janis was awarded the Socio-Psychological Prize by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). By its actions AAAS demonstrates that it is an example of Groupthink, as stated below. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Lowering Standards.
Quote of the Week. “It is only by obtaining some sort of insight into the psychology of crowds that it can be understood how powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them.” Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd [H/t Christopher Booker]
Certainty: One of the characteristics of Groupthink is the certainty the group expresses in its work. This certainty is a characteristic of the Climate Establishment including IPCC and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and elements of NOAA and NASA. Although not directly related to science, the February 10 TWTW linked to an excellent essay by Martin Livermore in The Scientific Alliance on “Certainty breeds intolerance.” See link at http://scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/certainty-breeds-intolerance.
Christy Testimony: We can easily see how Groupthink pervades the US Climate Establishment, including Federal government entities. On March 29, 2017, John Christy testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology that global climate models continue to greatly overestimate observed temperature trends and that the overestimate is highly statistically significant. The greenhouse gas effect occurs in the bulk atmosphere (Christy uses from the surface to 50,000 feet (15km)). Yet, almost all models use surface temperature data. If surface warming is the result of greenhouse gas effect, it should be even greater in the atmosphere. The dramatic warming projected by global climate models is not occurring in the atmosphere. Thus, something is very wrong with the claim that greenhouse gases are the cause of warming shown in the models.
As Christy testified, UN IPCC knows of this disparity, earlier studies were included in the Supplementary Material of Chapter 10 of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 2013). The analysis covered the period from 1979 to 2010. Further, the global climate models tested perform better without including human-added greenhouse gases and the models did when human-added greenhouse gases. This demonstrated that the projections from the models that human emissions of CO2 will cause dramatic global warming are not valid. The synthesis report of AR5 ignored these glaring defects. The UN IPCC is a political organization, not a scientific one, and its scientific claims should be treated as such – international politics.
Worse, after Christy’s testimony the USGCRP came out with its Climate Science Special Report – 4th National Climate Assessment, Volume I, last dated November 3, 2017. Unlike the IPCC, the USGCRP mandate is to understand both natural and human causes of climate change. The report states:
“This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”
The US global climate models use surface data, yet the greenhouse gas effect occurs in the atmosphere. How a warming occurring in the atmosphere can cause an even greater warming on the surface is a logical jump that needs to be explained. Is it because atmospheric temperatures are ignored? To say that the USGCRP is infected by Groupthink is very polite. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy and http://www.adaptationclearinghouse.org/resources/climate-science-special-report-4th-national-climate-assessment-volume-i.html
New Spencer Model: Roy Spencer who, along with John Christy, published the method of calculating atmospheric temperatures from satellite data, has proposed a simple one-dimensional model for calculating sensitivity of the climate to increasing CO2, using surface temperature measurements from the Met Office Hadley Center (UK) and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UK). The dataset used, HadCRUT4, is the latest in a series providing gridded temperature anomalies for the globe with the CRU component for land and the Hadley Centre component for sea surface.
Readers of TWTW may realize that surface temperatures have significant problems, including changes in extent of coverage, instruments, measurement techniques, and highly questionable adjustments. But it is the longest instrumental global data, running from 1880 to 2018, even though coverage is far from global.
Spencer posted his model on his web site for comments. The early calculations show a low climate sensitivity to CO2 of 1.54˚C. which is at the lowest end proposed by the IPCC of 3 ˚C +/- 1.5 ˚C. This is below the lowest estimate of 2 ˚C given in IPCC AR4 (2007), which led to the UK Climate Change Act 2008 and other disruptive policies which are resulting in dramatically increasing costs of electricity and fuel in Europe. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Endangerment Finding: The group called the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) filed its fifth supplement to its petition the EPA to reconsider the EPA’s Endangerment Finding claiming that greenhouse gas emissions, mainly CO2, endanger public health and welfare. Their earlier filings focused on the EPA’s “lines of evidence” claiming to show CO2 is causing dangerous global warming. The latest supplement deals with false claims regarding heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods, etc. In short, all the ills attributed to CO2 found in the popular press and in the reports by the USGCRP. Note that SEPP joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in a similar petition, largely based on the testimony by John Christy that the conclusions and the models used by the IPCC and USGCRP that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change are contradicted by hard evidence. Thus, the EPA finding is erroneous. See links under EPA and other Regulators on the March.
New Fashion? As discussed in the February 3 TWTW, legal scholar Richard Epstein has stated that the California municipalities that filed action against Exxon for damages that may occur from CO2–caused global warming may have made a serious error in judgement. [This action was later joined by New York City.] These municipalities cite specific examples of significant harm that may occur. However, they failed to state such harm in securities filings when issuing bonds.
In an interview with Forbes, Epstein made clear if the Exxon case goes to court the cross examination will be brutal.
In her post of the interview, Jo Nova made the clever comment: “It’s never a good idea to launch litigation as a fashion statement or as a form of tribal warfare.”
Perhaps New York City joined as a fashion statement – preparing a theme for fall fashion week – its municipal bonds carrying the yields of junk bonds. [Fred Singer and SEPP were disparaged without evidence or justification in the New York City filing.] See links under Litigation Issues.
Alternative Facts: Science Mag, published by AAAS, has an article by Dan Ferber on what are called alternative facts, stating that: “alternative facts are not facts at all, but socially sanctioned beliefs.” Yet, the magazine should examine its own editorial policy. Shortly after publishing the important article by Roy Spencer and John Christy on how to calculate temperatures from satellite data, the magazine began to ignore or reject articles, research, and data on atmospheric temperature measurements. The atmospheric measurements did not support the IPCC. Also, Science Mag. systematically ignored articles that questioned the Groupthink of the IPCC. See link under Defending the Orthodoxy
The Miracle of Numbers: Writing in Forbes, Kaley Leetaru presents basic errors that can occur with poor data practices, even with scrupulous researchers. He states:
“In my presentation, I broke the world of bad data practice into five key themes: Honest Statistical/Computing Error, Honest Misunderstanding of Data, Honest Misapplication of Methods, Honest Failure to Normalize and Malicious Manipulation, made worse through the poor citation practices of Copy-Paste Google Scholarship.”
Unfortunately, similar errors frequently occur with application of statistical techniques. With the advent of statistical packages, various techniques are mis-applied, often unknowingly. A straight line through a set of erratic data may have no significance, but often is treated as a meaningful trend.
Polling techniques are often worse. In his simple 1952 book “How to Lie With Statistics” Darrell Huff covered some of these tricks. Editors of the journals that published the “97% of scientists…” myth would do well to read it. Huff mentioned the Miracle of Numbers – when faced with numbers (statistics) common sense is lost. The same applies to numerical models. See link under Seeking a Common Ground.
South Australia: Energy costs in the State of South Australia continue to rise, in part because politicians fail to understand a simple concept. The great electrical distribution system called the grid requires stability. Without stability it fails. Adding erratic wind and solar power creates instability. Heavy turbines powered by steam from coal and nuclear or hydro are very stable. Policies that remove stable systems from the grid create instability. Green policies add to the instability, fragility, and the costs of the grid. See Article # 2 and links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, and Energy Issues – Australia
Number of the Week – The 1% solution. Professor Mark Jacobson of Stanford University (California), et al., published a revised study rebutting critics of a prior study claiming that the world can be powered by “renewable” electricity including weather related wind and solar and “stable” geothermal, tidal and wave (not yet demonstrated), etc. Jacobson claimed that the excess power, when available, could be stored with batteries, pumped-hydro, hydrogen (not demonstrated), etc. The studies are based on two different numerical models.
Fortunately, Roger Andrews is not overwhelmed by the Miracle of Numbers, and applied the energy mix suggested by Jacobson to the clean energy mandate by the politicians in California to determine energy storage requirements. In his analysis, Andrews states:
“Battery storage” covers all storage technologies currently being considered, including thermal, compressed air, pumped hydro etc. Batteries are, however, the flavor of the moment and are expected to capture the largest share of the future energy storage market
Based on his analysis, Andrews states:
“The mandate went on to confirm that this was indeed its intention by calling for 1.325 gigawatts of energy storage without specifying how many hours the gigawatts were to last for. Apparently, this was unimportant. According to recent reports California is about to call for two gigawatts more “storage”, with gigawatt-hours again unspecified. It‘s questionable whether California even understands what energy storage is.
“Now there’s no question that high levels of intermittent renewables generation will require fast-frequency-response capabilities to ensure grid stability during the day, but what is California doing about seasonal storage, which makes up 99% of its total storage problem?
“Absolutely nothing. It has yet to recognize its existence.”
Apparently, the politicians in California fail to realize the difference between power and energy. Power is measured in kilowatts (or gigawatts), and energy is measured in kilowatt-hours. Further, and they fail to realize that seasons exist. For years, California seasonally sent surplus nuclear power to the Pacific Northwest and seasonally received surplus hydropower from the Northwest. What will happen now that the California politicians are closing the nuclear plants? See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Storage.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
IT’S-THE-SUN Climate Science Steamrolls Into 2018
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 22, 2018
Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions
By Staff Writers, CNRS, Feb 7, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Summary: Magnetic cage and rope as the key for solar eruptions
By Amari, Canou, Aly, Delyon & Alauzet, Nature, Feb 8, 2018
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Testimony of John R. Christy, March 29, 2017
A 1D Model of Global Temperature Changes, 1880-2017: Low Climate Sensitivity (and More)
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 22, 2018
New Study: Climate Groupthink Leads to a Dead End
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Feb 20, 2018
Link to report: Global Warming: A Case Study in Groupthink
How science can shed new light on the most important ‘non-debate’ of our time
By Christopher Booker, GWPF, 2018
Christopher Booker: Presentations of My New GWPF Report in the House of Lords
By Christopher Booker, GWPF, Feb 23, 2018
Groupthink on climate change ignores inconvenient facts
By Christopher Booker, CapX, Feb 21, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Previous Identification of Groupthink: Part of Why the Public Doesn’t Believe in Global Warming
Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Feb 21, 2018
Green Ideology’s Failed Experiment
The national grids of developed nations were masterpieces of design and function until eco-ideologues and professional warmists opened the powerhouse door to rent-seekers and wreckers. The result: blackouts, price-gouging and a modern world no longer quite so modern
By Rupert Darwall, Quadrant, Feb 21, 2018
Benny Peiser: What is Climate Realism?
Lecture Slides by Benny Peiser, Global Warming Policy Foundation, Feb 18, 2018
Christopher Booker gets serious about understanding “Groupthink”
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 22, 2018
Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I
By Staff Writers, USGCRP, last dated Nov 3, 2017
Fighting back against ‘alternative facts’: Experts share their secrets
By Dan Ferber, Science Mag. Feb 17, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: The decision by Science Mag to ignore articles, research, and data on atmospheric temperature measurements was not based on hard evidence, but what this article calls “socially sanctioned beliefs.”]
What happens if Earth gets 2°C warmer?
And why are we trying to avoid it?
By Jason Lederman, Popular Science, Feb 22, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The article advocates a model developed by William Nordhaus in 1975, claiming that CO2 emissions will damage the US economy. Later, Nordhaus became co-author with Paul Samuelson of the influential textbook “Economics,” that claimed the Soviet economy was comparable with the US into the late-1980s.]
Debt for dolphins: Seychelles creates huge marine parks in world-first finance scheme
An innovative exchange of sovereign debt for marine conservation, backed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, could pave the way to saving large swaths of the world’s oceans
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Feb 22, 2018 [H/t William Balgord]
Vast bioenergy plantations could stave off climate change—and radically reshape the planet
By Julia Rosen, Science, Feb 15, 2018
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Where Do We Get Most Of Our Energy (Hint: Not Renewables)
By Bjorn Lomborg, Climate Change Dispatch, Feb 20, 2018
“When you hear 14% renewables, you will likely think ‘wow, things are going pretty well with the switch to renewables’. But these renewables are not the ones you hear about. The biggest contributor is humanity’s oldest fuel: wood.” [4.91% Biomass]
Julian Simon Was Right: A Half-Century of Population Growth, Increasing Prosperity, and Falling Commodity Prices
By Marian Tupy, CATO, Feb 16, 2018
Climate Change: A Serious Threat to Science
By Marita Noon, Townhall, Jan 27, 2018
Clean is Cool, But is it Good?
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 21, 2018
“As a result, the economic issue is turned upside down.
“No longer is it a question of using resources most efficiently and at lowest cost; now it’s to use clean energy no matter what the cost.
“In effect, the proponents of the CO2 hypothesis have converted a scientific argument that is difficult to win, into an ethical argument that’s hard to lose.”
Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant
Claims defy parody, as alarmists become more tyrannical and their policies wreak havoc
Guest opinion by Paul Driessen, WUWT, Feb 19, 2018
REPORT: Paris Climate Signers Worry The Deal Didn’t Go Far Enough
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Feb 20, 2018
Link to report: Taking Stock: Progress Toward Meeting US Climate Goals
By John Larsen, Kate Larsen, Whitney Herndon, and Shashank Mohan, Rhodium Group, Jan 28, 2018
Countries made only modest climate-change promises in Paris. They’re falling short anyway.
By Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney, The Washington Post, Feb 19, 2018
Private outfits can mine coal with no end-use curbs
Cabinet plan approval for commercial mining gives companies pricing, marketing freedom
By Staff Writers, Hindu Business Line, Feb 20, 2018 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
Change in US Administrations
He’s Right! Scott Pruitt Hits Ball Out of the Park on Climate Change
Not only can he take the heat but he can explain it.
By Joseph Bast, American Spectator, Feb 21, 2018
Unraveling the ‘Weaponization’ of the EPA is Top Priority for Scott Pruitt
By David Brody, CBN News, Feb 22, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Social Benefits of Carbon
The Coming Global Forest Regrowth
By Steve Goreham, Daily Caller, Feb 20, 2018
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Scientists Identify A Major Source Of Climate Warming. It’s Not CO2
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Feb 21, 2018 [H/t William Readdy]
Surprise! Spiegel Online Slams Profiteering From Climate Alarmism… Munich Re Admits: “No Climate Signal”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 17, 2018
Seeking a Common Ground
How Bad Data Practice Is Leading To Bad Research
By Kalev Leetaru, Forbes, Feb 19, 2018 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Preventing government data failures
Governments too often ignore data, and fail badly. Citizens must take more responsibility.
By Justhy Deva Prasad, C-Fact, Feb 20, 2018
‘The Illusion Of Debate’—A History of the Climate Issue: Part 2 (2009 – 2011)
Guest Post by Brad Keyes, Jo Nova’s Blog, Feb 17, 2018
Terence Corcoran: Polar bear battle in Toronto! It’s good science vs. climate do-gooders
Two events next week juxtapose two conflicting conclusions on the current health and future for polar bears. Behind the science, there’s also a juicy personal clash
By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Can. Feb 22, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Combined Impact of Ocean Acidification and Diet on Slipper Limpet Larvae
Maboloc, E.A. and Chan, K.Y.K. 2017. Resilience of the larval slipper limpet Crepidula onyx to direct and indirect-diet effects of ocean acidification. Scientific Reports 7: 12062, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-12253-2. Feb 23, 2018
“After considering each of the various impacts observed in their study, the two scientists conclude that their work suggests ‘that some [marine] species, including C. onyx, exhibit plasticity to cope with … ocean acidification and low algal nutritional value,’ if they are not already well adapted to it.”
The MWP and LIA in Southern Inner Mongolia
Tian, F., Wang, Y., Liu, J., Tang, W. and Jiang, N. 2017. Late Holocene climate change inferred from a lacustrine sedimentary sequence in southern Inner Mongolia, China. Quaternary International 452: 22-32. Feb 22, 2018
“Focusing on the past two millennia, Tian et al. state that there were several multi-centennial temperature oscillations in the record, centered at 1495, 1278, 1029, 912 and 540 calendar years before present. In particular, they note that the most recent warm (AD 1097-1390) and cold (AD 1390-1822) intervals ‘are linked to the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA), respectively.’”
Phenotypic and Genetic Adaptation to Warming in a Freshwater Grazer
Brans, K.I., Jansen, M., Vanoverbeke, J., Tüzün, N., Stoks, R. and De Meester, L. 2017. The heat is on: Genetic adaptation to urbanization mediated by thermal tolerance and body size. Global Change Biology 23: 5218-5227.
“Commenting on their work, Brans et al. say that their findings ‘provide solid proof that Daphnia can evolutionarily track environmental warming, not only along large-scale temperature gradients or through time, but also along smaller scale spatial disturbance gradients such as the urbanization gradients studied here.’ As a result, both urban and rural Daphnia populations should have little problem coping with future warming. And if this keystone freshwater grazer can respond in this manner, reason suggests that other plants and animals should have the capability to do so as well.”
Models v. Observations
Met Office Claim Of “Heavier Summer Downpours” Not Borne Out By Actual Data
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 23, 2018
Link to paper: Heavier summer downpours with climate change
By Lizzie Kendon, et al, Met Office, June 2014
From the paper:
“Why does our study only consider the southern UK?
The high resolution climate model used in this study, needed to allow us to examine changes in short-duration intense storms, is very computationally expensive. Even running for just the southern half of the UK, it took the Met Office’s supercomputer – one of the most powerful in the world – nine months to complete the simulations.”
“How robust are these results?
These results are based on one climate model and so we cannot assess modelling uncertainties. Although this model shows almost five times more events exceeding high thresholds indicative of serious flash flooding, we need to do more research before we can be confident of this figure. We have more confidence in the direction of the change – with increases in the intensity of heavy rain consistent with what we expect theoretically as the world warms. We need to wait for other centres to run similarly detailed simulations to see whether their results support these findings.”
RHS Beclown Themselves Again
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 23, 2018
[SEPP Comment; Predicting dryer summers in England?]
Curve fitting and the number of parameters
Guest essay by Antero Ollila, WUWT, Feb 22, 2018
Measurement Issues — Surface
New Paper: 1,407 Contiguous U.S. Temperature Stations Reveal NO WARMING TREND During 1901-2015
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 19, 2018
Continental United States Hurricane Landfall Frequency and Associated Damage: Observations and Future Risks
By Klotzbach, Bowen, Pielke, and Bell Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Preliminary Accepted version, Feb 1, 2018 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Capsule Summary: While United States landfalling hurricane frequency or intensity shows no significant trend since 1900, growth in coastal population and wealth have led to increasing hurricane-related damage along the United States coastline.
A new paper about hurricanes shatters the narrative
By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website, Via WUWT, Feb 19, 2018
Link to paper: “Continental United States Hurricane Landfall Frequency and Associated Damage: Observations and Future Risks“
By Philip J. Klotzbach, Steven G. Bowen, Roger Pielke Jr., and Michael Bell, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, In Press
US Blizzards, Snowfalls Have Increased Since1950s, Surprising Global Warming Climatologists
P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 20, 2018
Greenland, Antarctica And Dozens Of Areas Worldwide Have Not Seen Any Warming In 60 Years And More!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 18, 2018
Nils-Axel Mörner: “These Researchers Have a Political Agenda”
By Staff Writers, Basler Zeitung, Translated by GWPF, Feb 18, 2018
Claim: Global Sea Level Rise is Accelerating
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 19, 2018
Shedding Light on the Southern Ocean Carbon Sink
One of the world’s largest carbon sinks is still poorly understood.
By Sarah Witman, Geophysical Research Letters, Feb 22, 2018 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Link to paper: Observation-Based Trends of the Southern Ocean Carbon Sink
By R. Ritter, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, Dec 26, 2018
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Chukotka polar bears adjust to climate change
By Valeriy Melnikov, The Artic, Rus, Feb 20, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
“’Representatives of other Arctic regions and the scientific community were more concerned about climatic change and its negative effect on polar bears, but these issues do not loom large with us. Both scientific data and traditional knowledge prove that nothing threatens our bears. During spring counts of dens we often find female bears with three cubs, which proves that the population is in good shape and there is no danger of a decrease in the population,’ Mr. Vereshchagin said.”
[SEPP Comment: Are Russian bears tougher than US bears?]
Russia confirms Chukchi Sea polar bears not at risk from climate change or poaching
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Feb 21, 2018
Science magazine does Politics
Guest Opinion by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Feb 20, 2018
“Science, the journal, is beginning to go the way of the magazine Scientific American, in that it is beginning to become an oxymoron all by itself…”
[SEPP Comment: Disagree with the above statement. The magazine started its political bias decades ago.]
The AAAS Award To Michael Mann And The Sad Rot Of Government “Science”
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Feb 22, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
It’s not cold, it’s a “warming hole”
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 19, 2018
Link to paper: Spatially Distinct Seasonal Patterns and Forcings of the U.S. Warming Hole
By Partridge, Winter, Osterberg, Hyndman, Kendall & Magilligan, Geophysical Research Letters, Feb 22, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Once again, climate scientists use a single tree to define global change
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 19, 2018
Link to paper: Global Peak in Atmospheric Radiocarbon Provides a Potential Definition for the Onset of the Anthropocene Epoch in 1965
By Chris S.M. Turney, et al, Scientific Reports, Feb 19, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Could 1965 be the year of the lead author’s birth?]
NOAA Continue To Pump Out Arctic Lies [Snow blindness?]
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 21, 2018
Link to report: Arctic Report Card
By Staff Writers, NOAA Arctic Program, 2017
“Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades
“Despite relatively cool summer temperatures, observations in 2017 continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a ‘new normal’, characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover and the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost temperatures.”
Delingpole: NOAA Caught Adjusting Big Freeze Out of Existence
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Feb 20, 2018
Questioning European Green
Shale is the real energy revolution
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Feb 18, 2018
‘Cross Examination Is Going To Be Brutal’: NYU Law Prof Says Climate Change Litigation Is A Loser
By Karen Kidd, Forbes, Feb 20, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
The climate litigation of California councils appears to be caught in a hypocritical death spiral
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 23, 2018
Jacobson Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Against Other Scientists
After an initial hearing, Stanford’s Mark Jacobson thinks better of pursuing a scientific disagreement in court.
By Jonathan H. Adler, The Volokh Conspiracy, Feb 23, 2018 [H/t Howard Hayden]
More Reasons To Vacate The Endangerment Finding
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Feb 20, 2018
Electricity Consumers File New Study in Their Call for EPA to Reopen its Endangerment Finding
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 20, 2018
Energy Issues – Non-US
Fossil Fuels and Emissions Forecast To Continue To Rise – BP Energy Outlook
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 22, 2018
Link to report: BP Energy Outlook
By Spencer Dale, et al. BP February 2018 [To 2040]
“The Energy Outlook explores the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. It shows how rising prosperity drives an increase in global energy demand and how that demand will be met over the coming decades through a diverse range of supplies including oil, gas, coal and renewables.”
John Constable: Labour’s Energy Nationalisation Plans
By John Constable, GWPF, Feb 18, 2018
Iceland Expects to Use More Electricity Mining Bitcoin Than Powering Homes This Year
By Chris Morris, Fortune, Feb 13, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
“Bitcoin mining tools, which primarily consist of large computers, servers, and cooling devices, will use around 840 gigawatt hours of electricity this year, Sigurbergsson estimated. The country’s homes, collectively, use about 700 gigawatt hours per year, he said. Iceland’s population is about 340,000.”
Electricity prices fell for forty years in Australia, then renewables came…
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 21, 2018
South Australian Madness
By Anthony Cox, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Feb 23, 2018
Thoughts of former Chairman of Macquarie Power: Interesting, but Disturbing Information
By John Smeed, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Feb 22, 2018
“In my opinion if you had the WILL to keep this [coal-fired] plant running it can be done. The cost is easily off-set by current power prices. We had this plant making handsome profits with a dispatch price of $27 / Mwh.
“Today’s dispatch price is in excess of $ 100/Mwh.”
Energy Issues — US
FERC Opens US Wholesale Energy Markets To Battery and Electric Storage Systems
By Alyssa Danigelis, Energy Manager Today, Feb 20, 2018
Link to news release: FERC Issues Final Rule on Electric Storage Participation in Regional Markets
By Staff Writers, FERC, Feb 15, 2018
The participation model must ensure that a resource using the model is eligible to provide all capacity, energy and ancillary services that it is technically capable of providing, can be dispatched, and can set the wholesale market clearing price as both a seller and buyer consistent with existing market rules. The model also must account for the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources through bidding parameters or other means, and it must set a minimum size requirement that does not exceed 100 kilowatts. The final rule also requires that the sale of electric energy from the wholesale electricity market to an electric storage resource that the resource then resells back to those markets must be at the wholesale locational marginal price. [Boldface added]
Opponents question Keystone XL timeline
Pipeline planner TransCanada said construction could start next week, but there are still several lawsuits standing in the way.
By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI, Feb 19, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
US shale bonanza means oil production at a 50-year high
By Nik Martin, DW News [Germany], Feb 20, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Entergy One Step Closer to New Gas Plant in New Orleans
By Aaron Larson, Power Mag. Feb 22, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Amazing how many people demand a power system that fails frequently.]
Michigan’s Consumers Energy to stop burning coal by 2040
By John Flesher, AP, USA Today, Feb 19, 2018
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Oil glut nearly gone, but shale rebound looms, says IEA
By Grant Smith, Bloomberg, MTR, Feb 13, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
Saudi Plans To Double Natural Gas Output In 10 Years
By Zainab Calcuttawala, Oil Price.com, Feb 15, 2018
Argentina Is On The Cusp Of A Shale Boom
By Matthew Smith, Oil Price.com, Feb 15, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Return of King Coal?
Europeans rip Trump on climate change, import record amounts of U.S. coal
By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Feb 21, 2018
Use of Coal Increasing in Rapidly Growing Emerging Economies
By Rita Joshi, In Depth News, Feb 9, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks, etc. & Consequences
Earthquakes in southern Kansas linked with wastewater disposal patterns
By Brooks Hays, Washington (UPI), Feb 21, 2018
Nuclear Energy and Fears
China Moves Ahead, While US Falls Behind
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 23, 2018
Govt gives approval, financial sanction to build 12 nuclear power reactors
Out of the 12 nuclear reactors, 10 will be indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors and two Light Water Reactors will be established in cooperation with the Russia.
By Press Trust of India, New Delhi, Hindustan Times, Feb 7, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Renewables neck and neck with nuclear power plants, says report
By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Feb 15, 2018 [H/t Toshio fujita]
No link to report
World’s first floating wind farm put to the test
Norwegian energy major Statoil said its Hywind Scotland facility survived 100 mph winds and 26 foot waves intact.
By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI, Feb 15, 2018 H/t Toshio Fujita]
Offshore Wind Fiasco: Renewables Industry Faces $Billions in Compensation for Early Repairs
By Kasper Brøndgaard, Jillands-Posten, Translated by GWPF, Feb 23, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Salt spray is extremely corrosive, among the most corrosive substances common to the globe. This is well known to metallurgists but ignored by advocates of off-shore wind power.]
Wind farm blades damaged after just a few years at sea — hundreds need repair
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 24, 2018
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: February 19, 2018
By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, Feb 19, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Fungal enzymes could hold secret to making renewable energy from wood
Researchers unlock key scientific challenge of how biorefineries can convert wood into biofuel in an environmental and cost-effective way
By Staff Writers, University of York, Via Science Daily, Feb 16, 2018
Link to paper: Lytic xylan oxidases from wood-decay fungi unlock biomass degradation
By Marie Couturier, et al. Nature, Chemical Biology, Jan 29, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Will it work on cellulose – the most abundant organic polymer on earth?]
Battery storage* in perspective – solving 1% of the problem
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters Feb 19, 2018
New Battery Storage Launched In Wales–But Who Pays For It?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 22, 2018
“In other words, storage systems like Kiwi’s are only needed because of the increasing capacity of unreliable wind and solar power.”
The Duplicity Of California’s Oil Collapse
By Jude Clemente, Forbes, Feb 20, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Based on other reports the Monterey Shale formation in California is highly fractured and is far more costly to develop than formations in Texas and elsewhere. Thus, some of the accusations are questionable.]
Health, Energy, and Climate
EPA scientists find black communities disproportionately hit by pollution
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Feb 23, 2018
Link to paper: Disparities in Distribution of Particulate Matter Emission Sources by Race and Poverty Status
By Mikati, et al. AJPH, Feb 22, 2018
“For PM of 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less, those in poverty had 1.35 times higher burden than did the overall population, and non-Whites had 1.28 times higher burden.”
[SEPP Comment: Based on thin statistical results using highly questionable PM 2.5 claims.]
Matt Ridley: Russian Spies’ Role in the Great Green Hoax
By Matt Ridley, The Times, Via GWPF, Feb 19, 2018
Vote Red, go green? Jeremy Corbyn calls for nationalisation of energy industry to stop climate change
By Brendan Montague, Ecologist, Feb 10, 2018
[SEPP Comment: To “fight climate change” the UK needs to nationalize the energy industry.]
Other News that May Be of Interest
Venezuela Is Moving From Crisis To Collapse
By Nick Cunningham, Oil Price.com, Feb 8, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Certain … not so certain
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Feb 17, 2018
“Because in just 100 months’ time, if we are lucky, and based on a quite conservative estimate, we could reach a tipping point for the beginnings of runaway climate change.
“That said, among people working on global warming, there are countless models, scenarios, and different iterations of all those models and scenarios, said Andrew Simms, policy director and head of the climate change programme at the New Economics Foundation.”
Great flying boulders!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Feb 23, 2018
“Another danger of climate change: Giant flying boulders?
“The idea is that Earth’s climate went through a warming period just over 100,000 years ago that was similar in many ways to the warming now attributed to the actions of man.
“And the changes during that period were so catastrophic, they spawned massively powerful superstorms, causing violent ocean waves that simply lifted the boulders from below and deposited them atop this cliff.
“If this is true, the effort kicking off in Paris this week to hold the world’s nations to strict climate targets may be even more urgent than most people realize.”
1. For Europe, Trump Is a Blessing in Disguise
His policies promote energy independence and balance between France and Germany.
By Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, Feb 19, 2018
SUMMARY: The well-known Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College writes:
“The Trump administration is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for the European Union. While many of the president’s rhetorical statements offend European sensibilities, and while dramatic acts like the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord prompt talk of a “crisis” in trans-Atlantic relations, the actual consequences of the administration’s policies are shoring up Europe’s foundations in surprising ways.
“A year ago, fears that an allegedly pro-Russia Trump administration would ditch the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and throw Europe to the wolves had delicate Europeans trembling. These days those fears seem quaint. But few in Europe have yet grasped how anti-Russian and pro-European the Trump foreign policy is at its core.
“This is partly because European reflexes, especially German ones, are so often nonstrategic. Fine words and noble resolutions are mistaken for hard facts, and the wrapping paper matters more than the gift.
“When many Europeans—and more than a few Americans—hear the word “fracking,” for example, they don’t think of the spear tip of an American energy offensive that limits Russia’s geopolitical ambitions while creating the conditions for renewed European prosperity. And when they hear about American plans to rearm and modernize its nuclear arsenal, they instinctively think about the dangers of American militarism—overlooking Moscow’s hostile military buildup that endangers the European countries closest to Russia.
After backing some of his generalizations with specifics on how fracking and Mr. Trumps actions are changing opportunities for Europe, the professor concludes:
“Mr. Trump is not about to become a European hero, but he offers Europe a historic opportunity.”
2. New England Has a Power Problem
The region is struggling to meet electricity needs and ambitious green power goals
By Erin Ailworth and Jon Kamp, WSJ, Feb 23, 2018
SUMMARY: The journalists write:
“Massachusetts officials thought they were close to securing future supplies of green energy by piping in hydroelectric power from Canada.
“But a week after Massachusetts said yes to the $1.6 billion project, neighboring New Hampshire said no, jeopardizing the 192-mile transmission line that would bring in the electricity through the Granite State.
“The rejection earlier this month marked the latest example of how hard it is to build large energy infrastructure in New England, which is pursuing aggressive renewable power goals and sometimes strains to meet current, pressing electricity needs.
“The six-state region—where electricity costs are 56% above the national average—is heavily dependent on natural gas-fired power after years of losing older, uneconomic coal, oil and nuclear plants to retirement. Gas is also in high demand for heating area homes.
The coal and nuclear plants were closed due to political pressures, including demands for major restructuring. They were economic before such regulatory demands were made. The journalists produce a graph on the “Average cost of electricity for customers in selected areas, in cents per kilowatt hour” showing New England is the most expensive area. For November 2017, the EIA table shows for all sectors: New England 16.24, Mid Atlantic 12.17, East North Central 10.10, West North Central 9.27, South Atlantic 9.92, East South Central 9.26, West South Central 8.17, Mountain 9.10, Pacific Contiguous 13.19.
Without access to more power from Hydro-Quebec, or more pipelines to the natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, New England is headed the way of South Australia.
The journalists continue:
“ISO New England warned in a February report that without some new infrastructure, “keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition.” With more power plants set to retire in coming years, ISO New England said, the grid is likely to be at risk of fuel shortages and rolling blackouts.
“The region’s energy constraints and high costs are an irritant for business groups such as Associated Industries of Massachusetts, which represents several thousand businesses. It says those costs make it harder for companies to compete, putting jobs at risk.
“Energy constraints also frustrate some of the area’s politicians, including New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who opposed his state’s decision to block the power line to Massachusetts, known as Northern Pass.
“The power line defeat ‘sends a pretty bad message out there that our process isn’t conducive to looking at new ideas,’ Mr. Sununu, a Republican, said in a radio interview earlier this month. ‘You can’t just say no to everything.’
Plans to bring Canadian hydroelectricity to Massachusetts hit a snag when neighboring New Hampshire said no to the $1.6 billion project.
“New England states have ambitious mandates to meet future electricity needs with clean energy—populous Massachusetts wants 40% of its power from clean energy sources by 2030. Those goals have spurred some renewable energy installations, including dozens of projects totaling more than a gigawatt of wind-powered capacity.
“But the large-scale energy infrastructure to meet those goals and increase access to fuel supplies in the region has been a nonstarter in recent years.”
The journalists continue by describing questionable alternative energy projects and how environmental pressure groups play down any concern.
Table 5.6.A. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector