Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #324

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-Bureaucratic Science: Last week’s TWTW discussed Judith Curry’s review of a rather remarkable paper by retired MIT professor Carl Wunsch, who participated in 1979 report “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment,” headed by Jule Charney. The findings in Charney Report have become the core reasoning for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and many US government actions, including the EPA’s illogical finding that carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare.

Yet, the Charney Report presents no hard evidence that carbon dioxide (CO2) will cause a warming beyond a modest one demonstrated in numerous laboratories since the 1920s. Instead the Charney Report relies on speculative findings by five modeling groups, using the extremes for the upper and lower bounds in its finding. The characteristics of the participants described by Wunsch as reported by Curry are characteristic of what has been termed as groups think. They include:

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) A disregard for and disinterest in the ideas, opinions, and work of experts who are not part of the group;

4) 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; and, perhaps most importantly,

5) The failure to constantly test the basic tenets, instead to work hard to buttress them.

These characteristics were revealed in the Climategate emails, and are found in government-funded climate science, on which the US has spent over $40 billion, according to government reports, while largely ignoring strong, hard evidence contradicting the findings of the Charney Report. See last week’s TWTW, and links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.


Quote of the Week: “The image of a dangerous world has never been broadcast more effectively than it is now, while the world has never been less violent and more safe.” – Swedish statistician, the late Hans Rosling in “Factfulness” [H/t Roger Pielke, Jr. See Article # 1]

Number of the Week: 50 Million Gallons a Day


Saving the World: As if it were a follow-up, on August 1, the New York Times Magazine issued a digital special edition, with photographs and videos, on a segment of the history of climate science titled “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.” This illustrates, probably unintendedly, the extent that group think has extended into segments of the public.

Decades of laboratory experiments show that all atmospheric gases affect the flow of radiant energy from the sun to earth (including its atmosphere), and from the earth to space. Those that slow the flow of infrared radiation, which is not visible, from the earth to space, are called greenhouse gases and warm the planet particularly at night. By far, water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas in both concentration and absorption efficiency. Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas both in concentration and absorption efficiency. It was long recognized that the absorption ability of CO2 was limited and at pre-industrial levels of CO2 was approaching saturation levels, where the effect of any increased concentration is insignificant. (A graph showing heating effects versus concentration of CO2 is highly logarithmic, becoming almost horizontal at current CO2 levels.)

The NYT’s show opens with pictures of melting ice, destroyed homes (perhaps by tornado), and flooded residences interspaced with black screens with the following captions:

· Thirty years ago, we had a chance to save the planet.

· The science of climate change was settled.

· The world was ready to act.

Then it gives an editor’s note by Jake Silverstein:

“This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it.” [Boldface added]

The history discusses some of the earlier participants in the realization that industrialization was increasing global CO2 concentrations. But, it fails to discuss the laboratory evidence that CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas. Instead, it focuses on the participants in the Charney Report, particularly the modelers such as Jim Hansen. The Charney Report does not discuss observational data, evidence, but presents speculation from models. As later written by Wunsch,

“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.”

The NYT narrative then goes into politics and how the usual villains are sabotaging “true science.” Those interested in the personalities involved may be interested in reading it. But the skeptic may ask: why does this history stop in 1989?

One possible answer is that March 1990 saw the publication of a paper by Roy Spencer and John Christy “Precise Monitoring of Global Temperature Trends from Satellites.” Initially, the paper was well-received, and Spencer and Christy received significant honors. But, soon the climate establishment realized the atmospheric temperature trends did not support the modeling in the Charney Report, which was adopted by the IPCC, formed in 1988. And, driven by the fear of carbon dioxide-caused warming, the US government was opening the spending floodgates for “climate science.” Spencer and Christy were shunned, their work vilified, “discredited.” Small errors in orbit calculations were found, the satellites had no thrusters to maintain precise orbits. These errors were acknowledged and promptly corrected as required by rigorous science. Yet, editors of western journals, such as Science, declared they would no longer accept articles that question the established science – a science built on speculation, not evidence.

The NYT’s history of climate science is reminiscent of the formation of modern science, natural philosophy, particularly astronomy. The ideas of a heliocentric system of planetary motion, rather than an earth-centered system, by Copernicus (1473-1543) had no facts, hard evidence, substantiating their adoption. Yet, those who formed modern science had immense patience in observation and great boldness in forming hypotheses. And they understood the necessity of testing the hypotheses. Decades after Copernicus, Galileo (1564-1642) accepted the heliocentric system and discovered the telescope to collect data to substantiate the hypothesis. But his views were limited by concept that planetary orbits must be perfect circles. Using the observations of Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), Galileo’s contemporary, Kepler (1561-1630), greatly simplified the Galileo’s scheme by developing three laws of planetary motion, including elliptical orbits.

All these men were vilified for questioning views from ancient times. It fell on Newton (1643-1727) to bring together the views of Galileo and Kepler, showing that the laws of motion apply to objects on earth and celestial bodies in his “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.” Newton improved on the telescope, which he used to test his hypotheses with evidence. Of course, Newton was criticized for this work and he famously stated:

“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”

If the NYT’s piece, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” is to be considered a history, it is best likened to a history of astronomy before the telescope and careful observations. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.


Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award: During the luncheon of The Heartland Institute’s “America First Energy Conference 2018,” on August 7, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel; SEPP will be honored to 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, when he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. (Note the change in schedule.)

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 him and his important work. See commentary above and for conference information see http://americafirstenergy.org/


Need For Both – Models and Observations: Consulting Meteorologist Anthony Sadar has an article in the Washington Examiner emphasizing that modeling is a vital part of modern science and may be replacing the traditional “’scientific method,” which consists of observation, hypothesis and testing, with rigorous testing of a hypothesis eventually leads to a “theory.”

Sadar points out that mathematically modeling is essentially an investigative tool, that can greatly benefit our understanding of complex nature. But, the trend may be disturbing. Sadar uses quotes from “A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming” by Professor Paul Edwards:

“…a supporter of the ‘consensus’ view of climate change, asserts that ‘Everything we know about the world’s climate — past, present, and future — we know through models.’ He also notes that ‘without models, there are no data.’


“Models have become integral to modern scientific practice. In many fields, Edwards says ‘computer models complement or even replace laboratory experiments; analysis and simulation models have become principal means of data collection, prediction, and decision making.’”

One is tempted to ask: In what decade does Professor Edwards dwell? As explained above, since 1990 we have had data of atmospheric temperature trends, with the data going back to late 1978, almost 40 years. These data directly contradict the atmospheric temperature trends calculated from all but one of the many climate models used by the IPCC. Further, these data show that models greatly overestimate temperature trends in the critical tropics at every elevation from the surface to about 60,000 feet (18km).

Models are important to modern scientific research. But they must be rigorously tested against physical evidence, not similar models. If they test poorly, they have little value in prediction. And elaborate schemes built on such models are little better than elaborate schemes of planetary motion developed by medieval scientists to justify the earth-centered universe. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, especially the 2018 paper by Christy, et al. p. 3600, fig. 18.


Southern California’s Problem: The fear of carbon dioxide and the fear of nuclear energy are putting the economic future of Southern California into doubt. It appears to be headed in the direction of dramatically increasing electricity rates. A significant portion of the electricity delivered to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) comes from the Navajo Generating Station, which the Obama administration stated needed significant upgrades. LADWP has withdrawn from a plan to make the upgrades, probably with the intent of obtaining power elsewhere, but where? Wind and solar are not reliable sources.

The nuclear power plants in southern California are scheduled to be closed, giving greens and politicians their dream of making California nuclear-free. What is not discussed is how this dream impacts on the major interconnector transmitting power between Southern California and the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific DC Intertie, which takes advantage of differing power demand patterns between the two regions.

During winter, the northern region needs power for heating, while consumption is low in the southern region. During summer, the power need of the north is reduced while the south needs power for air conditioning. Also, there is a day-night exchange to balance out nuclear power generation the night, when there is an excess. Effectively, the hydropower of the of the Columbia River system acts as a pumped-storage system for southern California using the Pacific DC Intertie. The line capacity is 3,100 megawatts, almost half LADWP electrical system’s peak capacity, enough to serve almost three million households.

The power from the south comes from nuclear power plants scheduled to be closed and lessens demands the largest hydroelectric system in the US, operated by the Bonneville Power Administration. How the lack of power from the south will affect operations is not clear.

Now, the LADWP has proposed using Hoover Dam for a pumped storage system for solar and wind power. How states such as Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, which have drainage systems going into the Colorado, and which are part of the 1920’s Colorado River Compact will react is anyone’s guess. Further, the Colorado River once flowed mightily into the Sea of Cortez, but no more. How Mexico will react is anyone’s guess. Roger Andrews provides an analysis of the practicality of the LADWP proposal. See link under California Dreaming.


Number of the Week: 50 Million Gallons a Day. The Carlsbad Desalination Plant has announced that it delivers nearly 50 million gallons of fresh, desalinated, drinking water to the people of San Diego County per day. It uses technology designed by Israelis of prefiltering the water with inexpensive material to remove algae that can clog the expensive filters used in reverse osmosis to remove the salt.

As Roger Bezdek has written, Tidewater Virginia, with the largest naval base in the world, is suffering a problem from the land subsiding. The primary cause is ground water extraction from the Virginia coastal plain aquifers. The total extraction is about 120 million gallons per day, a little more than twice the drinking water delivered by the Carlsbad plant.

It would make far more sense to address the problem directly by using desalination to eliminate groundwater extraction for urban uses, than to pretend the problem is caused by fossil fuels, the elimination of which will do nothing. See links under Other News that May Be of Interest.




Nominations closed on July 30, and voting will close on August 19.

The two leading candidates are Governor Jerry Brown of California, who is leading the state into a future of high electricity costs, and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State who wants an Apollo program for replacing carbon-based fuels. He and his staff are probably unaware that veterans of the Apollo program used their hard science to determine that CO2 presents no pressing problem.

Others nominated include Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon; Jacinda Arden, PM, of New Zealand who wishes to eliminate nuclear and sources of greenhouse gases, including livestock; Bill Nye, the non-science guy; Angela Merkel, PM of Germany; Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of NYC for contributions to the Paris Agreement; Al Gore, obvious; Publisher of the New York Times; and Lord Stern, UK, for imaginative statistical techniques, making something of low future value appear valuable today.

Still others include David King, former UK science advisor; Eric Schneiderman, former AG of New York for promoting frivolous litigation at the expense of users of fossil fuels: Catharine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment & Climate Change; Pope Francis; Michael Mann, promoter of climate fears, who did not get a Nobel; Paul Krugman, promoter of climate fears; Paul R. Ehrlich, misanthrope, who did not get a Nobel; Malcolm Turnbull, PM of Australia where NEG means No Electricity Generated; Maxine Waters, acquisitions unlimited; Ben Santer, who helped change the IPCC from a scientific organization to a political pressure group.

Please send in your votes for one of these exceptional candidates.


Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Another Climate Scientist Finds A ‘Robust Solar Signal on Climate’ With Solar-ENSO ‘Phase-Locking’

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, July 28, 2018


Bad timing: Solar flares disrupted radio communications during September 2017 Atlantic hurricane relief effort

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 30, 2018


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

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


Summary: http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/pdf/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015


Download with no charge


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008


Challenging the Orthodoxy

The perils of ‘near-tabloid science’

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. July 22, 2018 [H/t WUWT]


Precise Monitoring of Global Temperature Trends from Satellites

By Roy W. Spencer, John R. Christy, Science, Mar 30, 1990


pdf: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3df9/8bcb9339eef80fa230754280b69798890c48.pdf

Examination of space-based bulk atmospheric temperatures used in climate research

By John Christy, Roy spencer, William Braswell and Robert Junod, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Mar/ 8, 2018


Climatology’s startling error – an update

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, July 30, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Monckton updating his experiences in trying to publish the error he found in global climate models.]

The changing climate of science

By Anthony Sadar, Washington Times, July 30, 2018


“In the introduction to his acclaimed book, ‘A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming ‘ (MIT Press, 2010), Professor Paul Edwards, a supporter of the ‘consensus ‘ view of climate change, asserts that ‘Everything we know about the world’s climate — past, present, and future — we know through models. ‘ He also notes that ‘without models, there are no data.’”

The ‘Heartbeat’ of the Deep State, Climate, Corruption, and Lack of Accountability.

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, July 28, 2018


Warmer weather is a lifesaver

By Benny Peiser, GWPF, The Conservative Woman, July 31, 2018


Pushing the Great American Desert Eastward – Reality or Hype?

Guest essay by Rick Yarnell, WUWT, July 31, 2018


Defending the Orthodoxy

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change

By Nathaniel Rich, Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz, NT Times Mag, Aug 1, 2018


Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (1979)

By Jule Charney, et al., National Academy of Sciences, 1979


Greenhouse gases are warming the world—but chilling Antarctica. Here’s why

By Sid Perkins, Science Mag, July 19, 2018 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Carbon taxes a mixed blessing for the climate

By Geoffrey Heal, The Hill, July 29, 2018


NYT: Global Greening, Faster Plant Growth, is Bad

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 31, 2018


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Bombshell: New York Times Debunks #ExxonKnew Climate Campaign

By Spencer Walrath, Energy in Depth, Aug 1, 2018 [H/t WUWT]


People Aren’t Buying NY Times Magazine’s Claim We Could Have Stopped Global Warming in the 1980s

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Aug 1, 2018


After Paris!

Who wants to aim for the Paris policy or worse the 2 °C target and starve 84 million more people?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 31, 2018


Link to paper: Inclusive climate change mitigation and food security policy under 1.5 ◦C climate goal

By Shinichiro Fujimori et al., Environmental Research Letters, July 13, 2018


Change in US Administrations

Trump moves to roll back Obama emission standards

By Timothy Cama and Miranda Green, The Hill, Aug 2, 2018


Trump EPA to keep and defend Obama smog rule

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 1, 2018


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Germans Like Talking “Climate Protection”, Yet Very Few Willing To Walk It

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 1, 2018


Seeking a Common Ground

Addressing the Stagnation of U.S. Operational Numerical Weather Prediction

By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, July 31, 2018


“But in the end, it is clear that the current structures, the result of legacy and administrative drift over decades, are failing. Only major restructuring and reimagining of U.S. environmental prediction can result in the necessary changes.

“The U.S. can easily regain leadership in weather prediction if we only have the will to acknowledge the current failed structures and replace them with something better.”

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Trump’s pick to head White House science office gets good reviews

By David Malakoff, Science, July 31, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


White House nominating new science adviser with extreme-weather background

By Miranda Green, The Hill, Aug 1, 2018


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

A 230-Year Record of Drought in Kazakhstan

Chen, F., Mambetov, B., Maisupova, B. and Kelgenbayev, N. 2017. Drought variations in Almaty (Kazakhstan) since AD 1785 based on spruce tree rings. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 31: 2097-2105., Aug 2, 2018


“In viewing the entire reconstruction, one characteristic is rather obvious, there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the drought record of the past few decades, except perhaps that it appears to be less variable and less severe. Thus, if there has been a CO2-induced influence on the drought record, it surely has been a favorable one.”

The Effects of CO2 and Temperature on Rice Yields

Wang, B., Li, J., Wan, Y., Li, Y., Qin, X., Gao, Q., Waqas, M.A., Wilkes, A., Cai, W., You, S. and Zhou, S. 2018. Responses of yield, CH4 and N2O emissions to elevated atmospheric temperature and CO2 concentration in a double rice cropping system. European Journal of Agronomy 96: 60-69. Aug 1, 2018


“Nevertheless, it is also important to note that this small 60 ppm increase in CO2 was sufficient to totally ameliorate the negative impacts of elevated temperature on the yields of early rice and was an additive enhancement on yields for late season rice.”

Elevated CO2 Overpowers the Effects of Drought in Wheat

Uddin, S., Löw, M., Parvin, S., Fitzgerald, G.J., Tausz-Posch, S., Armstrong, R., O’Leary, G. and Tausz, M. 2018. Elevated [CO2] mitigates the effect of surface drought by stimulating root growth to access sub-soil water. PLoS ONE 13: e0198928.July 30, 2018


Models v. Observations

On Global Lukewarming

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Aug 2, 2018


“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” says lead author John Fyfe, a climate modeller at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, British Columbia. “We can’t ignore it.”

GRACE Satellite Measurements Show Models For Water Storage Trends Have Been Useless So Far!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 29, 2018


Link to paper: Global models underestimate large decadal declining and rising water storage trends relative to GRACE satellite data

By Bridget R. Scanlon et al., PNAS, Jan 22, 2018


Portugal’s Met Office retracts hottest day prediction, blames extreme weather for mistake

By Alice Cuddy, Euro News, Euro News, Aug 1, 2018 [H/t WUWT]


“The forecasts were the result of a “statistical method” applied to numeric models, it said.”

“The weather service said the miscalculation was the result of ‘a very marked variation of temperatures’ in the country.”

[SEPP Comment: Cool weather caused an overestimate of warm temperatures in the models?]

Model Issues

Why Are Siberian Temperatures Plummeting While the Arctic Warms?

The answer involves the intricacies of stratospheric circulation, which, if better represented in climate models, could help predict extreme weather events in Siberia and elsewhere.

By Kimberly M. S. Cartier, EOS, July 26, 2018


Measurement Issues — Surface

Thermal Imaging Shows Japan’s Recent Record High Temp An Artefact Of Urban Heat Sinks!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 1, 2018


Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH Global Temperature Update for July, 2018: +0.32 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 1, 2018


July 2018 Map and Graph

By Staff Writers, Global Temperature Report, Earth System Science Center, UAH, Aug 2018


Changing Weather

The blueprint for El Niño diversity

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, July 26, 2018


Link to paper: El Niño–Southern Oscillation complexity

By Axel Timmermann, et al., Nature, July 25, 2018


Europe Heat Wave: Questioning Man’s Attribution

By Joe Bastardi, Patriot Post, July 28, 2018 [H/t Paul Homewood]


“Let me propose something for our Euro friends here.

“Atlantic sea surface temperatures have undergone two major transitions. The first is the huge drop in the northwest Atlantic from 2012.”

“The second is the temperature drop in the tropics, which you can plainly see above.”

108 Graphs From 89 New Papers Invalidate Claims Of Unprecedented Global-Scale Modern Warmth

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Aug 2, 2018


Meteorologist Joe Bastardi Shows How Texas Climatologist’s Permadrought Predictions Flopped

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 30, 2018


Bob Ward’s Misinformation Campaign

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 1, 2018


A Geological Perspective of Wildfires

Guest essay by David Middleton, WUWT, July 31, 2018


Global Warming? Kangaroos Dying of Cold and Hunger in Australia’s Capital

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Aug 1, 2018


Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations

Homo Sapiens — made for surviving extreme environments

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 2, 2018


Link to paper: Defining the ‘generalist specialist’ niche for Pleistocene Homo sapiens

By Patrick Roberts & Brian A. Stewart, Nature Human Behaviour, July 30, 2018


“From the abstract: More recently, however, attention has been turned towards humans’ unique ecological plasticity.

“We argue, based on comparison with the available information for other members of the genus Homo, that our species developed a new ecological niche, that of the ‘generalist specialist’.”

Carbon ‘leak’ may have warmed the planet for 11,000 years, encouraging human civilization

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 2, 2018


Link to paper: Increased nutrient supply to the Southern Ocean during the Holocene and its implications for the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 rise

By Anja Studer, et al. Nature Geoscience, July 30, 2018


Changing Seas

Worst red tide bloom in over a decade kills hundreds of marine mammals along Florida’s west coast

By Chaffin Mitchell, Accuweather, Aug 2, 2018


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Skyrockets…Atlantic Surface Cold Surprises Experts

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 3, 2018


Changing Earth

Plate tectonics not needed to sustain life

By Liam Jackson, Science Daily, Aug 1, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Link to paper: Carbon Cycling and Habitability of Earth-Sized Stagnant Lid Planets

By Bradford J. Foley and Andrew J. Smye, Astrobiology, July 1, 2018


From the abstract: “Specifically, we determine the conditions under which such planets can maintain rates of CO2 degassing large enough to prevent global surface glaciation but small enough so as not to exceed the upper limit on weathering rates provided by the supply of fresh rock, a situation which would lead to runaway atmospheric CO2 accumulation and an inhospitably hot climate.”

[SEPP Comment: The studies assume CO2 has a significant impact on climate.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Environmentalist scare stories – Never mind!

Solid evidence shows there is no “bee-pocalypse,” but alarmists allege new pesticide threats

By Paul Driessen, WUWT, July 31, 2018


Un-Science or Non-Science?

Climate change could increase heat wave deaths 2,000 percent by 2080: study

By Justin Wise, The Hill, Aug 1, 2018


Quantifying excess deaths related to heatwaves under climate change scenarios: A multicountry time series modelling study

By Yuming Guo, et al, PLOS Medicine, July 31, 2018


From abstract:” The changes in 2031–2080 compared with 1971–2020 range from approximately 2,000% in Colombia to 150% in Moldova under the highest emission scenario and high-variant population scenario, without any adaptation.”

[SEPP Comment: Based on long-term projections from models that cannot predict atmospheric temperatures for the short-term.]

Lowering Standards

L. A. Times Ca. climate alarmist wildfire story hides key studies showing global & Ca. wildfires in decline

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin, WUWT, Aug 1, 2018


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

Researchers: Never Let the Press Office Quote You

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, July 31, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Good reminder of problems that occur with press offices. See article immediately below. The pH of battery acid is about 1.0 not near 0, the pH of hydrochloric acid.]

Mapping Mountaintop Coal Mining’s Yearly Spread in Appalahcia

New mapping tool uses satellite images to track annual changes in mining’s footprint

Press Release, Duke Today, July 25, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Mapping the Yearly Extent of Surface Coal Mining in Central Appalachia Using Landsat and Google Earth Engine,

By Andrew Pericak, et al, PLOS ONE, July 25, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197758

[SEPP Comment: The video looks ever-expanding, but without scale appears to be including valleys, etc. According to the press release: the satellite imagery (1985 to 2015) is estimated to be 21,000 acres, (85 square km (km2)) then expanded to a total of 1.5 million acres (6070 km2) since the 1970s, an area over 70 times larger than covered by satellite imagery. According to the abstract, the area from imagery was estimated to be 2900 km2, then expanded to include 5900 km2, about twice the area covered by the imagery]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Latest Air Pollution Scare Debunked

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 3, 2018


A hellish July validates climate change forecasts

With the cost of climate change to the U.S. economy averaging $240 billion a year, America can’t afford not to act: Our view

Editorial, USA Today, July 30, 2018


Link to report: The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States

By Robert Watson, former Chair of the IPCC, James McCarthy, Prof of Oceanography, and Liliana Hisas, Executive Director of Universal Ecological Fund, Universal Ecological Fund, September 2017 [Boldface added, Link did not work]

“A Universal Ecological Fund study last year priced the cost of climate change to the U.S. economy at an average of $240 billion a year.”

[SEPP Comment: A month of hot weather with elevated summer day-time highs validates 80-year forecasts by global climate models?]

Reality Check: Most King Penguin Populations Have Been Increasing, Not Declining

By Benny Peiser, GWPF, Aug 1, 2018


Climate change threatens puffin colony–BBC Fake News

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 2, 2018


Graph of the week – The strawman argument

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 31, 2018


Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Global warming is not people’s most pressing concern

Most people don’t really care, don’t think it affects them much, and don’t believe the hype

Guest opinion by Tom Harris, WUWT, Aug 1, 2018


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

We Are All Climate Refugees Now

By Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Project Syndicate, Aug 2, 2018


“Modern humans, born into one climate era, called the Holocene, have crossed the border into another, the Anthropocene.”

[SEPP Comment: According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the current era is the Meghalayan, which began 4,200 years ago with a cooling event that severely impact cultures and civilizations.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Trump clashes with business on Obama-era climate treaty

By Amy Harder, AXIOS, July 30, 2018


“’There’s no question that the administration is working to reduce regulation,’ said Kevin Fay, executive director of The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy. ‘We’ve interpreted that as reduce or rely on smart regulation, and we put this in the latter category.’

“Fay represents companies like Carrier, Honeywell and Dow that make or use chemicals and equipment that contain the gases. HFC’s a replacement for other gases that depleted the Earth’s ozone layer. But since they’re contributing to climate change, they’re now targeted for reduction.”

Washington’s War on Air Conditioning

By Ben Lieberman, Morning Consult, July 31, 2018


Questioning European Green

The European Union Rejected Genome Edited Crops

A court decision condemns farmer to using pesticides instead

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Aug 1, 2018


“A 2014 German survey found that the introduction of genetic modification elsewhere in the world had reduced pesticide use by 36.9 per cent on average, while increasing yields by 21.6 per cent. No wonder we are having to import more of our cattle feed from the Americas.”

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

By Eric Niler, Wired, July 30, 2018


Is Recycling About to Hit the Fan?

More countries are cutting back on waste imports

By Andrew Montford, GWPF, Aug 2, 2018


Polar bears do not outnumber people in Svalbard and the backlash against ecotourism over a justified defensive kill

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Aug 2, 2018


Questioning Green Elsewhere

Meat, Dairy Industry Surpass Big Oil As World’s Biggest Polluters

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 31, 2018


“As for the rest of those poor devils in the Third World, reducing emissions is apparently more important than a decent diet. (That phrase about ‘nutritional requirements’ has an Orwellian touch about it).”

Thank Heavens For The New Campaign Against Plastic Straws

By Franics Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Aug 2, 2018


Litigation Issues

Case Dismissed – Federal Judge puts the final nail in the coffin of California’ ‘Global Warming Lawsuit’ against oil companies

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 31, 2018


Link to Court Order: City of Oakland, et al. v. BP P.L.C. et al

Order Granting Motions to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, July 27, 2018


Federal Court Dismisses New York City’s Climate Lawsuit

By H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute, Aug 1, 2018


Frivolous climate change lawsuits could leave cities in ruin

By Bob McClure, Washington Examiner, Aug 1, 2018 [H/t Willie Soon]


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Climate taxes on agriculture could lead to more food insecurity than climate change itself

By Petr Havik and Hugo Valin, International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, July 30, 2018


Link to paper: Risk of increased food insecurity under stringent global climate change mitigation policy

By Tomoko Hasegawa, et al., Nature Climate Change, July 30, 2018


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

From “Solar Valley To Death Valley”… How Germany’s Solar Industry Imploded – German Autos Next To Go?

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 21, 2018


New Solar Capacity Dries Up

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 1, 2018


EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA announces largest voluntary recall of trucks over faulty emissions controls

By Miranda Green, The Hill, July 31, 2018


Trump administration reverses rule that banned pesticide use in wildlife refuges

By Miranda Green, The Hill, Aug 3, 2018


“Animal conservation groups Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation, however, hailed the decision.” [as benefiting the animals the refuge system intends to protect.]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Google starts work on third data center in Singapore

By Paul Mah, Datacenter Dynamics, Aug 1, 2018


[SEPP Comment: At 1.4 deg N latitude, should be ideal for solar power, which appears not featured.]

Energy Issues – Australia

The Crash Test Dummy speeds up: our Renewable Target is 16% and rising, so are our electricity prices

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 29, 2018


Windpower set to destroy Victorian baseload power just as it did in South Australia

Crash Test Dummy Update: Data analysis thanks to Tom Quirk

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 3, 2018


“No bias here” says Aust Energy Market chief while planning 100% for unnecessary, pointless renewables transition

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 2, 2018


Time to Drain the Energy Swamp

By Viv Forbes, Carlin Economics and Science, Aug 3, 2018


Energy Issues — US

How Utilities Make Sure We Have Electricity Access in Extreme Weather

By Constance Douris, Real Clear Energy, July 31, 2018


“A resilient distribution system requires three things: prevention, recovery, and survivability. Prevention involves hardening the distribution system to limit damage. Recovery includes tools and techniques to restore service for customers. Survivability is the application of technologies to ensure customers have some level of normal electricity access when the grid is not completely operating.”

[SEPP Comment: For the entire system to be resilient, it must have the ability to expand and contract generation when needed. The otherwise useful article loses credibility with assertion such as: “Batteries in electric vehicles could even be used to supply energy to a home during an outage.”]

To Secure America’s Power Sector, Invest in Infrastructure and Free Markets

By Dan K. Eberhart, Real Clear Energy, July 31, 2018


Microsoft wants to deploy 72 gensets in Quincy, WA

The plan to eliminate diesel generators from the data center campus hasn’t worked out

By Max Smolaks, Datacenter Dynamics, Aug 2, 2018


Commentary: When Trump calls Russia a ‘competitor’ for the US, he might be talking about natural gas exports

By Anna Mikulska, Rice University, Farmington Daily Times, (New Mexico), July 29, 2018


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Minerals as Manufacturing: The Case of Oil and Gas

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Aug 1, 2018


“If resources are not fixed but created, then the nature of the scarcity problem changes dramatically. For the technological means involved in the use of resources determines their creation and therefore the extent of their scarcity. The nature of the scarcity is not outside the process (that is natural), but a condition of it.”– Tom DeGregori (1987). “Resources Are Not; They Become: An Institutional Theory.” Journal of Economic Issues, p. 1258.

The U.S. Is Still The Global Natural Gas King

By Robert Rapier, Forbes, July 29, 2018


Energy Secretary Rick Perry: ‘True energy independence is finally within our grasp’

Energy Secretary Perry says the U.S. is producing more energy due to innovation, deregulation and pro-growth policies.

“Nowhere is this stunning turnaround more dramatic than with natural gas,” he writes.

By Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy, CNBC, July 29, 2018


Perry: US to become net energy exporter within 18 months

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 31, 2018


“The EIA predicted earlier this year in its Annual Energy Outlook that the United States would become a net exporter in 2022, two years later than Perry’s expectation.”

Report: Permian decline rate may be steeper than thought

As tight oil wells mature, tough questions arise about modelling for late-life performance

By Mella McEwen, MRT.com/Midland Reporter-Telegram, Aug 2, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Not enough data to draw conclusions.]

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks, Power Line Breaks & Consequences

Aerial drones broaden energy industry’s horizon

By Jose R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle, July 25, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Sandia simulates used fuel storage cask temperatures

By Staff Writers, WNN, July 19, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

What it will take for the U.S. offshore wind energy market to set sail

By Ucilia Wang, GreenBiz, July 26, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Link to report: 2016 Cost of Wind Energy Review

By Tyler Stehly, Donna Heimiller, and George Scott, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (US), December 2017


“Calculations by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed that the average cost of building and operating an offshore wind farm (with fixed foundation) over its lifetime was 18.1 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2016, without factoring in government subsidies, according to a report (PDF) by the lab. The national goal is to hit 9.3 cents per kWh by 2030, Duerr said.

“For comparison, the same report showed that the average cost for land-based wind energy had dropped to 5 cents per kWh.”

[SEPP Comment: The article starts by discussing a 2010 planned investment by Google in off-shore wind. Not discussed is did Google discover that there is no practical method for making off-shore wind power reliable?]

EU coal regions—opportunities and challenges ahead

By Staff Writers, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), ViaPhys.orgAugust 1, 2018,


[SEPP Comment: Replacing coal mines with solar and wind will keep people warm on a cold, still winter night?]

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: July 30, 2018

By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, July 30, 2018


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

The Bloom Energy IPO, Tesla And The Shale Technology Revolution

By Mark P. Mills, Forbes, July 25, 2018


California Dreaming

The Hoover Dam pumped hydro proposal

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Aug 1, 2018


Oh Mann!

Court Finally Unlocks Climategate Scandal Email Stonewall

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, July 30, 2018


“At long last, an Arizona Court has finally ruled to end actions by the University of Arizona (UA) to obstruct requests for public release of e-mails which can shed light upon scientifically dubious and intentionally misleading climate research practices which have had enormously far-reaching and costly government policy consequences.”

[SEPP Comment: The Mann-Bradley-Hughes temperature reconstruction, with the YAD06, which Steve McIntyre called “most influential tree in the world.” (TWTW 7-7-18)]

Other News that May Be of Interest

50 Million Gallons a Day

The Pacific is Now on Tap

Claud “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant web site


Water Intrusion in the Chesapeake Bay Region: Is It Caused by Climate-Induced Sea Level Rise?

By Roger H. Bezdek, Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, August 2017



Pot calling the kettle

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, July 29, 2018


“Bill Moyers, the founding director of Public Affairs Television in Washington, retired three months ago, one of the United States’ most honoured journalists. Harvard Medical School that same month named him the recipient of its fourth annual Global Environmental Citizen Award.

“’Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven. Ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.’” Sydney Morning Herald, 9 Mar 2005

To plant, or not to plant?

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Aug 2, 2018


“Plant trees to soak up carbon dioxide – why not? But it’s more complicated than it sounds. As a meeting of the American Geophysical Union heard in December, computer models show that trees can cool the planet through photosynthesis, but only in the tropics.

“The problem is that forests are dark and absorb sunlight, thereby raising the planet’s temperature. Light-coloured landscapes reflect sunlight and cool things down. In the United States and Europe, ‘the climate benefits of planting will be nearly zero’, according to American ecologist Govindasamy Bala. In the seasonally snow-covered regions at higher latitudes, ‘planting trees could be actually counter-productive’.

“Other left field ideas include waiting for the next ice age, though best guesses put it at 40,000 years away.” The Sunday Age, 18 Feb 2007 – screen copy held by this website


1. Some Good News—About Natural Disasters, of All Things

In half a century, the average number of annual fatalities declined more than 80%.

By Roger Pielke Jr., WSJ, Aug 3, 2018


The professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, whose most recent book is “The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change” (CSPO, 2018) continues with his use of data, hard evidence, to counter those who are predicting ever increasing natural disasters, usually from increased CO2. After introducing the above Quote of the Week that the earth is becoming safer, Pielke writes:

“…A case in point: natural disasters. The earth will always be volatile, but despite recent fires, volcanoes and hurricanes, humanity currently is experiencing a stretch of good fortune when it comes to disasters.

“It’s difficult to be ‘factful’ about disasters—the vivid trauma of each event distracts observers from the long-term decrease in destructiveness. But climate activists make the problem worse by blaming every extreme weather event on human-caused climate change, hoping to scare people into elevated concern.


“Disasters certainly continue to cause catastrophic damage across the globe. The annual cost of disasters has doubled since reliable accounting of all events world-wide began in 1990, rising from about $100 billion to $200 billion a year in 2017 dollars.


“But it’s deceptive to track disasters primarily in terms of aggregate cost. Since 1990, the global population has increased by more than 2.2 billion, and the global economy has more than doubled in size. This means more lives and wealth are at risk with each successive disaster.


“Despite this increased exposure, disasters are claiming fewer lives. Data tracked by Our World in Data shows that from 2007-17, an average of 7,000 people each year were killed by natural disasters. In the decade 50 years earlier, the annual figure was more than 37,000. Seven thousand is still far too many, but the reduction represents enormous progress.


“The material cost of disasters also has decreased when considered as a proportion of the global economy. Since 1990, economic losses from disasters have decreased by about 20% as a proportion of world-wide gross domestic product. The trend still holds when the measurement is narrowed to weather-related disasters, which decreased similarly as a share of global GDP even as the dollar cost of disasters increased.


“The decrease in disaster damage isn’t a surprise, because as the world population and economy have grown, the incidence of the most damaging extreme events has hardly changed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2014 that there has been no increase in hurricanes, floods, droughts or tornadoes within the past 30 years. And 2018 is on track to have the lowest losses from disasters as a share of global GDP since 1990.


“It is then no surprise that the climate-disaster scare campaign has been ineffective at swaying public opinion. Gallup reported earlier this year that 63% of Americans worried a ‘great deal’ or ‘fair amount’ about climate change—the same level as in 1989, when the question was first posed. But though popular worry hasn’t boiled over, the public debate around climate change has become more politicized, more partisan and less ‘factful.’


“In place of today’s unproductive scare campaign, activists and the media should facilitate debate on the merits of actual climate-policy proposals, such as a carbon tax or improved flood defenses. Carbon dioxide emissions have indeed contributed to a global temperature increase and may yet influence extreme weather, so the public and policy makers must decide the best ways to reduce emissions and increase society’s resilience to extreme weather.


“The U.S. has a long way to go in this regard. Last year Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria together caused more than $300 billion of damage. Among other issues, the storms revealed the lack of proper planning and infrastructure in Houston and the unpreparedness of the federal government in Puerto Rico.


“Improving resilience to disasters will be easier if it is based on evidence. That means acknowledging both the progress made so far and the risks and vulnerabilities that lie ahead. As Rosling advises: ‘Factfulness, like a healthy diet and regular exercise, can and should become part of your daily life. . . . You will make better decisions, stay alert to real dangers and possibilities, and avoid being constantly stressed about the wrong things.’ It’s good advice.”


2. Trump’s Car Freedom Act

Easing fuel-mileage rules is a boon to auto makers and consumers.

Editorial, WSJ, Aug 3, 2018


SUMMARY: The editorial begins with:

“The Trump Administration’s deregulation is improving consumer choice and reducing costs from health care to appliances. Its proposed revisions Thursday to fuel economy rules continue this trend to the benefit of car buyers, not that you’d know it from the political hyperventilation.


“Corporate average fuel economy (Cafe) standards are a relic of the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which sought to reduce oil consumption by requiring manufacturers to produce more efficient cars. But the law has outlived its purpose as shale hydraulic fracturing has made the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer.


“Regulators aren’t clairvoyant, but the Obama bureaucrats were acutely blind—perhaps willfully so—to economic and technological trends in 2012 when they set a fleetwide average benchmark of 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency assumed unproven technologies would be widely adopted, but many have stalled or combusted. Dual-clutch transmissions resulted in a sudden loss of power and throttle, for example.


“The EPA projected that oil prices would be about $125 a barrel today and “high-cost petroleum liquids projects” in unstable regions and biofuels would be among the “most important components” of new supplies. Production in Venezuela and Libya has plunged, yet oil prices are about $70 per barrel as U.S. shale drillers increase output.


“Americans prefer bigger cars, which makes it harder for automakers to meet the escalating Cafe targets. SUVs and pick-ups make up about two-thirds of vehicle sales. Incremental improvements in fuel efficiency are also becoming more costly. Carmakers should be able to achieve the standards over the next couple of years due to credits for technologies like low-leakage air conditioning systems.


“But automakers would have to sell hundreds of thousands of electric cars—or buy credits from those that do—to meet future Cafe targets. And consumers aren’t buying electric cars en masse despite subsidies that can amount to $10,000 a car in California. Former CEO Sergio Marchionne estimated that Fiat Chrysler lost $20,000 on each electric car it sold. Carmakers then must raise prices on SUVs and pick-ups.


“As prices rise to meet the new standards, consumers would also wait longer to replace their cars. The average age of a car is approaching 12 years, up from about 8.5 in 1995. Newer cars are more efficient and safer, so longer vehicle turnover could result in more traffic fatalities and increased CO2 emissions.


“Enter Thursday’s Trump Administration proposal to freeze—not roll back—fuel economy standards at the current 2020 target of 37 miles a gallon. Credits would disappear, eliminating market distortions.”

The editorial closes with a discussion of possible political and judicial actions, including California suing for losing its place of special consideration.

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August 6, 2018 12:12 am

Hurricane probably go next to the Big Island in Hawaii.

Joel O’Bryan
August 6, 2018 12:21 am

Canada’s Catherine McKenna still has my vote as Climate Imbecile for 2018.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 6, 2018 2:32 am


I just can’t make up my mind on any of them. Each one brings something uniquely insane to the celebration of the insane.

Perhaps there should be specific awards for specific stupidity/destruction/lies/hysteria/zeal etc. A sort of alt-Nobel awards.

August 6, 2018 12:50 am
Reply to  ren
August 6, 2018 2:38 am


Great map. Mesmerising.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2018 2:56 am

I am pleased to.

August 6, 2018 3:16 am

Great summary.
But it is too long!

Leo Smith
August 6, 2018 3:36 am

Without wishing to detract from the criticisms of the Colorado river pumped storage proposal, which are in my opinion pretty well founded, it does seem to me that the antagonists are making one fundamentally invalid point, and that is that the pumped storage project would interfere with the use of the water for irrigation and drinking etc.

Whilst this might be a short term effect, absent of evaporation, simple common sense suggests that whatever flows into the Colorado river system has to flow out again, eventually.

That is, while the water is used as a storage medium in the meantime, it still ends up in the same volume where it used to. So there should be no impact on its use for potable water and irrigation.

In fact what it amounts to is using surplus electricity to short term recycle water up to lake Mead to improve the capacity factor of the main turbines.

It is, in my opinion, a very rare thing: A renewable energy proposal that almost makes sense!

What we have in Lake Mead etc, is a water limited hydroelectric scheme that runs at low capacity factor simply because there isn’t enough melt-water flowing in, in the first place.

This makes it – even without the pumped recirculation – a very useful peak following energy source.

Couple that with its location – in an uninhabited wilderness almost devoid of much life – it is also a perfect place for Solar PV deployment. And coupled with the fact that the wind always seems to blow in the Mojave, windmills too.

Depending on stochastic analysis the combined output of wind solar and hydro might come close to the water turbines nameplate capacity .

Adding in pumped might take it up to almost base-load capability at the water turbine capacity.

So my conclusion is that the project would not affect water availability, would sidestep most of the environmental issues associated with large-scale wind and solar, and solve the intermittency problem of the renewables.

Ultimately in an ideal apolitical world where engineering and facts run the decision making process, it would be judged on a pure cost benefit basis – wither the solution was in fact cheaper in terms of true levelised costs with subsidies and interest free loans taken out and externalities added in, than the nearest alternative.

Sadly I suspect that my original conclusions when I looked last this – or a similar project – some years back – have not changed: Namely that an ice cold river with a nice under utilised power line to civilisation, but actually stuck in the middle of an uninhabited desert, is in fact the ideal low cost situation for a nice fat nuclear plant. Which would provide better long term ROI than renewable energy.

The dam then provides handy ‘peak following’ for the nuke, which might be augmented by pumping as well.

The fact of the matter is that [pumped storage – especially when its half there already DOES enable a grid plan to dispense with a certain amount of peak following conventional power. Dinorwig in the UK is reckoned to have saved a gas or coal power station. And the attendant fuel burn.

What is also true is that there is enough intermittency in DEMAND already without adding to it with intermittent renewables. And even if you have massive hydro already its nearly always cheaper to add conventional or nuclear to it rather than windmills and solar panels.

So ultimately my judgement on the pumped storage on the Colorado is that its probably a halfway decent idea, especially if you add a nuke to it! However lacking decent cost benefit analysis its impossible to say, Use of the water is not an issue as I pointed out. Water may be delayed, but is never lost.

Gautam Kalghatgi
August 6, 2018 3:38 am

On another note – there has been a lot of recent talk about the death of the internal combustion engine. There is a recent peer-reviewed paper in Applied Energy challenging this premise. I can email a copy if anyone interested contacts me at kalghatgig@gmail.com – Gautam Kalghatgi FREng FSAE FIMechE FCI

Geoff Sherrington
August 6, 2018 3:54 am

Your quote of the week – “The image of a dangerous world has never been broadcast more effectively than it is now, while the world has never been less violent and more safe.” – Swedish statistician, the late Hans Rosling in “Factfulness” .

This compares neatly with another quote, this by Aaron Wildavsky, political scientist, University of California, in the New York Times, 1979. The scare topic of that era was the (wrong) forecast of an epidemic of cancers caused by man-made chemicals.

“How extraordinary! … The richest, longest lived, best protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology, is on its way to becoming the most frightened.”

Peta of Newark
August 6, 2018 5:23 am

Perfect: Points 1 thro 5 at the very top describe absolutely and exactly what happens with Magical Thinking.
Magical Thinking brought on by long term slowing (depression) of the central nervous system.
Beautifully exemplified by ‘alcoholics’ and long term cannabis users – both being very potent depressors of human thinking/thoughts and actions

DO NOT confuse this ‘depression’ with sadness or the state in ‘morose’ In fact the users of the depressant chemical, while actively imbibing, appear to be really happy, outgoing and uninhibited.

But you enter a discussion on anything even remotely controversial with A/any Drunk and what happens – you get your lights punched out if you’re not careful.
You CAN NOT change the mind of someone who is drunk and all the while they will insist they are not even drunk. They will call on their friends (the consensus) and relentlessly pass the buck. Blame anybody and everybody for whatever mishap might have befallen them. Including, getting into a discussion with you.

Why so widespread. Why *so* many people from so many places, societies, educations.
What is the common depressor?

Their diet(s) – all of them having roughly the same diet revolving around sugar, especially processed/cooked starch = glucose.
Then topped up with refined sugar and even some fermented sugar.

So how do you know if everyone is ‘drunk’ if *everyone* behaves the same and in fact, the same as you in all probability. Be careful, because the Magical Thinking will tell you that you are ‘just fine’

Easy to say but damn near impossible to do – quit the booze completely and as much sugar and carbohydrate from your own diet then report back 2 or 3 years later.

But you cannot do that can you? YOU are normal. YOU are not depressed. Everyone else is wrong.
I, me, this person here is perfectly fine – why should I endure 3 years of not drinking and sugar-free food.
The answer to that is your first introduction to the Magical Thought Bubble – by using those arguments you have just admitted to being inside your own Magical Thought Bubble.

See Geoff’s comment – why is EVERYONE so frightened of almost everything and anything.
Perfectly describes the ‘Over Active Startle Response’ = why someone jumps if you rouse them while they are half-asleep.
Or paranoia – endless needless worrying about stuff and things followed by hasty and ill considered responses which, more often than not, make things worse.

I’d venture that The Herd, our Collective Wisdom actually does know that something *is* going wrong out there – just as alcoholics and junkies will admit they know they are doing bad – but the comfort of the Thought Bubble (the Dopamine that the drug releases) pulls them back in…..
And there is THE common factor – we all want to feel good, we want it all the time, we want it to be healthy, inexpensive and easily available.
Carbohydrates fit the bill perfectly

August 6, 2018 8:17 am

Groupthink is what also happened to the news media we see today. They all went to the same schools, had the same professors, belonged to the same clubs, work in similar workplaces, came up professionally in basically the same fashion, socialize together, and have had the same basic relativistic morality drummed into them since at least their freshman year.

I have known more than one scientists with a PhD that was a charlatan and a snake oil salesman. They loved talking to the news media and the news media loved talking to them. After all if they made headlines it just might grease the skids towards more funding. The news media believed that these folks were experts in broad fields of study, after all they had PhDs. The media did no fact checking after talking to “their expert.” If “their expert PhD” was a good BS artist the reporter became convinced they didn’t need to fact check further.

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