Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Group Think – Harm: Over the past few weeks, TWTW has discussed group-think, when adopted by government entities supposedly involved in science becomes Bureaucratic Science. TWTW discussed bureaucratic science at NASA, where NASA ignored important evidence of safety problems with the Space Shuttle, which led to the Challenger disaster, from joint failure, and the Columbia disaster, from shedding of insulation foam. Deliberate ignorance can be deadly.
Unfortunately, Washington’s bureaucratic science has led to the preventable deaths of millions of people and the unnecessary suffering of hundreds of millions. Without hard evidence, EPA’s first administrator, William Ruckelshaus, banned DDT, claiming it may cause cancer. This ban became the springboard for a foreign policy attempting to ban DDT world-wide.
This policy ignored the medical findings that periodic indoor spraying of huts with DDT was a very cost-effective way of controlling malaria, especially in tropical countries. After 50 years, a better method has not been developed. Estimates vary, but about 200,000 to 300,000 children die each year. There are very good reasons for restricting the use of persistent chemicals, but they do not justify US government policies leading to mass death and harm to humanity. With bureaucratic science, no one is accountable for harm done to humanity.
The fear of carbon dioxide causing dire global warming is not based on hard evidence. It is based on speculation in the Charney report, published by the National Academy of Science in 1979, that the modest warming shown in over 100 years of laboratory experiments will be amplified by dire warming from increasing water vapor. This speculated water vapor warming has not been observed or demonstrated. However, dire warming, without hard evidence, has become part of the bureaucratic science of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
The USGCRP submitted its draft of the Fourth National Assessment (NCA-4) to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for review. This would have been a perfect opportunity for the National Academies to revisit the Charney Report and update it with observations of atmospheric temperatures which did not exist at the time of the Charney Report. The atmospheric data contradict the speculation in the Charney Report. Entities using proper science procedures would revise the 1979 report.
Based on a brief look of the Prepublication Copy, “The Committee to Review the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment, “The Committee,” convened by the Nation Academies in November 2017, did nothing to upset the bureaucratic science so fully entrenched in Washington.
TWTW will review the report by “The Committee” further to see if there is any hope that objective science, based on observations, has been added to the bureaucratic ritual. In so doing, TWTW will be conscious of the harm done by bureaucratic science in places such as Africa, where about 600 million people do not have access to reliable electrical power and are being denied funding for coal-fired power plants, based on false fears of carbon dioxide. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, and Return of King Coal?
Quote of the Week: “It is dangerous to be right in matters where men in authority are wrong.” – Voltaire [H/t Tim Ball]
Number of the Week: 27.5 times in 10 years
Deliberate Ignorance: As Challenger disaster demonstrated, deliberate ignorance is characteristic of bureaucratic science. Evidence that contradicts policy must be ignored. The Global Warming Policy Forum posted an interview with Henrik Svensmark and his son Jacob. Henrik articulated the Svensmark hypothesis, that solar activity regulates, in part, cosmic rays hitting the earth’s atmosphere at high energy levels. These, in turn, cause cloudiness. Higher solar activity reduces cosmic ray impacts and thus reduces cloudiness. Although well tested, this hypothesis is largely ignored by the IPCC, the USGCRP, and the rest of the climate establishment.
The major objection seems to be the lack of a significant effect during a solar cycle. However, due to the internal stability of the climate system, particularly from the oceans, we may not see the effects of cosmic ray fluctuations [does more cloudiness cause warming or cooling?] for several solar cycles. If the alarmists use the solar cycle to dismiss the Svensmark hypothesis, they have no logically consistent basis to claim “global warming” is hiding in the oceans. See links under Science: Is the Sun Rising?, Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?, and Below the Bottom Line.
Eight Questions: Although The Heartland Institute published the NIPCC Reports, which were initiated by SEPP Chairman emeritus Fred Singer, SEPP is not a part of the Heartland organization. However, when preparing a response to the eight questions posed by the judge overseeing the public nuisance lawsuits of San Francisco and Oakland against oil companies, Jay Lehr of Heartland requested Ken Haapala to give brief comments.
The questions, presented in last week’s TWTW, are at different levels of complexity, posing a problem of at what level of complexity and scientific education should one respond. The 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA is useful. The court gave Massachusetts standing that the state could sue the EPA to regulate “greenhouse gases” under the Clean Air Act – which states that Congress must regulate “any air pollutant” that can “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”
By a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled Massachusetts had standing to sue the EPA over potential damage caused to its territory by global warming, namely land lost to sea level rise caused by vehicle emissions. On this, the entire EPA edifice of regulating CO2 is based.
The decision ignored the fact that 18,000 years ago, Massachusetts was covered by thousands of feet of ice, and that the melting of the ice increased sea levels by some 120 meters (400 feet), which no doubt resulted in a loss of territory. Based on the Supreme Court argument, and absent any contradictory evidence, one must assume most federal judges have very limited knowledge of science, mathematics, geological history, etc. Further, there is no reason to assume a federal judge can understand complex charts, graphs, etc. With that in mind, Haapala wrote a preface to his response, part of which follows (typos revised):
The answers to these questions must be placed into a context that makes sense. Below is an effort to do so, followed by a brief answer to each question. Emphasis is placed on hard evidence, not speculation. The hard evidence comes from repeated laboratory tests or repeated observations which include all information, including that which contradicts an important concept. Computer models that are not rigorously tested or fail basic tests are not hard evidence, no matter how often repeated. US global climate models have not been rigorously tested.
Energy Flows: The issue is energy flow: what slows or intensifies energy flow to the earth and from the earth to space. It is not straight forward. There are several sources of instability and / or uncertainty.
The principle source of energy is the sun, electromagnetic light, solar wind (plasma), and solar magnetism. The changing intensity of the sun, changing orbit of the earth, and changing tilt affect the earth’s climate. Also, cosmic rays, from exploding stars, play a role (elements heavier than iron come from supernova explosions.) These are external sources of instability, uncertainty.
Complicating the issue even further is the earth’s rotation changing two dynamic fluids – the atmosphere and the oceans. Oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface. Fluid dynamics is not well understood. Forced by the rotation of the earth, these two dynamic fluids are unstable, but internal to the climate system.
Thus, we have natural variation without human influence, some of it is poorly understood or misunderstood. For example, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the atmospheric gas most readily absorbed by water, rain. Cold water more readily absorbs gases than warm water. When the oceans cool they absorb more atmospheric CO2, when they warm they release CO2, increasing its concentration in the atmosphere.
This variation in the composition of the atmosphere is seen in ice cores borings, such as those taken at Vostok in Antarctica. Unfortunately, many people, including Al Gore, had the time lines wrong. They falsely believe the variation in CO2 caused the variation in temperatures seen is ice cores, thus declaring CO2 was the cause of the temperature change. The cause-effect mechanism was the opposite. Temperature change caused by other mechanisms subsequently caused change in CO2 concentrations. Careful examination of the ice cores at the end of the last warm period, the Eemian, show that falling temperatures lead falling CO2 concentrations for about 14,000 years.
Based on geology, for over 2.5 million years the world has been in a cold period with ice ages interrupted by brief warm periods of 10,000 to 15,000 years. We have been in a warm period for about 11,500 years called the Holocene. The Earth’s orbital changes, known as Milankovitch cycles, are the generally accepted explanation for these broad changes in temperatures. What occurred earlier than 2.5 million years ago is not germane for this discussion.
Recent warming and cooling: Within the Holocene, we have strong physical evidence of warming and cooling, less extreme than that of Milankovitch cycles. The strongest physical evidence, supported by extensive laboratory testing, indicates that changing solar energy is responsible. Changing solar energy, namely solar wind, changes the number of cosmic rays hitting the earth’s atmosphere with high energy levels, which, in turn, cause changes in condensation of water vapor causing cloudiness. More cosmic rays with high energy hitting the atmosphere results in more cloudiness. Fewer cosmic rays with high energy hitting the atmosphere results in less cloudiness. Small changes in cloudiness significantly effect the electromagnetic energy hitting the surface. For example, clouds reduce visible light, clear skies increase it, cooling and warming the planet, respectively.
Sunspots indicate the difference between the phases of an active sun with more solar wind, and a dormant sun with less solar wind. When Galileo started observing the sun with a telescope during the little ice age, there were few sunspots. In the 20th century, the sun was active, with more sunspots. These changes in solar activity explain warming and cooling periods during the Holocene, including the little ice age and the Medieval Warm Period. Russian astronomers, particularly, warn of a decline in solar activity over several solar cycles, each lasting about 11 years. This may result in a cooling period.
Greenhouse gases: The issue of greenhouse gas warming centers on how much of the energy flow passing through the atmosphere is absorbed by the atmospheric gases. Many laboratories have repeated tests for over a century, with handbooks published on the results since the 1920s. All gases absorb energy at various wavelengths, however in the wavelength of visible light, no energy is absorbed by gases. Absorption properties depend on the gas. Nitrogen, oxygen and other gases absorb energy in the ultraviolet spectrum – with wavelengths shorter than violet in visible light. Other gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, etc., absorb energy in the infrared spectrum, longer than red in visible light. [Infrared radiation is invisible to the human eye.] These gases absorb photons in the wavelengths of infrared radiation given off by the earth. If all the photons of a particular wavelength are absorbed, there is nothing more for gas to absorb in that wavelength. That wavelength is said to be “saturated”
Without atmospheric gases absorbing infrared radiation, the earth would be about –18 °C (0 °F) and largely uninhabitable. The day-night temperature range would be huge, similar to the moon. In the Holocene, the average temperature has been about 15 °C (59 °F), with periods of warming and cooling. The net effect of the greenhouse gases is to slow the emission of energy into space, thereby warming the planet.
Laboratory tests show the effect of greenhouse gases varies by type of gas. The dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor. It absorbs radiation from a broad range of wavelengths in the infrared range. Water vapor is also the most abundant greenhouse gas, consisting of about 1 to 2% of the atmosphere, near the surface. (Less in the deserts, more in the tropics.) However, with increasing altitude water vapor “freezes out”, falls as rain and the concentration of water vapor falls to a few parts per million. At about 10 km (33,000 feet), CO2, which does not “freeze out” becomes the most abundant greenhouse gas.
Still, CO2 constitutes only about 4 parts per 10,000 (0.04%, or 400 parts per million) of the atmosphere. Further, the absorption wavelengths of CO2 are limited. It is primarily in the 15-micron wavelength range of infrared energy that CO2 is an effective absorber, where the infrared energy emitted by the earth peaks. More significantly, the ability of additional CO2 to absorb energy falls rapidly, resulting in a rapidly declining warming effect (a logarithmic increase). For carbon dioxide, the absorption ability is far greater for the first 20 parts per million than for the later 200 parts going from 300 to 500 parts per million. After 60 ppm the absorption curve becomes quite flat!
For an overview of the Supreme Court decision see: https://www.oyez.org/cases/2006/05-1120
Combating the Beast From the East: A hard cold front hit northern Europe, which demonstrated the unreliability of depending on wind and solar for electricity. Further, the use of natural gas for heat in the UK was strained. Liquid natural gas (LNG) was required. The first shipment of LNG from the East Coast of the US was headed south in the Atlantic, apparently bound for Asia, when it was diverted to head north towards England.
This event indicates several important changes with the development of natural gas from shale. The tanker came from Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay, where a long dormant facility was converted from receiving LNG to shipping LNG. The natural gas probably came from Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. According to the EIA, Pennsylvania produces about 20% of US natural gas, second only to Texas. Also, because the tanker changed course, there is an international spot market for gas, indicating more than adequate production capability, not requiring long-term contracts. Importers in the UK were willing to pay more for the gas, than the importers were willing to pay where the tanker was headed.
Russian gas pipelines into Europe give its companies a strong edge in price. The total cost of shipping LNG from wellhead to receiving pipeline is not clearly known but estimated to be about $6 per million BTUs. With increased US production, the geographical advantage enjoyed by Russian companies is diminishing and the shipping costs appear to be diminishing.
Unfortunately, Green politicians continue to limit the ability to use hydraulic fracturing for gas in the UK, playing on false fears. Similarly, Green politicians in the northeastern states of the US prevent the citizens from enjoying the Pennsylvania bounty. Building pipelines is highly restricted by New York and in New England. Worse, New York is preventing development of Marcellus Shale in its state. Now, Governor Cuomo has declared a massive subsidy of $1.4 billion to renewable energy. If these Green politicians have a medical emergency, will they demand the facilities operate only on renewable energy?
Please note that in his analysis, Paul Homewood refutes the current, popular idea the UK is receiving major supplies of Russian gas. See links under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind, Questioning European Green, Energy Issues – Non-US, and https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9050pa2a.htm
A Litigation Win! Tim Ball was sued by Andrew Weaver, an author in four IPCC Assessment Reports. After years, Ball won in court in British Columbia. Ball describes his experience and is assessing reviving the lawsuit Mr. Michael Mann initiated against him. Group Think does not necessarily win. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Additions and Corrections: Long-time SEPP supporter and TWTW reader, Ken Towe recognized an error in the TWTW statement: “that it has never well demonstrated how dense molecules of CFCs rise to the stratosphere.” As Towe asserts, molecules of Fluorine and Chlorine have been demonstrated to exist in the stratosphere. Molecules of Freon do not survive but react with Ozone. We thank Ken Towe for bringing this discrepancy to our attention. Feedback from the readers of TWTW is always appreciated and valuable.
Number of the Week: 27.5 times in 10 years: According to the EIA, Pennsylvania Natural Gas Marketed Production grew from 198,295 million cubic feet in 2008 to 5,461,259 million cubic feet in 2017 – an increase of 27.5 times in 10 years. This increase occurred on private and state-owned lands, without any special subsidies or tax incentives. There has been no significant increase in oil and gas production on federally controlled lands or waters.
Yet, citing fears produced by bureaucratic science, without hard evidence, politicians restrict the public in the US northeastern states from enjoying this, and similar, bounties. Instead, these politicians glorify themselves by announcing grand subsidies to unreliable wind and solar energy, at a great cost to the consumers and the taxpayers. See: Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind, and https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9050pa2a.htm
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Interview: The Connection Between Cosmic Rays, Clouds and Climate
Interview of Henrik and Jacob Svensmark by Benny Peiser and Jonny Bairstow on GWPF TV, Mar 16, 2018
New paper: The missing link between cosmic rays, clouds, and climate change on Earth
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 19, 2017
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
Rep. Lamar Smith: Climate change and the scientific method – we should welcome new research, not resist it
By Rep. Lamar Smith, Fox News, Mar 12, 2018
First Climate Lawsuit Judgment
By Dr. Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Mar 9, 2018
“I am extremely grateful for the judgment of a complete dismissal in the lawsuit brought against me by Andrew Weaver. It is a victory for free speech and a blow against the use of the law to silence people. As with all events, there is so much more that rarely receives attention yet is essential to understanding and improving conditions in the future.”
The Conquest of Climate
By Will Boisvert, Progress and Peril, Feb 23, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Oren Cass: Doomsday Climate Scenarios Are a Joke
By Oren Cass, WSJ, Via GWPF, Mar 12, 2018
Link to paper: Overheated: How Flawed Analyses Overestimate the Costs of Climate Change
By Oren Cass, Manhattan Institute, Mar 11, 2018
Link to paper: Global Non-linear Effect of Temperature on Economic Production
By Burke, Hsiang, & Miguel, Nature, Oct 21, 2015
Link to government report: Climate Change: Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure
By Staff Writers, GAO, Sep 2017
“Fails The Test Of Science”: Another Rahmstorf/Mann Horror Climate Scenario Gets Assigned To The Dustbin
PIK alarm story fails the test of science: Jet Stream will also meander as usual in the future
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (German text translated by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Mar 16, 2018
Link to paper: The Dynamic Character of Northern Hemisphere Flow Regimes in a Near-Term Climate Change Projection
By Jensen, Akperov, Mokhov, Lupo, and Sun, Atmosphere, Jan 16, 2018
Op-Ed: Clean Coal is the way to power Africa – and SA academics know how
Donald Trump can talk about “beautiful clean coal”, but South Africa may be years ahead of the United States in achieving the dream.
By Geoff Hill, Daily Maverick, South Africa, Mar 16, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
“South Africa gets more than 90% of its power from coal, in Botswana it’s 100%, and both Kenya and Tanzania are building new coal-fired generators.”
[SEPP Comment: According to the article more than 600 million Africans live without [electric?] power.]
Amstrup & colleages can’t refute my critique of their 2007 polar bear survival model, Part 2
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Mar 12, 2018
“The premise of my 2017 paper, and the focus of my State of the Polar Bear Report, is that the model prediction made by Amstrup and colleagues in 2007 failed, based on observations of sea ice and polar bear population sizes estimated since then. Nothing Amstrup and Derocher have said undermines that conclusion. Polar bears are thriving because the assumptions Amstrup made about how the bears would respond to much reduced summer sea ice conditions were wrong.”
Challenging the Orthodoxy – Group Think
A Classic Example Of Groupthink
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know that, Mar 12, 2018
Global warming: real, or groupthink?
Transport is now the biggest source of man-made carbon dioxide in the UK, and decarbonising the sector is a Government priority. Cutting emissions is supposed to save the planet from soaring temperatures. But a new report says the experts have it all wrong.
By Andrew Forster, TransportXtra, Mar 5, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
“Professor Martin Siegert, co-director of the institute, [Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment at Imperial College] said: ‘The idea that academics follow the line of the group is nonsense. Academics are always looking for the paradigm-changing research. Most don’t achieve it, but if there is evidence that changes the consensus, the scientific method compels us to publish it.
“’The problem alluded to isn’t one of group thinking, rather that evidence against the consensus simply doesn’t exist. If it did, it would be published by now.’” [Boldface added.]
[SEPP Comment: NIPCC has published extensive evidence against the consensus, which this professor and the Climate Establishment ignores.]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Another government sponsored climate crapstorm coming our way
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 12, 2018
Link to prepublication version: Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment
By Robin Bell, et al. National Academies Press, 2018
“The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review the draft Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) – a congressionally mandated report that evaluates the state of climate science and the broad range of impacts of climate change in the United States every four years – and the draft Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2) – a report that feeds into the overall assessment process developed by the USGCRP.”
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Climate Change Hoax Exposed
By Cal Thomas, Chicago Tribune, Via ICECAP, Mar 15, 201
Is the Western U.S. Snowpack Declining “Dramatically”?
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Mar 15, 2018
Link to paper: Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US
By Philip Mote, et al, Climate and Atmospheric Science, Mar 2, 2018
Kathleen Harnett White: Common Energy/Climate Sense
By Charles Battig, Master Resource, Mar 13, 2018
Trump’s Pick To Replace Former Exxon CEO As Secretary Of State Is A Bigger Climate Denier
Mike Pompeo, who was tapped to replace Rex Tillerson, could be the first secretary of state to reject climate science outright. Climate deniers have high hopes for him.
By Alexander C. Kaufman, Huff Post, Mar 13, 2018
Trump Ousts Tillerson: What’s Next for the Paris Climate Treaty?
By Marlo Lewis, Jr. CEI, Mar 13, 2018
Change in US Administrations
How a climate skeptic marginalized for years at the Interior Dept. rose to prominence under Trump
By Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, Mar 9, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Indur Goklany is the author of “The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives On a Cleaner Planet” (2007). The theme of this comprehensive work, backed by evidence, is contrary to the views of many in Washington and the prior administration.]
Pruitt’s climate clash was declared dead. There’s a Plan B
By Robin Bravender, E&E News, Mar 14, 2018
The White House’s Climate Change Believers Are Headed Out the Door
By Justin Worland, Time, Mar 15, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]
US sets new record for censoring, withholding gov’t files
By Ted Bridis, AP, ABC News, Mar 12, 2018 [H/t Bill Balgord]
Problems in the Orthodoxy
In Startling Reversal, Scientific American Counsels People to ‘Chill out’ Over Global Warming
By Thomas Williams, Breitbart, Mar 12, 2018 [H/t John Dunn]
Seeking a Common Ground
You Ought to Have a Look: Lukewarming the News
By Patrick Michaels, CATO, Mar 15, 2018
Link to Manifesto: An Ecomodernist Manifesto, April 2016
The Scientific Method: Right Unless It’s Wrong
By Terry L. Mirll, American Thinker, Mar 11, 2018
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Elevated CO2 Improves Growth and Nitrogen Fixation of Cowpea
Dey, S.K., Chakrabarti, B., Prasanna, R., Pratap, D., Singh, S.D., Purakayastha, T.J. and Pathak, H. 2017. Elevated carbon dioxide level along with phosphorus application and cyanobacterial inoculation enhances nitrogen fixation and uptake in cowpea crop. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 63: 1927-1937. Mar 15, 2018
A 33-Year Increase in Net Primary Productivity in Southwest China
Guan, X., Shen, H., Gan, W., Yang, G., Wang, L. Li, X. and Zhang, L. 2017. A 33-year NPP monitoring study in southwest China by the fusion of multi-source remote sensing and station data. Remote Sensing 9: 1082, doi:10.3390/rs9101082. Mar 14, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Thanks to increasing CO2, despite decreasing precipitation and increasing temperature, Net Primary Productivity (NPP) increased.
The Interactive Effects of Elevated CO2 and Ozone on Chickpea
Singh, R.N., Mukherjee, J., Sehgal, V.K., Bhatia, A., Krishnan, P., Das, D.K., Kumar, V. and Harit, R. 2017. Effect of elevated ozone, carbon dioxide and their interaction on growth, biomass and water use efficiency of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Journal of Agrometeorology 19: 301-305. Mar 12, 2018
“Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is the third most important legume crop. It is currently grown on approximately 11.5 million hectares around the world, although most all of that production (96%) is in developing countries. Yet despite such agricultural prominence, very few studies have investigated the potential impacts of climate change on chickpea.”
Recent research on aerosol forcing of the CMIP5 models
By Frank Bosse, Climate Etc. Mar 11, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The IPCC realizes the effect of aerosol cooling if human emitted, but not the effect of aerosol cooling if created by nature?]
Measurement Issues — Surface
NOAA Tamper With NY Temperatures Again
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 15, 2018
An “Exceptionally large amount of winter snow in Northern Hemisphere this year”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 14, 2018
California’s “March Miracle” is Not Over
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Mar 17, 2018
“The only negative of all this precipitation is that it will encourage the growth of grasses, which can enhance the potential for fire danger next fall after it has dried out.”
[SEPP Comment: Rain causes wildfires – proof of climate change?]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
The Changing Arctic–Nov 1922
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 10, 2018
At The Times, Promoting The Climate Scare With Fake Information
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Mar 12, 2018
SCIENCE Magazine: Sloppy Reporting
Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Mar 13, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Chinese satellite filled with corrosive fuel will probably hit… the ocean
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 11, 2018
Link to article: Chinese satellite filled with corrosive fuel could hit lower Michigan
By Staff Writers, Fox News, Mar 11, 2018
From the article: “According to a new report from the Aerospace Corporation, southern portions of lower Michigan fall into the regions listed as having a high probability of debris landing from the 8.5-ton space station. The report also identifies northern China, central Italy and northern Spain as regions with higher chances of impact.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Press Release Science: ‘Dissolving Starfish’ – debunked
Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Mar 8, 2018
Weathering Trump’s skepticism, U.S. officials still fighting global warming
By Timothy Gardner & Alister Doyle, Reuters, Mar 15, 2018
“I am concerned that much of our climate policy remains on autopilot,” complained Trump’s former energy adviser Myron Ebell, now a research director at the right-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute, who said it reflects a failure by the administration to fill key positions and replace staffers who oppose the president’s agenda.
[SEPP Comment: Ebell was head of the Trump EPA transition team, not former energy adviser.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
Delingpole: Slowly, the Green Swamp Is Draining from the White House
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Mar 9, 2018
“’Any good will Peter Navarro had in 1992 has been squandered by his myopic worldview and work on behalf of a hateful, xenophobic administration,’ Sierra Club spokesman Adam Beitman said yesterday in a statement.” [Boldface added]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Feeling it: UW Bothell class helps students face emotional impact of a warming planet
A popular new class on climate change at the University of Washington Bothell tackles the emotional dimensions of a warming planet, helping students develop personal resources to deal with a lifetime of witnessing environmental losses.
By Katherine Long, Seattle Times, Mar 13, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]
UK’s green bank ‘failed to live up to its ambitions’
By Jonny Bairstow, Energy Live, Mar 14, 2018
‘Beast from the East’ exposed our energy failings
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 13, 2018
Cold snap next week ‘puts Britain at the mercy of Russian gas giants’ as reserves in Europe reach record lows
By Rachel Millard, Daily Mail, Mar 15, 2018
For Now, Germany Will Continue Its Energy Self-Delusion
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Mar 14, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Speeding down a dead-end street?]
Fritz Vahrenholt: German Opposition to Wind Farms Is Growing
Interview by Staff Writers, Weld Am Sonntag, Trans. GWPF, Mar 14, 2018
Wind’s False Promise Of Environmental Purity…Everywhere “Everything Is Rotating And Blinking”…”High Price To Pay”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 13, 2018
Questioning Green Elsewhere
The Enormous Costs of Remaking the US Electric Power System
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Mar 16, 2018
The Political Games Continue
Russia Crisis: GWPF Calls on Government to Speed Up UK Shale Development
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Mar 16, 2018
Link to submission: Written evidence submitted by the Global Warming Policy Forum
Russia’s aim with European gas pipeline is purely political
By Anders Åslund, The Hill, Mar 13, 2018
Trial Lawyers Handling Cities’ Global Warming Lawsuits Stand To Make Billions
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Mar 11, 2018
Warming, Judge Orders Climate Lesson
Courting Climate Comedy
By William Briggs, The Stream, Mar 10, 2018 [H/t John Dunn]
Cities in oil suits offer 1998 climate memo as evidence
By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News, Mary 14, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The authentication of the memo may be interesting.]
Judge: U.S. responsible for floods linked to habitat projects
By Amanda Reilly, E&E News, Mar 14, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Pleasing the Greens is not free.]
Green groups sue EPA for correspondence with climate skeptic group
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Mar 15, 2018
“Last spring, PBS found that the group disseminated packets to more than 200,000 teachers which included the organization’s books, ‘Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.’”
[SEPP Comment: Is disagreement with the Green agenda a crime against humanity? The booklet is a distillation of NIPCC reports, initiated by Fred Singer of SEPP.]
Schwarzenegger Wants To Sue Oil Companies For Murder? They’ve Helped Lift Billions Out Of Poverty
Editorial, IBD, Mar 12, 2018
The Week of The Beast Unplugged
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Mar 15, 2018
“The key point I want to make is that during the week of The Beast the UK’s remaining 10.6 GW of coal ran flat out day and night for 8 days. I think the time has come for the UK Government and National Grid to explain how they plan to keep the lights on when they close down this coal capacity by 2022-2025.”
US Shale Cargo Turns Towards UK as Spat With Russia Rumbles
By Staff Writers, Financial Times, Mar 15, 2018
Thanks to the anti-fracking lobby, Britain can’t avoid Russian gas
By Ross Clark, The Spectator, Mar 15, 2018
UK Natural Gas Imports
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 16, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Only a small amount, if any, comes from Russia.]
THE SUN SAYS We listened to the eco-fantasists over fracking and now we have hostile Russia heating our homes
After putting our faith in wind and solar power, today proved woefully inadequate, we are at the mercy of a hostile country to heat our homes
Editorial, The Sun, Mar 16, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Nationwide ban on use of smoky coal to begin in September
Ireland to join ‘Powering Past Coal’ international alliance to push end of coal use
By Kevin O’Sullivan, The Irish Times, Mar 13, 2018
“Moneypoint is Ireland’s only remaining coal-fired powered station, importing and burning around two million tonnes of coal a year from as far afield as Colombia. It remains one of Ireland’s largest power stations with an output of over 900 megawatts, accounting for a fifth of Ireland’s electricity needs.” [Scheduled to close in 2025.]
[SEPP Comment: Would “clean burning” peat still be allowed?]
Lights Dimming Over India’s Solar Energy Sector
By Staff Writers, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Mar 11, 2018
Venezuela’s Meltdown Comes At Convenient Time For OPEC
By Dan Eberhart, Forbes, Mar 12, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
Energy Issues – Australia
Bill shock debacle: Solar rooftop subsidies in Australia doubling, will cost $1.3 billion this year, $160 per household
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 13, 2018
Australia’s secret carbon market is “live” — costs about $7m for the Emissions Trading Scheme we voted against
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 16, 2018
Pumped hydro energy storage in Australia – Snowy 2.0 vs. sea water
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Mar 12, 2018
“This post addresses the question of whether Australia might not do better to pursue sea water pumped hydro instead of Snowy 2.0-type projects. Sea water pumped hydro potential in Australia is limited by the lack of suitable coastal topography, but there are sites capable of storing very large amounts of sea water at distances of more than 20km from the coast. The question is whether these sites can be developed and operated at acceptable cost.”
Energy Issues — US
Evidence Mounts Of Full-Scale Russian Campaign To Undermine American Energy
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Mar 16, 2018
At this rate, it’s going to take nearly 400 years to transform the energy system
Here are the real reasons we’re not building clean energy anywhere near fast enough.
By James Temple, MIT Technology Review, Mar 14, 2018
EPA Year in Review 2017-2018
By Staff Writers, EPA, Accessed Mar 15, 2018
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Administration asks court to dismiss lawsuit from EPA scientists
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Mar 12, 2018
Washington’s Control of Energy
Grid operators tell FERC ‘resilience’ is regional in nature
By Rod Kuckro and Sam Mintz, E&E News, Mar 12, 2018
Return of King Coal?
The Truth About Coal, China, and Smog
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 13, 2018
Unbelievable: Coal puts halt to South Africa’s renewables industry
In an unexpected turn of events, two unions representing coal interests have put a halt to the signing of 27 renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs), thus effectively stopping South Africa’s renewables industry in its tracks.
By Becky Beetz and Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine, Mar 13, 2018
Nuclear Energy and Fears
China Plans to Build Multiple Nuclear Reactors in 2018
The Asian nation is looking to promote the development of nuclear power by constructing six to eight new reactors this year.
By Nicole Rashotte, Investing News, Mar 14, 2018
Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists
Carbon-free fusion power could be ‘on the grid in 15 years’
By Hannah Devlin, The Guardian, Mar 9, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
[SEPP Comment: Based on a planned experiment? Nuclear fusion has been “just around the corner” for decades.]
New York commits $1.4 billion to renewable energy
By Michelle Froese, Windpower, Mar 12, 2018
“’Governor Cuomo is demonstrating outstanding leadership in helping to solve the climate crisis and building a sustainable future,’ said Vice President Gore. ‘His vision and leadership stand in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s malignant mission to make us even more dependent on the dirty and destructive fossil fuels. Now more than ever, it’s up to all of us to step up and act on this urgent cause of our time. Governor Cuomo is showing how it can be done.’”
Wind farm blades eroding after few years at sea
ITV News, Mar 12, 2018
6 New Papers Unsheathe A Hushed-Up ‘Green’ Reality: Habitats Are Being Destroyed By Wind Turbines
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 15, 2018
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: March 12, 2018
By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, Mar 12, 2018
What Happens When There Is Too Much Wind?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 14, 2018
Solar power capacity in Texas expected to double, making life tougher for power companies
By Ryan Maye Handy, Houston Chronicle, Mar 16, 2018
[SEPP Comment: From a small amount. The article brushes over the major issue: as with wind power, solar fails to produce at the time of biggest consumption, late afternoons and evenings in the summer.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Electric cars: are we being too optimistic?
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Mar 16, 2018
Green Flop: Electric Car Sales Tumble Over Price and Plugs
By Staff Writers, The Times, Via GWPF, Mar 16, 2018
Pruitt: California ‘can’t dictate to the rest of the country’ on fuel emissions
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Mar 13, 2018
California is taking a cooling off period after generating too much energy from the sun
By Michael J. Coren, Quartz, Mar 9, 2018
California’s Bullet Train To Fiscal Oblivion
Editorial, IBD, Mar 12, 2018
Other Scientific News
Bye bye Plastics Scare: Krill can Digest Plastic
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 12, 2018
Link to paper: Turning microplastics into nanoplastics through digestive fragmentation by Antarctic krill
By Amanda L. Dawson, et al. Nature Communications, Mar 8, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The real question: Is there a process that break down plastics into substances that can be used [actually digested] by plants or animals?]
Other News that May Be of Interest
Arrest of the “Lurk” Banking Trojan Gang
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Mar 11, 2018
“First, the rise and fall of the Lurk gang seems to me to be a counter-example to the media and U.S. think-tank portrayal of a Russia in which a leaf doesn’t fall (let alone a hacking group operate) except under Putin’s command and control. The Lurk gang clearly operated outside government command-and-control. They stole from Russian banking institutions and, despite the best efforts of Russian police and a very competent computer security firm (Kaspersky), evaded capture for many years. When their end came, it was only through a concerted effort by institutions of Russian civil society. As a police procedural, there seem to be many elements in common with a corresponding Western saga.”
Announcing, Crisis in the Mideast, a novel
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 13, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The cause of the fictional crisis is more realistic that the one proclaimed by President Carter: the world would run out of oil by around the year 2000.]
Britain’s housing crisis is caused by the wrong kind of regulation
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Mar 12, 2018
“Restricting whether you can build, rather than what, drives up prices.”
Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction
New geological research from Utah suggests the end-Permian extinction was mainly caused by burning coal, ignited by magma
By Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian, Mar 12, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The reporter is one of the “experts” who manipulated the last polls declaring “97% of scientists,” after the numbers were in. George Gallup would have fired him.]
Exxon CEO struggles to reverse Tillerson’s legacy of failed bets
By Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, Mar 7, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Would the article have been published after Tillerson left the administration?]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
That explains it!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Mar 15, 2018
“’New computer models that look at ocean temperatures instead of the atmosphere show the clearest signal yet that global warming is well underway,’ said Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
“Speaking at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Barnett said climate models based on air temperatures are weak because most of the evidence for global warming is not even there. ‘The real place to look is in the ocean,’ Barnett told a news conference.” [Boldface added.]
Wired.com, 18 Feb 2005
[SEPP Comment: All that is needed is an explanation of how the greenhouse effect occurs in the oceans.]
Runaway warming process
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Mar 13, 2018
“Many scientists concede that without drastic emissions reductions by 2020, we are on the path toward a 4C rise as early as mid-century, with catastrophic consequences, including the loss of the world’s coral reefs; the disappearance of major mountain glaciers; the total loss of the Arctic summer sea-ice, most of the Greenland ice-sheet and the break-up of West Antarctica; acidification and overheating of the oceans; the collapse of the Amazon rainforest; and the loss of Arctic permafrost; to name just a few.
“Each of these ecosystem collapses could trigger an out-of-control runaway warming process. Worse, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley now project that we are actually on course to reach global temperatures of up to 8C within 90 years.”
CounterCurrents.org, 23 Sep 2010
Greenland polar bears feel the heat!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Mar 12, 2018
“Polar bear penis bones are shrinking in Eastern Greenland, according to Christian Sonne of the University of Aarhus in Denmark and colleagues.
“They found that polar bears living in the Eastern Greenland are somewhat less well endowed than their cousins in Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic.
“They say this could be due to the high prevalence of pollutants such as PCBs and DDT in Eastern Greenland – pollutants which records show are less prevalent in Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic.
“In 2004, Steven Fergusson of the University of Manitoba in Canada showed that carnivores living in snowy environments, close to the poles, tend to have longer penis bones to help them be more competitive.
“So Sonne’s group concludes that human pollution, combined with the difficulty of finding food in warming climates, may spell disaster for Eastern Greenland polar bears.”
New Scientist, 31 Aug 2007
1. A Modest Plan to Save Coal
Subsidies for renewables distort the market. My legislation would help level the playing field.
By Rep Larry Bucshon (R, IN), WSJ, Mar 14, 2018
SUMMARY: In arguing for a method for fighting the effects of an ill-conceived tax credits for unreliable, renewable electricity, the Congressman argues with another tax credit for coal. He writes:
“Americans take electricity for granted. When we flip a light switch or turn on a television, we expect it to work every time. A resilient and reliable energy grid to deliver affordable electricity is critical for the well-being of society, the expansion of the economy, and the security of the nation.
“There are many sources of energy that can power the grid. As a supporter of an all-the-above energy strategy, I believe utility companies should rely on a diverse mix of fuel sources, just as investors rely on diversified stock portfolios to ensure their financial well-being.
“Each option has its advantages. Coal-fired electricity is one of the most reliable, fuel-secure and affordable energy sources. This was evident during the 2014 polar vortex, when subzero temperatures strained the power grid. It was the reliable baseload power plants, such as coal and nuclear, that prevented blackouts in many regions of the country. During the bomb cyclone a few weeks ago, many states relied on coal to provide more electricity than any other fuel source.
“But federal policies are distorting the energy marketplace in favor of less reliable, less resilient, less affordable sources of electricity. Renewables have received various tax subsidies for the past four decades. Even after the recent tax reform greatly simplified the code, federal taxpayers continue to provide heavy subsidies for less dependable and more expensive sources of electricity. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that tax subsidies for renewables will total more than $36 billion from 2016-20. The result is an unlevel playing field that gives an advantage to fuel sources subsidized by federal taxpayers.
“Since 2010 more than one-third of the nation’s coal-fired power plants have shut down or announced plans to close. That’s equivalent to shutting down the entire electricity supply of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky combined. Thirty-nine coal-fired electric generating units have been forced to close in the Hoosier State alone. Federal and some state policies put coal-fired generating plants at a disadvantage in the energy marketplace and make it more difficult to keep them running and providing reliable and affordable energy to American consumers.
“Ideally, these distorting taxpayer subsidies would not exist, letting market forces determine which sources of energy utility operators select. But they do. To help ensure Americans continue to enjoy reliable and affordable electricity, Congress must level the playing field.
‘That is why I am introducing the Electricity Reliability and Fuel Security Act, which would create a tax credit covering a small portion of the costs to operate and maintain existing coal-fired power plants. My proposed credit would last only five years, in contrast to 40 years of subsidies for renewables. This temporary tax credit is necessary to avoid more coal retirements while Congress, the Energy Department, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, grid operators and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. continue working together to ensure that the nation’s electricity grid remains both reliable and resilient.
The Congressman concludes with the need for reliable and affordable electricity.
2. Biofuel Mandates Are a Bad Idea Whose Time May Be Up
There’s bipartisan support for relaxing the 2005-07 mandate. It’ll have to get past Iowa’s GOP senators.
By Thomas Landstreet, WSJ, Mar 11, 2018
SUMMARY: In arguing against a government policy that is obsolete, the founding partner of N3L Capital Management states:
“The political tide may be turning against the corn ethanol mandate. The Renewable Fuel Standard, which forces oil refiners to mix corn-based fuel into gasoline, is one of history’s great policy boondoggles. Even ex-Rep. Henry Waxman of California, a key sponsor of the original legislation establishing the standard, said Thursday that he favors phasing out the mandate.
“There’s bipartisan support in Congress for such a move. Sen. Tom Udall (D., N.M.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.) have introduced the Greener Fuels Act, and Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) is said to be working his own legislation altering the mandate, in response to the recent closure of a Pennsylvania refinery.
“The corn ethanol mandate was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Two years later, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which expanded the program by providing generous tax credits and subsidies to corn growers and ethanol blenders. It also established ambitious targets, increasing annually, for biofuels in the national fuel mix. The mandate soon diverted 40% of America’s corn crop away from the food supply.”
After going through some of the problems of ethanol, including reduced fuel economy in automobiles and that ethanol cannot be shipped via conventional pipelines, the author concludes:
“One of the professed goals of the ethanol mandate was to wean the U.S. from its reliance on foreign oil—but the U.S. is already approaching energy independence because of offshore drilling programs unleashed by the Trump administration’s deregulatory blitz. And if the ethanol mandate were really about encouraging biofuel consumption, why has Congress imposed tariffs that keep out cheap Brazilian sugarcane ethanol? The truth is that the program is motivated more by the demands of domestic corn-growers than by concern over oil dependence or climate change.
“Revising the mandate will take significant courage and political will, but it’s clearly the right thing to do. The ethanol lobby is extraordinarily powerful, recycling profits gained from this self-dealing policy right back into efforts to protect it. Iowa’s Republican senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst —otherwise solid conservatives—are in thrall to this corporate welfare program and will fight to the death to keep it. But the time has come to modify the ethanol mandate before the costs to the economy and the environment grow steeper.”
The author does not discuss the harm to people in poor nations that biofuel mandates in rich nations have caused.