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)
The Next Cooling: SEPP Chairman emeritus Fred Singer has an article published in the American Thinker on the next ice age and what can be done to possibly prevent it. After dismissing the political notions of nuclear winter, he presents evidence that we live in a geological age of Ice Ages. [The estimated temperatures during the last significant ice age are about 6ºC (about 12ºF) below current temperatures.]
Given the frequent announcements of dangerous global warming by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and their followers, it is easy to overlook that possible cooling is real and dangerous to humanity. During the mild cooling, known as the Little Ice Age, hundreds of thousands died of famine and related diseases in Europe. Contrary to the IPCC and its followers, evidence of the cooling is found in Western Hemisphere, Asia and elsewhere.
As discussed in last week’s TWTW, this July, following years of research, The International Commission on Stratigraphy announced its recommendation to the International Union of Geological Sciences that the Holocene Epoch (the past 11,700 years) be divided into three ages, or stages: the Greenlandian, a warming from the cold Younger Dryas, the Northgripppian, and the Meghalayan.
The Meghalayan Age, from 4,200 years ago, is unique among the many intervals of the Geologic Time Scale in that its beginning coincides with a global cultural event produced by a global climatic event. Agricultural-based cultures and societies that developed in many regions after the end of the last Ice Age were impacted severely by a 200-year cooling and drying event that resulted in the collapse of civilizations and human migrations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley. Evidence that this climatic event occurred about 4,200 years-ago has been found on all seven continents, including uninhabited Antarctica. The Harappan Civilization in the Indus Valley and plateau was perhaps the most advanced civilization of that time with an estimated population of about 5 million, covered systems for water and sewage, and a writing system, not yet deciphered. It virtually disappeared.
Carbon dioxide-caused warming, promoted by the IPCC, and others, appears weak compared with natural ice ages. The hard evidence of a warming from CO2 and greenhouse gases, including water vapor, indicates that warming from a doubling of CO2 may be 1ºC, or even less, perhaps one-half of the minimum warming forecast in four of the five IPCC Assessment Reports (AR) of 1.5º C. (AR4, 2007, projected a minimum warming of 2º C.) See Article # 1 and links under Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations.
Quote of the Week: “We must remember that a tentative judgment of truth is not the same as a dogmatic assertion of certainty.” – Philosopher Simon Blackburn (Trinity College, Cambridge)
Number of the Week: One per one-hundred thousand? Over 70 years?
Group Think: In reviewing a paper by MIT’s Carl Wunsch (retired), “Towards understanding the Paleocean” published in 2010 by Quaternary Science Reviews, Judith Curry makes some remarkable observations. Wunsch was a participant in the 1979 report “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment,” headed by Jule Charney. The report estimated that a doubling of CO2 will occur around 2030 to 2050.
The report considered five global climate models including the S. Manabe, et al. model at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, N.J, and the J. Hansen, et al. model at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y. The report estimated that the lower bound of temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 would be 2ºC from the Manabe model (underestimation of water-vapor feedback) and the upper bound would be 3.5ºC from the Hansen model (overestimation of water-vapor feedback). The best estimate for surface temperature rise was 3ºC with a probable error of plus / minus 1.5ºC. Also, the positive feedback from moisture will overwhelm all conceivable negative feedback mechanisms. [Boldface added.]
Wunsch’s participation in this critical report, carried forward by the IPCC, makes Curry’s observations even more remarkable. Judith Curry is no longer a part of the climate orthodoxy and is being shunned by her former colleagues. Her excerpts from the Wunsch paper on what she calls the sociology of climate science bear repeating [Boldface in the original unless stated otherwise]:
“From one point of view, scientific communities without adequate data have a distinct advantage: one can construct interesting and exciting stories and rationalizations with little or no risk of observational refutation. Colorful, sometimes charismatic, characters come to dominate the field, constructing their interpretations of a few intriguing, but indefinite observations that appeal to their followers, and which eventually emerge as ‘textbook truths.’
“Consider the following characteristics ascribed to one particular, notoriously data-poor, field (Smolin, 2006), as having:
“1. Tremendous self-confidence, leading to a sense of entitlement and of belonging to an elite community of experts.
“2. An unusually monolithic community, with a strong sense of consensus, whether driven by the evidence or not, and an unusual uniformity of views on open questions. …
“3. In some cases a sense of identification with the group, akin to identification with a religious faith or political platform.
“4. A strong sense of the boundary between the group and other experts.
“5. A disregard for and disinterest in the ideas, opinions, and work of experts who are not part of the group, and a preference for talking only with other members of the community.
“6. A tendency to interpret evidence optimistically, to believe exaggerated or incorrect statements of results and to disregard the possibility that the theory might be wrong. This is coupled with a tendency to believe results are true because they are ’widely believed,’ even if one has not checked (or even seen) the proof oneself.
“7. A lack of appreciation for the extent to which a research program ought to involve risk.
“Smolin (2006) was writing about string theory in physics. Nonetheless, observers of the paleoclimate scene might recognize some common characteristics.
“Smolin’s (7) is perhaps the most important in his list. Good scientists seek constantly to test the basic tenets of their field–not work hard to buttress them. [Boldface added] Routine science usually adds a trifling piece of support to everyone’s assumptions. Exciting, novel, important, science examines the basic underpinnings of those assumptions and either reports no conflict or, the contrary–that maybe it isn’t true. Imagine Darwin working hard to fit all of his observational data into the framework of Genesis (today we laugh at the so-called intelligent design community for doing just that).”
After discussing the desire to simplify, Curry continues:
“The pitfall, which has not always been avoided, is in claiming–because an essential element has been understood–that it necessarily explains what is seen in nature.
“Extension of a simplified description or explanation outside of its domain of applicability is of little or no concern to anyone outside the academic community–unless it begins to control observational strategies or be used to make predictions about future behavior under disturbed conditions.
“But strikingly little attention has been paid to examining the basic physical elements of ‘what everyone knows.’”
The model problem
“[General circulation] models now dominate discussions of the behavior of the climate system. As with future climate, where no data exist at all, the models promise descriptions of climate change–past and future–without the painful necessity of obtaining supporting observations. The apparent weight given to model behavior in discussions of paleoclimate arises, also, sometimes simply because they are “sophisticated” and difficult to understand, as well as appearing to substitute for missing data.
“That models are incomplete representations of reality is their great power. But they should never be mistaken for the real world.
“If a model fails to replicate the climate system over a few decades, the assumption that it is therefore skillful over thousands or millions of years is a non sequitur. Models have thousands of tunable parameters and the ability to make them behave “reasonably” over long time intervals is not in doubt. That error estimates are not easy to make does not mean they are not necessary for interpretation and use of model extrapolations.
Curry wraps up with concluding remarks well worth reading, including:
“The pressures for “exciting” results, over-simplified stories, and notoriety, are evident throughout the climate and paleoclimate literature… Often important technical details are omitted, and alternative hypotheses arbitrarily suppressed in the interests of telling a simple story…” See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.
Quest for Knowledge: Although terms such as “truth” are generally avoided in TWTW, the concept goes to a core issue in science – the quest for knowledge about the physical world. The Quote of the Week comes from “On Truth” by Philosopher Simon Blackburn, reviewed by Julian Baggini. Speculation is a vital part of advancing scientific knowledge. The authors of the Charney Report, and those who accepted it, recognized it was speculative, not certainty.
How does one separate speculation from knowledge? The reviewer of Blackburn’s book, Julian Baggini, a co-founder of Philosophers’ Magazine, provides an answer – evidence.
“We accept things as true not because they are immune from any conceivable doubt but because they are supported by the evidence of experience.”
Nobel Laurate Richard Feynman may have called exploring the “evidence of experience” as hypothesis testing. In 1979, there was no strong evidence of what was occurring in the atmosphere, where the greenhouse gas effect occurs, to accept or reject the hypothesis of warming from CO2 strongly amplified by increased water vapor. Now, we have almost forty years of atmosphere temperature data. The atmosphere is not warming as envisioned by the models reviewed in the Charney Report. The report was written by careful, competent scientists. However, its findings have been superseded by hard evidence. See Article # 2 and links under Defending the Orthodoxy, and Change in US Administrations.
Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award: During the concluding dinner of The Heartland Institute’s “America First Energy Conference 2018,” on August 7, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel; SEPP will present the Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award to Dr. Roy Spencer. Spencer was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites.
When it became apparent that the atmosphere was not warming as expected by the IPCC, the climate orthodoxy, the bureaucracies that support them, the journals that favored them, etc.; they unleashed their slings and arrows of wrath on Roy Spencer and John Christy. Undaunted, Spencer and Christy continue to publicly publish their findings, making slight corrections as needed, no matter what the climate orthodoxy demand – a closed society as described above by Judith Curry.
Few deserve an award for exceptional courage in the quest for knowledge as much as Roy Spencer. (John Christy received the award in 2016.) We thank his important work. See http://www.drroyspencer.com/about/ and for conference information see http://americafirstenergy.org/
Chartmanship: A clever method used by some unscrupulous professionals to mislead the public is called Chartmanship. It was defined by the distinguished scientist, electrical engineer, and statistician, John Brignell (“The Epidemiologists: Have They got Scares for You, 2004) as “the art of using graphs without actually cheating.” The earlier, 1954 bestselling work by Darrell Huff, “How to Lie with Statistics,” gave some great examples.
To simplify the issue, one can classify these efforts as propaganda. Separately, Roy Spencer and Anthony Watts give some current examples, including one used by NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies). See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda.
“California’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was enacted in 1986. It is intended to help Californians make informed decisions about protecting themselves from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.
As part of the law, the state is required to publish a list of chemicals that are “known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.” The list is updated at least once a year and now contains about 800 different chemicals. The complete list can be found on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) website.
After some additional information, the web site explains the labels required under Proposition 65.
As part of the law, businesses selling products to people in California must provide “clear and reasonable warnings” before knowingly exposing people to any chemical on the list, unless the expected level of exposure would pose no significant cancer risk. This warning is often in the form of a label on the product or its packaging.
The law defines “no significant risk” as a level of exposure that would cause no more than 1 extra case of cancer in 100,000 people over a 70-year lifetime. So a compound can be unlabeled if a person exposed to the substance at the expected level for 70 years is estimated to have a 1 in 100,000 chance or less of getting cancer due to that exposure. The law also has similar strict cutoff levels for birth defects and reproductive harm. [Boldface added]
The concept of no significant risk at a level of exposure that would cause no more than 1 extra case of cancer in 100,000 people over a 70-year lifetime is a bureaucrat’s dream. The threshold is virtually incalculable, meaningless. Stating a product causes cancer according to the State of California is another way of “How to Lie With Statistics.” See links under California Dreaming.
SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD
SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:
· The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
· The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
· The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
· The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.
The six past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, John Holdren and Christiana Figueres aka Cruella de Ville are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in August.
Nominations will close on July 30, and voting will close on August 19.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
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
The perils of ‘near-tabloid science’
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. July 22, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Sea Level Rise; A Major Non-Existent Threat Exploited by Alarmists and Politicians
Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, July 21, 2018
The Extinction of Honest Science
By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, July 25, 2018
“Warmists’ predictions of climate doom haven’t come to pass or anything like it, but give them credit for agility and perseverance in always concocting a fresh scare. The latest meme to keep grants flowing and careers on track: the purported mass die-off of species large and small”
Poverty and Energy
By Andy May, WUWT, June 20, 2018
Defending the Orthodoxy
Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (1979)
By Jule Charney, et al., National Academy of Sciences, 1979
Human influence detected in changing seasons
By Anne Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Phys.org,. July 20, 2018
Human influence on the seasonal cycle of tropospheric temperature
By Benjamin D. Santer, et al. Science, July 20, 2018
Summary from “Science Mag” “Anthropogenic climate change has become clearly observable through many metrics. These include an increase in global annual temperatures, growing heat content of the oceans, and sea level rise owing to the melting of the polar ice sheets and glaciers. Now, Santer et al. report that a human-caused signal in the seasonal cycle of tropospheric temperature can also be measured (see the Perspective by Randel). They use satellite data and the anthropogenic “fingerprint” predicted by climate models to show the extent of the effects and discuss how these changes have been caused.”
[SEPP Comment: Still waiting to see the “anthropogenic ‘fingerprint’ predicted by climate models” in hard data.]
Ben Santer: Climate Change Responsible for Hotter and Colder Weather
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 26, 2018
See link immediately above.
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Quote of the Week: That time when climate science believed UHI was causing most of the twentieth century warming
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 26, 2018
“It is not out of the realm of possibility that most of the twentieth century warming was urban heat islands.”
Why Hasn’t The California Heat Wave Sparked The Usual Global Warming Hysteria?
Editorial, IBD, July 25, 2018
“Perhaps they’ve come to the realization that after decades of end-of-the-world predictions and oversaturation coverage, during which time global temperatures have barely budged, the public has stopped paying attention. You can only predict the end of the world so many times, after all, before people start to get skeptical.”
Yes it’s scorching, but claims that the heatwave is down to climate change are just hot air: June was even hotter when Victoria was on the throne, writes CHRISTOPHER BOOKER
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 26, 2018
EU relaxes climate stance in trade sop to Trump
Tough words on the Paris Agreement took a back seat as Jean-Claude Juncker sought protection for Europe’s car industry
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, July 26, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
The Remaining Obstacle To President Trump’s Plan For U.S. Energy Dominance
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, July 27, 2018
Administration ending rule that made industry pay for damages to key animal habitat
By Miranda Green, The Hill, July 27, 2018
Link to press release: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy
By Staff Writers, DOI, Date to be inserted
[SEPP Comment: The article has a great propaganda photo of what may be Bryce Canyon, which is not endangered. Often cost calculations are imaginary.]
US FWS proposes changes to Endangered Species Act, polar bear champions panic
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, July 22, 2018
Seeking a Common Ground
Conditions for formation of Super El Ninos determined
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 12, 2018
Link to paper: A model for super El Niños
By Saji N. Hameed, Dachao Jin & Vishnu Thilakan, Nature Communications, June 28, 2018
[SEPP Comment: If these apply, it could make a great advance in weather prediction.]
Remember when we were told that wildfires would increase due to global warming? Never mind.
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 25, 2018
Link to paper: Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world
By Stefan H. Doerr, Cristina Santín, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences, May 23, 2018
Useful: Making concrete from coal ash
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 12, 2018
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Outer Reefs of Moorea Island: Back From the Dead!
Adjeroud, M., Kayal, M., Iborra-Cantonnet, C., Vercelloni, J., Bosserelle, P., Liao, V., Chancerelle, Y., Claudet, J. and Penin, L. 2018. Recovery of coral assemblages despite acute and recurrent disturbances on a South Central Pacific reef. Scientific Reports 8: 9680, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-27891-3. July 27, 2018
“The take-home message of this study is that there still is a lot that remains unknown with respect to the resilience and recovery of coral reefs. As such, it is premature (and likely the height of folly) to be forecasting their doom, especially just a few short decades from now, as climate alarmists frequently do.”
The Combined Effects of Elevated CO2 and Water Deficit on Cacao
Lahive, F., Hadley, P. and Daymond, A.J. 2018. The impact of elevated CO2 and water deficit stress on growth and photosynthesis of juvenile cacao (Theobroma cacao L.). Photosynthetica 56: 911-920. July 26, 2018
“In commenting on these important findings, Lahive et al. conclude that the ‘positive effect of CO2 may ameliorate growth reductions caused by water limitation in the future,’ which ‘could potentially improve pod yields [of cacao] by supporting a larger number of pods per tree.’ And that is sweet news indeed for the farmers who grow and the consumers who utilize cacao for its confectionary delights!”
Elevated CO2 Alleviates the Negative Effects of Drought Stress in Cucumbers
Liu, B.B., Li, M., Li, Q.M., Cui, Q.Q., Zhang, W.D., Ai, X.Z. and Bi, H.G. 2018. Combined effects of elevated CO2 concentration and drought stress on photosynthetic performance and leaf structure of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings. Photosynthetica 56: 942-952. July 25, 2018
“In commenting on their many findings, Liu et al. conclude that ‘under drought stress conditions, elevated CO2 can change leaf tissue structures, improve photosynthetic performance, ameliorate water status and improve drought resistance of cucumber seedlings, thus alleviating the negative effects of drought stress.’ We could not have said it any better!”
The Positive Growth Responses of Winter Cherry to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment
Sharma, R., Singh, H., Kaushik, M., Nautiyal, R. and Singh, O. 2018. Adaptive physiological response, carbon partitioning, and biomass production of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal grown under elevated CO2 regimes. 3 Biotech 8: 267. July 23, 2018
“In light of the several findings reported above, it is clear that the growth of winter cherry plants will be significantly benefitted by the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.”
German Scientists: Chris Folland’s Findings On Climate Models “Good For a Loud Laugh”…”Pulling Tricks Like Troopers”
Just add volcanic dust whenever climate models some cooling
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (German text translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, July 25, 2018
Measurement Issues — Surface
The Seattle Tacoma Airport Temperature Sensor is Running Too Warm: Again
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, July 25, 2018
“But this blog will be about Seattle-Tacoma Airport, whose official NWS/FAA temperature sensor is located between two of the runways.” [Boldface added]
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
NOAA’s newest GOES 17 weather satellite may not be fixable, and a loss
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 25, 2018
[SEPP Comment: This may be a significant loss.]
Pielke Jr. – U.S. Tornado damage continues to fall, 2018 activity near record lows
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 25, 2018
Are Record Temperatures Evidence of Manmade Global Warming?
William D. Balgord, Townhall, July 22, 2018
Low Standards for Data Produce Record High Temp Claims
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, July 23, 2018
Cape Town Drought Update
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 27, 2018
“It was only a few short months ago that we were assured Cape Town was facing a national disaster, because of the drought:”
“End of days” black sky in Siberia due to “perfect storm” of smoke and clouds
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, July 25, 2018
Europe Drought Not Due To Climate Change Says Austria’s ZAMG
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 22, 2018
Heat radiates across Southwest; Death Valley hottest
By Anita Snow, AP, July 25, 2018
With triple-digit temperatures forecast across the region, the California Independent System Operator Corp. urged people to ease off blasting air conditioners or using washing machines or other appliances during the peak power usage times of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Regular heatwaves ‘will kill thousands’-Harrabin
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 28, 2018
BBC: “The current heatwave could become the new normal for UK summers by 2040 because of climate change, MPs say.
“The Environmental Audit Committee warns of 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the government doesn’t act quickly.”
Llamas and alpacas are dying because of an unusually cold winter in the Andes
By Alan Hernández, Vice News, July 22, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
The nanny-state panic over Britain’s heatwave makes my blood boil, says JANET STREET-PORTER. They know how to cope with the sun Down Under… so it’s time to send for the Aussies!
By Janet Street-Porter, Daily Mail, July 26, 2018
New England’s Heat Wave Of 1911
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 28, 2018
Study: “Little Ice Age” also affected South American climate
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 25, 2018
Link to paper: Two Millennia of South Atlantic Convergence Zone Variability Reconstructed From Isotopic Proxies
By V.F. Novello, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, May 8, 2018
Slowdown of North Atlantic circulation rocked the climate of ancient northern Europe
By Staff Writers, SPX, Jul 24, 2018
Link to paper: Abrupt high-latitude climate events and decoupled seasonal trends during the Eemian
By J. Sakari Salonen, et al. July 20, 2018
From the abstract: “The Eemian (the Last Interglacial; ca. 129–116 thousand years ago) presents a testbed for assessing environmental responses and climate feedbacks under warmer-than-present boundary conditions.”
[SEPP Comment: Why is it a testbed for higher CO2 concentrations?]
Collapse of civilizations worldwide defines youngest unit of the Geologic Time Scale
By Staff Writers, Press Release, Durham University, July 6, 2018
Link to proposed new chart
Mayor issues directive on climate change
The Commission says the city should plan for 3-feet of sea level rise by the mid-[21st century]
By Nikki Schenfeld, KHON2 News, July 16, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Link to report: Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Guidance and Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report
Prepared by Tetra Tech, Inc. and the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, 2017
[SEPP Comment: IPCC graph of Exponential global mean sea level rise based on different GHG scenarios. Based on Hansen 2016, discussed in last week’s TWTW.]
Honolulu Mayor Issues Directive to Prevent Sea Level Rise… Because Ignorance
Guest ridicule by David Middleton, WUWT, July 18, 2018
Swallowed Islands: Getting Sea Level Rise Out of Variability
Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, July 26, 2018
Red Sea flushes faster from far flung volcanoes
By Staff Writers, SPX, July 24, 2018
Link to paper: Rapid Red Sea Deep Water renewals caused by volcanic eruptions and the North Atlantic Oscillation
By Fengchao Yao and Ibrahim Hoteit, Science, July 27, 2018
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Antarctic ‘Catastrophic Ice Sheet Collapse’ Alarmism Gets Axed In 2 New Scientific Papers
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, July 23, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Climate change-induced march of treelines halted by unsuitable soils
New University of Guelph research dispells the myth that climate change is enabling treelines to move farther uphill and northward
Press Release By Staff Writers, Science Daily, July 12, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: Limited prospects for future alpine treeline advance in the Canadian Rocky Mountains
By Emma L. Davis Ze’ev Gedalof, Global Change Biology, June 1, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Amazing, researchers have found that the soil in alpine areas is not the same as soil in boreal areas, they have bedrock with little topsoil, difficult for growing trees.]
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 28, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The post suggests arson, not heat or lack of rain.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
The truth behind the Baffin Bay starving polar bear video is worse than we thought
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, July 26, 2018
SHOCKER: National Geographic admits they were wrong about “starving polar bear” video
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 26, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
Gallup Poll: No One Believes ‘Climate Change’ Is America’s Biggest Problem
By Staff Writers, ICECAP, July 22, 2018
“Last month, for instance, the Berkeley City Council issued a resolution declaring a worldwide climate emergency, calling it ‘the greatest crisis in history’ after evoking memories of World War II.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes fuels outcry by describing climate change as ‘ratings killer’
Liberal network accused of being too concerned with profits
By Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, July 26, 2018
The “Temperature Circle” Deception
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, July 24, 2018
BUSTED: How @ed_hawkins turned simple linear temperature increase into an accelerating spiral hockeystick
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 24, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Exposing an innovation in the great art of chartsmanship.]
How to lie with maps and smoothing – NASA GISS in Antarctica
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 27, 2018
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Ready to Pay a Lot More for Air-Conditioning? Senate May Leave You No Choice
By Nicolas Loris, Heritage Foundation, July 23, 2018
Bad Moon Rising, Part 2 – How the IMO’s Low-sulfur Bunker Rule May Impact the Refining Sector
By Housley Carr, RBN Energy, July 10, 2018
[SEPP Comment: More UN regulations, this time from the International Maritime Organization.]
Questioning European Green
Filth, Corruption and Graft in Recycling Industry
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, July 23, 2018
Link to report: The packaging recycling obligations
By Staff Writers, National Audit Office, July 23, 2018
Climate Win: UK Now Only Needs Coal Sometimes
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 14, 2018
How the smart meter roll out became such an expensive failure its own minister has thrown his out
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 28, 2018
Questioning Green Elsewhere
Common Sense or Ideology
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, July 24, 2018
The Inhumanity of the Guardian
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, July 24, 2018
Lake Erie Offshore Wind Proposal: Economic Cronyism, Environmental Boondoggle
By Sherri Lange, Master Resource, July 26, 2018
[SEPP Comment: With a booming economy, the “green jobs” argument is becoming thin, while the green policy mistakes in neighboring Ontario, Canada, are becoming clear.]
Saudis To Invest $10B In South Africa’s Energy Sector
By Julianne Geiger, Oil Price.com, July 22, 2018
“Despite Saudi Arabia’s $10 billion commitment, energy reform in South Africa is slow going. ‘Projects in the energy sector are almost invariably delayed due to opposition from NGOs (non-governmental organizations) or trade unions,’ said Ben Payton, head of Africa research at consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. ‘South African government agencies are often unreliable partners.’”
[SEPP Comment: Stepping in where the World Bank has failed?]
Rejecting carbon colonialism
African Development Bank breaks with anti-fossil fuel banks to fund coal power, prosperity
By Paul Driessen and David Wojick, WUWT, July 14, 2018
PLSA [Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association] rejects climate change law for investment decisions
The UK’s pension fund trade body has argued that new regulations governing how trustees invest £1.5trn in assets should exclude explicit reference to climate change.
By Chris Seekings, The Actuary, July 20, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
The Political Games Continue
Lawmakers remove GOP endangered species policies from defense bill
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 23, 2018
“The House wanted to block potential endangered species protections for the greater sage grouse and the lesser prairie chicken for 10 years, and to permanently block protections for the American burying beetle.”
All These Climate Change Lawsuits Will be Thrown Out
By Steve Goreham, Daily Caller, July 28, 2018
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
GOP lawmaker proposes carbon tax
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 23, 2018
[SEPP Comment: As former Speaker Tip O’Neal would say about budget submissions by Ronald Reagan: dead on arrival.]
You Don’t Have to Be a Climate Skeptic to Oppose a Carbon Tax
By Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI, July 27, 2018
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Energy Minister Claire Perry hails success story of offshore wind–(She means more subsidies are needed!)
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 24, 2018
Net Metering–Another “Renewable” Subsidy that Needs to Be Eliminated
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, July 27, 2018
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA reverses course on ‘super-polluting’ truck policy
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 27, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Putting a more fuel efficient, streamlined body on an older truck chassis and drive train makes it “super-polluting?’]
EPA Finalizes First Set of Coal Ash Rule Revisions
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, July 19, 2018
Energy Issues – Non-US
British Government Finally Gives Green Light to Fracking Shale Gas
By Staff Writers, Reuters, Via GWPF, July 24, 2018
Entropy, Energy and Order in the Universe
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, July 23, 2018
Energy Issues — Australia
NEG – The white elephant in the room
Guest essay by Tom Quirk, WUWT, June 26, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Rather than being interpreted as National Energy Guarantee, does NEG really stand for No Electricity Generated, Reliability?]
Turn off all wind and solar at 6pm peak time — makes no difference
Guest Post by Anton Lang, Jo Nova’s Blog, July 25, 2018
Energy Issues — US
High Summer Temperatures Send CAISO and ERCOT Scrambling to Maintain Grid Reliability
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, July 26, 2018
As Heatwave Tests The Limits Of Renewables, Anti-Nuclear Governments Return To Nuclear
By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, July 26, 2018
Premature coal plant retirements cost consumers 15 times more than supporting continued operations
By Stephanie Roker, World Coal, July 20, 2018
“…a study conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA) for the National Mining Association (NMA), commissioned to assess the impact of coal plant closures on the US power markets.”
[SEPP Comment: Brings out the problem of natural gas as a back-up during extreme cold.]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
EU to build more terminals to import US LNG
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made the announcement during his visit to the White House yesterday
By Priyanka Shrestha, Energy Live News, July 27, 2018
Offshore Guyana oil and gas potential is “massive”
Exxon and Hess announced a 25 percent upward revision to the size of an oil basin dubbed Stabroek.
By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI, July 23, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Return of King Coal?
Adani [India importer] sees six-fold rise in coal mining despite challenges in Australia
By Staff Writers, Reuters, Asian Age, July 25, 2018
India’s thermal coal imports rise over 14 pct in Q2 – trader
By Sudarshan Varadhan, Reuters, July 24, 2018
India’s Coal Shortage is U.S. Miners’ Gain
By Sohrab Darabshaw, Metal Miner, July 23, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
Railroad company settles for $2.2 million over fiery derailment and oil spill
By Miranda Green, The Hill, July 24, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Wind Projects Increasingly Risky, Ontario Says “Nein” To $60 Million German Wind Park Project!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 27, 2018
“According to the online business daily Handelsblatt, German green energy hustlers and creditors are fuming over the Ontario government’s decision to halt the 54 million euro White Pines wind energy project by Bremen Germany-based WPD.
Denver takes big step on renewables
Denver commitments to green up city facilities build on a climate agenda outlined by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI, July 18, 2018
Largest U.S. wind farm dealt potentially fatal blow in Texas
By Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Christopher Martin, Bloomberg, July 26, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
“‘The costs are known,’ DeAnn Walker, chairman of the Texas commission, said Thursday at a hearing. ‘But the benefits are based on a lot of assumptions that are questionable.’”
Wind growth ‘slows’ in EU
WindEurope says 4.5GW added in 1H 2018 is in line with expectations
By Staff Writers, RE News, July 26, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
City Of Los Angeles Wants To Turn Hoover Dam Into World’s Largest Pumped Energy Storage Facility
By Steve Hanley, Clean Techna, July 26, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Based on earlier calculations about 4 more are needed.]
Batteries have a dirty secret
Energy storage is considered a green technology. But it actually increases carbon emissions.
By David Roberts, VOX, July 21, 2018
Link to report: Managing the Future of Energy Storage
By Condon, Revest & Unel, Institute for Policy Integrity, New York University School of Law, April 2018
[SEPP Comment: The demand for lithium-ion batteries is supposed to skyrocket, will the 18% per year reduction in cost, called a learning curve, continue?]
Tesla Powerpacks aid Samoa’s transition to 100% renewable energy
By Simon Alvar3ez, Telsarati, July 24, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Promotion piece, hard number in five years may prove otherwise.]
California’s progress, or lack thereof, in cutting its emissions
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, July 25, 2018
“Also left unaddressed is the key question of how California is going to cut emissions from the non-electric sectors that contributed 84% of its total GHG emissions in 2016.”
[SEPP Comment: Given anti-nuclear nature of the politicians and public, nuclear is unlikely in the near future.]
California power grid urges consumers to conserve energy in heat wave
By Scott DiSavino, Reuters, July 23, 2018 [H/t Paul Sheridan]
Renewables Won’t Keep Californians Cool During Heat Waves
By Robert Bryce, Orange County Register, July 23, 2018
“Californians already pay about 60 percent more for their electricity than residents of other states.”
California – so advanced they can keep the lights on quite a lot of the time
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 24, 2018
Cancer Warning Labels Based on California’s Proposition 65
By Staff Writers, American Cancer Society, July 15, 2015
Health, Energy, and Climate
A New Study Links Rising Temperatures to an Increased Risk of Suicide
By Shobhan Morrin, Time Health, July 24, 2018 [H/t Climate Depot]
Link to paper: Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico
By Marshall Burke, et al. Nature, Climate Change, No Date
From the abstract: “Using comprehensive data from multiple decades for both the United States and Mexico, we find that suicide rates rise 0.7% in US counties and 2.1% in Mexican municipalities for a 1 °C increase in monthly average temperature.”
[SEPP Comment: Unrealistic precision in the calculations, making the findings meaningless.]
As it got hotter in Spain, less people died. Thank air conditioning and electricity.
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 2kl, 2018
Link to paper: Heat-related mortality trends under recent climate warming in Spain: A 36-year observational study
By Hicham Achebak, Daniel Devolder, Joan Ballester, PLOS, Medicine, July 24, 2018
Lawmakers Suggest Lawsuit-Happy Environmentalists Help China, Hurt National Security
By Kevin Mooney, The Daily Signal, July 20, 2018
Other Scientific News
The additive to background assumption in cancer risk assessment: A reappraisal
By Edward J. Calabrese, Environmental Research, June 8, 2018 [H/t John Dunn]
[SEPP Comment: Questioning if radiation risk increases risk of chemical carcinogen risk.]
Other News that May Be of Interest
By Jaime Jessop, Climate Scepticism, July 17, 2018
Few Air Conditioners in Seattle (and western Washington): The Dry Facts
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, July 23, 2018
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Friday Funny: The Miss Climate Beauty Pageant (no, really)
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 27, 2018
Sexy “Miss Climate” Competition to Combat Climate Change Apathy
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, July 27, 2018
We live in hope
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, July 27, 2018
“Australia’s top climate advisory panel has warned strongly against letting the recent mild and wet weather encourage complacency about climate change, insisting the long-term trend remains as alarming as ever.” Sydney Morning Herald, 15 Mar 2012
The clock is running!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, July 24, 2018
“A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.
“In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole.
“Recovery is all but impossible, he argued, without a World War II-style transformation of industry—an acceleration of the effort to halt carbon pollution and remove it from the atmosphere, and a new effort to reflect sunlight away from the earth’s poles.
“This has do[sic] be done, Anderson added, within the next five years. ‘The chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero,’ Anderson said, ‘with 75 to 80 percent of permanent ice having melted already in the last 35 years.’” Gritpost, 19 Feb 2018
1. The Next Ice Age
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, July 23, 2018
“While most people still worry about global warming, I am more concerned about the next Ice Age. A glaciation would present a serious problem for survival of our present civilization, akin to a nuclear winter that many worried about 30 years ago.
“Nuclear winter is all fantasy, of course; but ice ages are for real.
“Natural warming of the Earth reached a peak 65 million years ago. The climate has been generally cooling ever since. Antarctic ice sheets started growing 25 million years ago. In the last 2.5 million years, the Earth entered the period of Ice Ages [the geological name is The Pleistocene] and has been experiencing periodic glaciations where much of the land was covered by miles-thick ice sheets.
“There have been about 17 glaciations, each lasting approx. 100,000 years, separated by short interglacials lasting about 10,000 years.
“We are approaching the likely end of the present warm inter-glacial, called The Holocene. It’s time to prepare for the next glaciation to see how we can overcome it – or at least postpone its onset.
“Although we don’t fully understand the gradual onset and sudden termination of each glaciation, their timing is determined by astronomical factors – the inclination and precession of the Earth’s spin axis. They control the amount of sunshine [solar energy] reaching northern latitudes. The mathematics was worked out by the Serbian astronomer Milankovitch, but the physics is not yet certain.
“It is currently believed that a glaciation gets underway when a northern snow field [at latitude of about 65 degree N] survives during the summer and then gradually grows into an ice sheet.
“The survived snow field acts as a ‘trigger’ for commencing a glaciation. Its growth into an icesheet is conditioned by the ‘feedback’ as it reflects solar radiation and thus resists being melted by solar energy in the following summers.
“It is at this point where we can beneficially interfere. The effort involves two simple steps:
“Step 1. Locate any snow field that survives the summer, which can be done most readily by reviewing available satellite data.
“Step 2. Spread soot onto the snow field to reduce its albedo [reflectivity] and let the sun melt it during the following summer.
“Note that this proposal has low cost and little environmental risk – unlike schemes of geo-engineering to ‘fight’ global warming.
“This is a serious matter. The most recent glaciation which ended only 12,000 years ago covered Canada and the northern United States, as well as much of Europe. It left us the Great Lakes and also many small lakes in Minnesota. The total human population at that time is estimated about 100,000 Neanderthalers and eventually also Homo Sapiens.
“The present population explosion started with the growth of agriculture about 8,000 years ago. Harvest of crops continues to sustain such expansion, but may become impossible during a glaciation.
“We don’t know if the human population will shrink to the ‘carrying capacity’ of the Earth. The Neanderthalers were hunters; when they ran out of animals, they starved. But with likely supplies of unlimited energy and some human ingenuity, we may surmount this limit.”
2. ‘On Truth’ Review: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
A philosopher argues that truth is humble, not absolute: “A tentative judgment . . . is not the same as a dogmatic assertion of certainty.” Julian Baggini reviews “On Truth” by Simon Blackburn.
By Julian Baggini, WSJ, July 24, 2018
SUMMARY: The reviewer, philosopher, writes:
“Defenders of truth have had a big job in recent decades, first tackling the challenge of postmodernism and, more recently, the rise of ‘post-truth.’ Simon Blackburn dealt with the first in his 2005 ‘Truth: A Guide.’ Perhaps surprisingly, he gets post-truth briskly out of the way early on in his second short, nonacademic book with ‘truth’ in the title. That is perhaps because he correctly diagnoses that there is no ‘crisis in the very concept of truth.’ Certain politicians might be playing fast and loose with truth, but ‘perjury is still a serious crime, and we still hope that our pilots and surgeons know their way about.’ The very fact that we deplore the disregard of truth is proof that we still value it.
“The post-truth phenomenon is largely a crisis of trust. The proliferation and Balkanization of news sources, abetted by the cloak of web anonymity, has left people feeling that they ‘have been denied trustworthy sources of information,’ Mr. Blackburn writes. In response, they ‘take refuge in believing whatever they would like to be true.’ If you can’t trust anyone or anything, you are left only trusting your gut.
“‘On Truth’ addresses this loss of trust obliquely, stepping back and examining how we can best reinstate our minds as judges. The first part runs through the standard textbook theories of truth, and the second deals with truth in specific contexts, particularly art, ethics and religion. This potentially dry structure allows the author, a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, to develop a sustained argument in defense of truth. As in his earlier books, Mr. Blackburn displays a rare combination of erudite precision and an ability to make complex ideas clear in unfussy prose.
If truth has seemed unattainable, he argues, it is because in the hands of philosophers such as Plato and Descartes it became so purified, rarefied and abstract that it eluded human comprehension. Mr. Blackburn colorfully describes their presentation of truth as a ‘picture of an entirely self-enclosed world of thought, spinning frictionless in the void.’
The reviewer discusses the alternatives from David Hume and American pragmatists such as Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewey. Then continues:
Put crudely, for the pragmatists ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating.’ We take to be true what works. Newton’s laws got us to the moon, so it would be perverse to deny that they are true. It doesn’t matter if they are not the final laws of physics; they are true enough. ‘We must remember that a tentative judgment of truth is not the same as a dogmatic assertion of certainty,’ says Mr. Blackburn, a sentence that glib deniers of the possibility of truth should be made to copy out a hundred times. Skepticism about truth only gets off the ground if we demand that true enough is not good enough—that truth be beyond all possible doubt and not just the reasonable kind.
Truth of the more modest variety is neither mysterious nor elusive. We accept things as true not because they are immune from any conceivable doubt but because they are supported by the evidence of experience. As a school of thought called ‘coherentism’ maintains, there is no rock-hard, indubitable foundation for our beliefs, only a mutually supporting web of beliefs that hang together.
Seen in this way, truth even has a role in ethics and aesthetics. Ethics does not establish facts akin to scientific laws, but it can get things more or less right. Racism and sexism, for example, rest on false views of human difference, and the morality of abortion cannot be divorced from truths about how the fetus develops. ‘Ethics is our technique for living,’ says Mr. Blackburn, ‘and like any technique it can be practiced well or badly.’
He is sympathetic to the different theories he presents, trying to find what is true in each of them, even when the whole is false. The exception is religion, in which he finds no substantive redeeming features. Religion needs ‘to weld people into a social unit or congregation,’ he writes, and for that it needs a faith that ‘deliberately stupefies the understanding’ with ideas of ineffability and mystery. The only kind of religion that Mr. Blackburn finds remotely intellectually credible is one in which we express awe and gratitude to an unknown source of being without any pretense of understanding it.
Given his stress on how provisional and uncertain our grasp of truth is, he could perhaps have been more accommodating. As he quotes Peirce saying, inquiry ‘is not standing upon the bedrock of fact. It is walking upon a bog, and can only say, this ground seems to hold for the present. Here I will stay until it begins to give way.’ Many non-fundamentalist forms of religion would seem to exemplify this spirit. Ironically, Mr. Blackburn’s own last words suggest that we can be justified in believing some things that we cannot rationally establish. Expressing his hope that the enemies of reason will not prevail, he leaves the reader with an exhortation to ‘have faith that the best will overcome the worst.’ Amen.