The Week That Was: 2018-11-17 (November 17, 2018)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Correcting Errors: Making errors in works that have been published is always embarrassing. One of the purposes of peer review is to find possible errors and correct them before publication. Unfortunately, in climate science peer review has become political review – if the findings do not suit the reviewer’s political views, the work is rejected – the lack of space is a common excuse.
One of the fears of correcting errors is that the future work of the researchers may be discounted as Roy Spencer and John Christy discovered. The procedures they reported for calculating comprehensive atmospheric temperature trends from satellite data in their initial papers did not account for orbital decay. When the appropriate criticism was published, the error was quickly corrected. Further, the correction lead to strengthening their findings by independently verifying them with independent methods of estimating temperature trends, such as weather balloon datasets and reanalysis datasets, where forecasts from weather models are reanalyzed with data collected on what actually happened.
Unfortunately, supporters of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have still claimed that reports by Spencer and Christy (University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH)) are not credible. Both researchers, and other eminent researchers, have experienced difficulty in publishing in western journals. Using such a standard, the IPCC reports are not credible. For example, there is a wealth of data showing a medieval warm period and a little ice age world-wide. Yet, these were falsely eliminated by Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick using an inappropriate numerical model published by the IPCC. The hockey-stick still has not been corrected.
Given the political intensity of the climate issue, it is refreshing to read that members of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are exploring correcting their errors in mathematics / observations on ocean warming that were revealed by independent British researcher Nic Lewis, which were discussed in the last two TWTWs. Hopefully we will see more of this, no one is infallible, and errors occur. There should be no fault personally attributed if honest errors appear in excellent work. With corrections, not political disputes, science advances. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Correcting Errors
California Climate: There have been significant fires in two distinctly different areas of California. Each has housing in areas that are fire prone. The fires in southern California are near Los Angles, and the climate is hot-summer Mediterranean with moderate rainfall and mild winters. The vegetation is generally chaparral (shrubland) and grasses, which dry in the summer, with oak woodlands in the mountainous areas. Fires are a constant problem in the summer and fall, particularly after a wet winter-spring.
The worst fire has been in the area of Paradise, California, which is in the Sierra Nevada foothills north and east of the Sacramento Valley about 85 miles (137 km) north of Sacramento. The climate is classified as hot-summer Mediterranean and the community is spread out on a wide ridge between deep canyons formed by a branch of the Feather River and Butte Creek. Much of the recent housing is in area have young woodlands at elevations above 1,700 feet (525 m). The rainy season of 2016–2017 was considered Northern California’s wettest winter in over 100 years. The heavy snow and rain caused significant pressure on nearby Oroville Dam, and the spillway failed.
Much of what has been written about the tragic fires has ignored the distinction between the areas of Northern and Southern California and that heavy rains fell in Northern California of 2016-2017. This commentary will focus on the worst fire, near Paradise. It is here that news photographs show strings of burnt vehicles abandoned by those trying to flee the fires.
Unfortunately, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, has tried to pass blame for the tragedy on “climate change” – the perfect excuse for politicians. Not only was the prior year very wet in Northern California, a chart by NOAA, reproduced by Icecap, shows California has had no downtrend in annual precipitation since 1895. In fact, no trend at all for 120 years, except for wild changes over short periods of time. The chart shows that precipitation in California has drastically changed frequently, and this change is totally unrelated to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Meteorologist Cliff Mass, who is not a “climate denier,” gives his analysis of what apparently caused the fire – power lines downed by high winds. Mass states the conditions were predictable, and that under such circumstances power should be shut-off in vulnerable lines during periods of high winds. This is not an ideal solution, but it is better than what occurred.
The clear issue is that those living in fire-prone areas need to be protected by fire prevention and fire suppression measures, including measures the California government and the Federal government have been reluctant to take. Public safety has been subordinated to other political interests. See links under Changing Weather – California and Article # 1.
Road Diet: Anthony Watts, of Watts Up With That (WUWT), lived in Paradise and reports that a previous fire made him realize that living in the area was dangerous. The only paved escape route for those living at the higher elevations north and east of the town was a four-lane road going through town to the main highway to the south. Considering the earlier fire, Anthony moved. The escape route changed when a narrow road to the north was paved. Then in 2014, the town voted to narrow the four-lane escape route to a two-lane road in “the interests of safety.” It is on that road, prior to town, that strings of burnt-out vehicles sit, as the photos show. How many people died “in the interests of public safety?”
It turns out that narrowing roads has become fashionable programs in California and under the Federal government. According to the Office of Safety Programs of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):
“Four-lane undivided highways experience relatively high crash frequencies — especially as traffic volumes and turning movements increase over time — resulting in conflicts between high-speed through traffic, left-turning vehicles and other road users. FHWA has deemed Road Diets a proven safety countermeasure and promotes them as a safety-focused design alternative to a traditional four-lane, undivided roadway. Road Diet-related crash modification factors are also available for use in safety countermeasure benefit-cost analysis.”
How will the experience in Paradise be calculated into FHWA’s future benefit-cost analysis? See links under Changing Weather – California and California Dreaming.
Sun Spots: Space weather is changing with sun spots diminishing. The extreme upper atmosphere, the thermosphere, is cooling. Unfortunately, this cooling has prompted some commentators to imply that the entire atmosphere is cooling, it is not. The bulk atmosphere is warmer than the 1979 to October 2018 average. The upper atmosphere, the thermosphere and exosphere (top of the atmosphere (TOA)), have very little “air,” – molecules to warm or cool. A warming or cooling there is largely meaningless for the globe.
However, the strong relationship between sunspot activity and thermosphere warming and cooling creates a problem for those who have been advocating that upper atmosphere cooling is the result of carbon dioxide-caused warming. Also, it creates a problem with the databases including the upper atmosphere in temperature trends for the bulk atmosphere, such as those from the University of Washington. It may be that any conclusions about the top of the atmosphere warming or cooling must consider as solar activity rahter than CO2-caused.
Separately, there are some who comment that the declining solar activity will result in a Little Ice Age within a few years. In the view of TWTW, the inertia of energy retained in the oceans will moderate any initial cooling from a lower solar activity. It may take several solar cycles (decades) before any relationship is clearly established. See links under Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
State-Promoted Monopoly Profits? Last week’s number of the week stated that the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) reluctantly approved a project by Dominion Energy for wind facilities 26 miles off-shore from Virginia Beach even though the SCC calculated that the cost to the consumer for the electricity would be about 26 times the market rate and the consumer bore all the risks of the “investment.” Several readers inquired why?
A more detailed description of how the Virginia legislature and governor stripped the regulatory power of the SCC to limit utility expenditures and rates is given in other reports by the SCC on August 29, 2018. The reports discuss 2011, 2013 and 2015 Acts of the Virginia Assembly.
The SCC reports discuss the increasing profits being generated by Dominion Energy Virginia (DEV):
“On June 1 and July 3, 2018, DEV provided analyses of its combined generation and distribution base rate financial results for calendar year 2017 reflecting an earned return on common equity for calendar year 2017 of 13.84%. The earned return on equity (“ROE”) of 13.84% exceeds the 9.20% ROE approved by the Commission for DEV’s RACs during 2017 by 4.64 percentage points, or approximately $365.6 million in revenues. The earned ROE of 13.84% also exceeds the 10.00% ROE approved by the Commission in DEV’s last biennial review in 2013 by 3.84 percentage points, or approximately $302.6 million in revenues.”
The profits being made by Dominion Energy are about 50% greater than the profits prior to the acts of the General Assembly, which now regulates the utility. In 2021 the profits will be subject to review and possible recapture – with the exception that the excess profits will not be recaptured if invested in a favored renewable energy projects – such as the offshore project proposed by Dominion Energy.
The General Assembly and the governor have put the fox in charge of the henhouse. Thanks to the General Assembly, Dominion Energy is generating excess profits to spend on a foolishly expensive program and earn profits generated from that program, regardless of costs to the consumer. If a hurricane wipes out the wind turbines, no doubt Dominion will claim climate change and demand reimbursement for the costs. See links under Energy Issues – US.
Number of the Week: $51.2 Billion in subsidies over 10 years. According to a report prepared for the US Department of Energy solar and wind receive $51.2 billion from 2005 to 2015 in the form of mandates, tax incentives, loans, and research grants, with $45.8 billion on tax incentives.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Earth’s upper atmosphere cooling off dramatically and cosmic rays continue to increase as deep solar minimum approaches*
By Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Perspecta, Inc. Nov 5, 2018
Lack of sunspots could bring a ‘Space Age record’ for cold temperatures above Earth in a matter of months, NASA scientist warns
By Phoebe Weston, Daily Mail, Nov 13, 2018
Declassified report shows solar flares detonated mines
By Jonathan Griffin, WUWT, Nov 15, 2018
Link to paper: On the Little‐Known Consequences of the 4 August 1972 Ultra‐Fast Coronal Mass Ejecta: Facts, Commentary, and Call to Action
By Knipp, Fraser, Shea, and Smart, Space Weather, Oct 15, 2018
Something’s Happening to the Sun Right Now, Here’s What It Means for Earth
By Benjamin Gill, CBN News, Nov 13, 2018
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
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, Draft Summary for Policymakers, NIPCC, Oct 3, 2018
Challenging the Orthodoxy
We Need Some Climate Skeptics
By John Hunt, Heartland, Nov 6, 2018
IPCC ‘Knows’ Less About Future Climate Today Than It ‘Knew’ in 1998
By Dennis Avery, ICECAP, Nov 15, 2018
“It’s no coincidence that over the past 150 years our newspaper headlines show we’ve had climate scare headlines every 25-30 years—coinciding with the PDO shifts.”
Renowned Physicist Freeman Dyson: “Theories Of Climate Are Very Confused”…”Models Are Wrong”!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 16, 2018
Skepticism is a Full Time Job
By Charles the Moderator, WUWT, Nov 15, 2018
By Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus website
[SEPP Comment: The never-ending imagination of humans, the calamities that will come from increasing CO2.]
Factfulness: A Book Review
By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Nov 14, 2018
Green Energy is the Perfect Scam
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Nov 12, 2018
Challenging the Orthodoxy and Correcting Errors
Resplandy et al. Part 3: Findings regarding statistical issues and the authors’ planned correction
By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Nov 17, 2018
The Sorry State of Climate Science Peer Review, and Kudos to Nic Lewis
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 14, 2018
Global Warming: Another Doomsday Climate Model Flunks A Math Test
Editorial, IBD, Nov 15, 2018
Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming
A major study claimed the oceans were warming much faster than previously thought. But researchers now say they can’t necessarily make that claim.
By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, Nov 13, 2018
Link to correction on Nov 9, 2018: Study: Ocean Warming Detected from Atmospheric Gas Measurements
Team led by Scripps and Princeton University scientists use oxygen, carbon dioxide measurements to infer ocean temperature increase
By Staff Writers, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Nov 1, 2018
Defending the Orthodoxy
IEA releases annual World Energy Outlook 2018 Report
By Stephanie Roker, World Coal, Nov 13, 2018
Link to report: World Energy Outlook 2018
By Staff Writers, International Energy Agency, 2018, 120.00 EUR
Gloomy Prospects in IEA’s Latest World Energy Outlook
All International Energy Agency scenarios show renewables growth won’t deliver a climate cure.
By Jason Deign, Green Tech Media, Nov 13, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Article has nice graphs on growth of wind and solar capacity, what about a graph on wind and solar generation with 99.9% reliability the goal?]
World has no capacity to absorb new fossil fuel plants, warns IEA
Watchdog says new projects must be low carbon or existing plants must be cleaned up
By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, Nov 12, 2018 [H/t Willie Soon]
Jerry Brown: Climate-Change Deniers ‘Definitely Contributing’ to the ‘New Abnormal’ of Wildfires
By Bridget Johnson, PJ Media, Nov 11, 2018
“Jerry Brown: Fire-Fueling Heat Worst ‘Since Civilization Emerged 10,000 Years Ago’”
[SEPP Comment: 10,000 years ago was warmer, before the cooling of the Northgrippian and Meghalayan ages.]
A Very Grim Forecast
By Bill McKibben, The New York Review of Books, Nov 22, 2018 [H/t Richard Caputo]
Book Review” A Delight, If You Like Horror Stories
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, Nov 12, 2018
Review of” Ecological Effects of Electricity Generation, Storage and Use
By Peter Henderson, CABI, 2018
Climate Hoax: Not A Single G-20 Country Is Close To Hitting CO2 Emission Targets
Editorial, IBD, Nov 15, 2018
Link to report: G20 Brown to Green Report 2018
“Developed by experts from 14 research organizations and NGOs from the majority of the G20 countries,”
“Climate Transparency is made possible through support from the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative, ClimateWorks Foundation and the World Bank Group.”
Questioning the Orthodoxy
After 50 Years of Failed Predictions, Science Is In Crisis
By Maurice Newman, The Australian, Via GWPF, Nov 10, 2018
[SEPP Comment: A more correct headline would read: After 50 Years of Failed Predictions, Government Backed-Climate Science Is in Crisis.]
Green Activism Fuels a Bonanza in Coal Demand
By Nick Cater, The Australian, Via GWPF, Nov 13, 2018
‘Onward, climate soldiers’
By Anthony Sadar, Washington Times, Nov 13, 2018
Showdown looms at climate talks
By Innocent Ruwende, The Herald, Nov 8, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Climate Hoax: Not A Single G-20 Country Is Close To Hitting CO2 Emission Targets
Editorial, IBD, Nov 15, 2018
Link to report: G20 Brown to Green Report 2018
“Developed by experts from 14 research organizations and NGOs from the majority of the G20 countries,”
“Climate Transparency is made possible through support from the the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative, ClimateWorks Foundation and the World Bank Group.”
Hundreds of Consumers, Business people and Scientists say: “Get out of the Paris Agreement.” [Australia]
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 16, 2018
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Stimulation of Global Terrestrial Gross Primary Production by Humanity’s Enrichment of the Atmosphere’s CO2 Concentration
Sun, Z., Wang, X., Yamamoto, H., Tani, H., Zhong, G., Yin, S. and Guo, E. 2018. Spatial pattern of GPP variations in terrestrial ecosystems and its drivers: Climatic factors, CO2 concentration and land-cover change, 1982-2015. Ecological Informatics 46: 156-165. Nov 16, 2018
“In consideration of the above findings, it is therefore quite clear that rising atmospheric CO2 and temperature are both exerting positive impacts on global terrestrial GPP; and there is no reason to believe that such benefits will not continue throughout the decades and years ahead.”
Elevated CO2 Compensates for Growth Declines Induced by Ammonium Toxicity in Sweet Pepper Plants
Piñero, M.C., Pérez-Jiménez, M., López-Marín, J., Varóó, P. and del Amor, F.M. 2018. Differential effect of the nitrogen form on the leaf gas exchange, amino acid composition, and antioxidant response of sweet pepper at elevated CO2. Plant Growth Regulation 86: 37-48. Nov 15, 2018
The Effect of Temperature and Elevated CO2 on an Agricultural Pest
Satishchandra, N.K., Vaddi, S., Naik, S.O., Chakravarthy, A.K. and Atlihan, R. 2018. Effect of temperature and CO2 on population growth of South American tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on tomato. Journal of Economic Entomology 111: 1614-1624. Nov 14, 2018
Proof that Corals are Adapting to Warming Temperatures
Coles, S.L., Bahr, K.D., Rodgers, K.S., May, S.L., McGowan, A.E., Tsang, A., Bumgarner, J. and Han, J.H. 2018. Evidence of acclimatization or adaptation in Hawaiian corals to higher ocean temperatures. PeerJ 6: e5347, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5347. Nov 12, 2018
“If temperatures rise in the future, clearly, as living organisms, corals can (and do!) adapt. Alarmist predictions of their fast and ensuing demise due to global warming should not be taken too seriously.”
Models v. Observations
Climate Models are a Joke
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 14, 2018
Press release from The Climate Study Group, no Date
Climate Change Made Recent Hurricanes Wetter. And They May Get Worse.
By Mindy Weisberger, Live Science, Nov 14, 2018
Link to paper: Urbanization exacerbated the rainfall and flooding caused by hurricane Harvey in Houston
By Wei Zhang, et al, Nature, Nov 14, 2018
“Using the Weather Research and Forecast model—a numerical model for simulating weather and climate at regional scales—and statistical models, we quantify the contribution of urbanization to rainfall and flooding. Overall, we find that the probability of such extreme flood events across the studied basins increased on average by about 21 times in the period 25–30 August 2017 because of urbanization.”
[SEPP Comment: What about the floods of the Buffalo Bayou in 1837, 1839, 1841, etc.?]
Max Planck Institute Climate Modeler Admits: “Reprieve Extended 10 Years” …”Earlier Models Too Sensitive”!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 10, 2018
Measurement Issues — Surface
October 2018 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly Update
By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Nov 15, 2018
“I took a hiatus from blogging for almost two years. During my absence, in July 2017, RSS [Remote Sensing Systems] revised their lower troposphere temperature data with their version 4.0 data. See the RSS webpage FAQ about the V4.0 TLT Update for more information. We briefly discussed the impacts of these changes recently in the post The New RSS TLT Data is Unbelievable! (Or Would That Be Better Said, Not Believable?) A quick Introduction.”
Blame climate change for fewer fires, shorter droughts, slower winds
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 14, 2018
Droughts, Famines and Floods In The 1870s
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 12, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Another bit of modern climate change science pioneer: HH Lamb – Climate, History and the Modern World – p254-6]
By Kathy Grimes, Canada Free Press, Via ICECAP, Nov 14, 2018
2015 Paradise downtown street project reducing 4 lanes to 2, may have created dangerous evacuation bottleneck during #CampFire
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 15, 2018
Strong Diablo/Santa Ana Wind Initiate Major Fires over California
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Nov 11, 2018
“It has happened again: strong, dry offshore-directed winds have initiated large wildfires over California.”
Why did the Catastrophic Camp Fire Start Where it Did?
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Nov 12, 2018
The Air Quality Health Crisis from the California Wildfires
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Nov 16, 2018
Trump, California battle over climate and cause of fires
By Miranda Green and Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 12, 2018
Trump Is Right: Poor Land Management Is Leading to Bigger California Fires
By Jarrett Stepman, Daily Signal, Nov 13, 2018
“Scientists” Determine That the Worst Year in Human History Was… 536 AD.
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Nov 17, 2018
Link to article: Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’
By Ann Gibbons, Science, Nov 15, 2018
Deep Floats Reveal Complex Ocean Circulation Patterns
Acoustically tracked floats drift far below the ocean’s surface, providing fresh discoveries about deep-sea currents. A new archive gathers decades’ worth of float data into a central repository.
By Andrée L. Ramsey, Heather H. Furey, and Amy S. Bower, EOS, Nov 5, 2018 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Rising sea levels may build, rather than destroy, coral reef islands
Press Release, Northumbria University, Nov 12, 2018
Link to paper: Coral Reef Island Initiation and Development Under Higher Than Present Sea Levels
By East, Perry, Kench, Liang, and Culliver, Geophysical Research Letters, Oct 10, 2018
Climate Alarmism Dies In 2018 As Modern Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise Has No Net Impact On World’s Coasts
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 15, 2018
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Nunavut government has a draft plan to deal with unsafe numbers of polar bears
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Nov 12, 2018
‘So many bears:’ Draft plan says Nunavut polar bear numbers unsafe
By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, Nov 12, 2018 [Cork Hayden]
Chukchi Sea polar bears number almost 3000 according to new survey results: update
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Nov 16, 2018
How Earth volcanoes offer a window into the evolution of life and the solar system
By Lonnie Shekhtman for GSFC News, SPX, Nov 14, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
The catastrophe narrative
By Andy West, Climate Etc. Nov 14, 2018
Endangered Shorebirds? Blame Climate Change!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 10, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Claim: 5-6C Global Warming Could Even Kill Tardigrades
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 14, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Tardigrades are microscopic animals that survive in extreme conidiations. What imaginary sensitivity of temperatures to CO2 is the author using?]
Largest solar power study finds 25 percent power loss across UK
By Staff Writers, SPX, Nov 12, 2018
Link to paper: Largest solar power study finds 25 percent power loss across UK
By Mahmoud Dhimish; Peter Mather; and Violeta Holmes, IEEE, Nov 6, 2018
“The UK has been fossil-free for two years and demand is constantly increasing for renewable energy.” ???
Expanding the Orthodoxy
New Global Emissions Rules Boost LNG as Shipping Fuel
By Bonner Cohen, Heartland, Nov 12, 2018
Cruise giants sail into a SULPHUROUS storm: In an echo of dieselgate: Billions of pounds are being poured into fitting ships with controversial ‘scrubbers’
By William Turville, Daily Mail, Nov 11, 2018 [H/t Paul Homewood]
Questioning European Green
Champagne Day at DRAX
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, Nov 16, 2018
“How amusing then to note that one of the board members of the CCC [Committee on Climate Change, the government’s advisers on how to achieve its carbon budgets] is Rebecca Heaton, Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax Group.
The Political Games Continue
Did the Climate Scam Gain or Lose in the Mid-terms?
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Nov 15, 2018
Top Dem: Climate change committee ‘not necessary’
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 14, 2018
The GOP Just Lost Its Most Important Climate Moderates
Almost 20 Republican House members who seemed to care about climate change failed to win reelection.
By Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, Nov 8, 2018
Despite Media Hype, Energy Investors Ignore New York Climate Lawsuit
By Staff Writers, Energy in Depth, Nov 6, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The lawsuits against oil companies are not frightening investors.]
The Dred Scott of Climate Change?
By Robert Dugger, Project Syndicate, Nov 16, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Dred Scott was one of the worst opinions ever issued by the Supreme Court, Climate activists are reducing its importance to nonsense.]
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Anti-Carbon-Tax Revolt Threatens to Paralyze France
By Staff Writers GWPF & Irish Times, Nov 16, 2018
Ontario to target federal carbon tax, support pipeline construction, in fall fiscal update
By Laura Stone, The Globe and Mail, Can, Nov 12, 2018
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
DOE Considers Subsidies Modeled on Renewables for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors
By Sonal Patel, Power, Nov 15, 2018
Link to Press Release: New DOE report examines how incentives used for renewables could benefit small modular reactors
Press Release by Office of Nuclear Energy, DOE, Nov 13, 2018
Link to report: Report: Examination of Federal Financial Assistance in the Renewable Energy Market
By Staff Writers, Scully Capital & Kutakrock, October 2018
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Chemicals Of Concern: A War On Science Is Bad Environmental Policy
By Steve Pociask, IBD, Nov 15, 2018
“Silicones coat airbags (which saved at least 2,756 lives in 2016), preventing them from deteriorating over time and keeping them gas-tight under pressure. Silicones are key components of LED light bulbs, which use about 90% less energy than incandescent lighting and generate more than $30 billion in savings for consumers.”
Trump EPA weighs new limits on truck pollution
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 13, 2018
“Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Tuesday that the initiative might lead to a reduction in the allowable NOx emissions level from truck engines.”
Energy Issues – Non-US
U.S. Shale revolution & free-Market Economics Dominate Oil Prices
By Olivier Jakob, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Nov 14, 2018
“Back in 2015, we coined the term “shale price band” to describe the economic reality of US crude oil production. Our theory is that the price of US crude in the era of shale oil, will stay in a price band between $40 a barrel and $60 a barrel.”
ECJ Quashes UK’s Capacity Market Auctions
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 15, 2018
Homewood addressing comments by the CEO of the firm which brought the litigation: “Just think about what she is really saying: ‘Empowering customers to use electricity in the most cost-effective way’ – the Capacity Market is intended to ensure electricity is available when the wind does not blow, and the sun does not shine. Her logic only means one thing – when the wind does not blow, and the sun does not shine, we stop using electricity.”
UPDATE 3-UK must halt back-up power scheme after EU court ruling
By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, Nov 15, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
“However, British energy company Tempus Energy launched an appeal against the capacity market, saying it amounted to subsidies for fossil fuel generators and discriminated against technology designed to cut electricity demand during peak times.”
[SEPP Comment: “Enlightened demand management:” when people need electricity the most, cut it off!]
The Dodgy Characters Behind Tempus Energy
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 16, 2018
European Court Ruling Throws UK Back-Up Power Plants into Chaos
By Staff Writers, The Times, Via GWPF, Nov 16, 2018
Powering the country when the lakes aren’t full and the wind doesn’t blow
By Neil Holdom, Taranaki Daily News, NZ, Nov 8, 2018 [H/t Roger Andrews]
“The industry is expecting more businesses to collapse under the weight of electricity spot prices which have surged as high as $500 a megawatt hour over the past month, close to triple historic October highs.”
“So our lights are still on and spot prices don’t impact on most households but wow, do they impact industry.”
Energy Issues – Australia
“Biggest crisis in a lifetime”, “worse than GFC” hits Australian business — electricity costs
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 11, 2018
Resources giants ramp up calls for Australia carbon tax
By Staff Writers, AFP, Nov 14, 2018
Australian state looks to beef up grid for solar, wind power
By Sonali Paul, Reuters, Nov 12, 2018
Energy Issues — US
What’s Next for U.S. Climate and Energy Policies?
By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Nov 10, 2018
Dominion Excess Profits Continued to Roll in 2017
By Steve Haner, Bacon’s Rebellion, Aug 30, 2018
Reports of the State Corporation Commission for the Commonwealth of Virginia
Including: Report Assessing the Updated Integrated Resource Plans of Investor-owned Incumbent Electric Utilities Pursuant to Chapter 6 of the 2015 Virginia Acts of Assembly
By Staff Writers, SCC, Aug 29, 2018
US Confident It Can Compete In Europe’s Gas Market
By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price.com, Nov 10, 2018
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
U.S. Expected to Produce Half of Global Oil and Gas Output by 2015
By Christopher Alessi, WSJ, Via GWPF, Nov 13, 2018
Saudi Arabia, Russia should cut ‘at least 1 mil b/d instantly’: OPEC delegate
By Staff Writers, Hellenic Shipping News, Nov 8, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
G20 Nations Still In Thrall To Big Oil!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 15, 2018
US shale needs to add another ‘Russia’s worth of crude’ to prevent global oil shortage, IEA warns
By David Reid, CNBC, Nov 13, 2018
Interior credits increased fossil fuel production for jump in revenue from federal lands
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Nov 14, 2018
Link to report: Economic Report FY 2017
By Staff Writers, DOI, Office of Policy Analysis, Oct 19, 2018
“According to the report, the department under President Trump increased the revenue it received from oil and gas royalties on public lands by nearly $1 billion.”
Return of King Coal?
DOE Office Will Fund R&D for ‘Coal Plant of the Future’
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Nov 14, 2018
Global Coal Demand Increased In 2017
By Jude Clemente, Forbes, Nov 15, 2018
German coal-fired margins at highest level since 2015 as coal, carbon ease
By Andreas Franke, Platts, Nov 15, 2018
Like Prohibition is to Moonshine, Green divestment activists are a boon for coal investors
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 13, 2018
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Floating Nuclear Power Plant Starts first Reactor in Russia
By Staff Writers, Esi Africa, Via Power Engineering, Nov 6, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
A brief review of the Buckland, Alaska, solar project
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Nov 14, 2018
“Buckland is one of a number of projects in remote Alaskan villages that aim to replace expensive diesel with “cheap” solar. Here I examine how much diesel the Buckland array will actually save and how cheap the solar electricity that replaces it will be. The results show that Buckland’s solar array will cut its annual diesel consumption by 3% at most and that any impacts on electricity rates will be imperceptible. If the array’s capacity is expanded to the level where the impacts do become perceptible then electricity rates will probably increase because solar electricity will likely be more expensive than the diesel electricity it replaces. The rationale for the project is therefore questionable.”
“The Economic Fall and Political Rise of Renewable Energy
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Nov 15, 2018
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: November 12, 2018
By John Droz, Jr. Master Resource, Nov 12, 2018
Switzerland’s Linth Region Says No To Wind Industry Landscape Blighting
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 13, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
Australia’s Snowy Hydro Makes ‘Game-Changing’ Leap From Coal to Renewables
“The new renewable energy generation is a game-changer and will push down future energy prices.”
By Jason Deign, Green Tech Media, Nov 7, 2018 [H/t Energy Matters]
[SEPP Comment: Is there one major project combining pumped hydro-storage with renewables that works all the time?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Battery-Powered Vehicles Value Proposition
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 16, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Will the costs of batteries continue to decline as manufacturing increases? This is not always true. The economies of scale are tricky, and do not universally apply. Comments by others on the article include: what will be the cost of electricity and who will pay for roads, the taxes for which are included in the price of gasoline?]
Government-subsidised plug-in cars may never have been charged
By Joe Miller, BBC News, Nov 9, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: The subsidy makes the car cheaper whether or not the electric motor is used.]
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 13, 2018
While California Put on ‘Road Diet,’ Drivers Still Stuck in Traffic Gridlock
By Kerry Jackson, Pacific Research Institute, Dec 14, 2017
Link to federal program: Road Diets (Roadway Reconfiguration)
By Staff Writers, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Safety Programs, July 29, 2016
“Safe Roads for a Safer Future”
Health, Energy, and Climate
Algal Blooms Produce Heart Toxins
By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Nov 7, 2018
Link to paper: Cyanobufalins: Cardioactive Toxins from Cyanobacterial Blooms
By Haiyin He et al.J ournal of Natural Products, Oct 31, 2018
Your Cup O’J:oe Is Filled with Pesticides
By Steve Goreham, World Net Daily, Nov 14, 2018
Other Scientific News
Claim: Real-World Spectral Measurements Show The ‘Greenhouse Theory Is Wrong’ – ALL Gases Are GHGs
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 12, 2018
Link to paper: Quantum Mechanics and Raman Spectroscopy Refute Greenhouse Theory
By Blair D Macdonald, Academia, Oct 13, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Strongly question the findings. Under section 2. Methods the paper states: “No experiment as such was undertaken, but rather a first principles review of literature, theory, application, and instruments with respect to the hypothesis. The following order of methods section is maintained in the results and discussion section.”]
Other News that May Be of Interest
Thank Goodness for the Industrial Revolution
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Nov 14, 2018
Link to more detailed analysis: How big a deal was the Industrial Revolution?
By Luke Muehlhauser, His Blog, 2018
Turkey Announces Successful Test of ‘Sapan’ Railgun Hypervelocity Weapon
By Staff Writers, Sputnik News, Nov 13, 2018
“Only five countries have working railgun technology: Russia, the US, China, India and Turkey. While the US considers railgun to primarily be a weapon, Russian scientists have more recently examined peaceful applications, such as delivering cargo into space, according to 2017 Zvezda report.”
[SEPP Comment: The inertial force at firing will not damage instruments in the space cargo?]
A Great Trade Association Newsletter (KIOGA’s White takes the prize)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Nov 13, 2018
Pseudonyms to protect authors of controversial articles
By Martin Rosenbaum, BBC News, Nov 12, 2018
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Waste not: South Africa makes world’s first human urine brick
By Amy Gibbings, Susan Njanji, AFP Nov 15, 2018
The luckless ladybird
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Nov 15, 2018
“The luckless ladybird, already under siege from foreign invaders and parasitic wasps, now has global warming to contend with, scientists said yesterday.
“Climate change has resulted in the gardener’s friend waking from its seven-month winter hibernation up to two weeks early, said Dr Mike Majerus, an expert on ladybirds at Cambridge University’s department of genetics.
“The worry is that the aphids they eat are not responding to the earlier springs in the same way, leaving ladybirds facing starvation. The Telegraph (UK), 2 Feb 2005”
Evolution needs to speed up
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Nov 13, 2018
“Certainly, countless species have adapted to past climate fluctuations. However, their rate of change turns out to be painfully slow, according to a study by Professor John Wiens of the University of Arizona.
“We found that, on average, species usually adapt to different climatic conditions at a rate of only by about 1C per million years, Wiens explained.
“’But if global temperatures are going to rise by about four degrees over the next 100 years as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that is where you get a huge difference in rates. What that suggests overall is that simply evolving to match these conditions may not be an option for many species.’
“Either evolution speeds up 10,000-fold, which is an unlikely occurrence, or there will be widespread extinctions. The Guardian, 14 Jul 2013”
1. Facing Deadlier Fires, California Tries Something New: More Logging
Environmentalists and the timber industry, after long butting heads, increasingly agree that cutting trees to thin forests is vital to reducing fire danger
By Jim Carlton, WSJ, Nov 17, 2018
The essay begins with:
“Obscured amid the chaos of California’s latest wildfire outbreak is a striking sign of change that may help curtail future devastating infernos. After decades of butting heads, some environmentalists and logging supporters have largely come to agreement that forests need to be logged to be saved.
“The current fires are hitting populated areas along the edges of forests and brush lands, including the 142,000-acre Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County. That now ranks as the most deadly and destructive in state history, killing at least 71 people, leaving hundreds missing and destroying more than 9,800 homes. The Camp Fire and the 98,400-acre Woolsey Fire in Southern California were fueled by fierce winds in unusually dry weather, which turned much of the state into a tinderbox.
“Another dangerous factor, land-management experts say, is that forests have become overgrown with trees and underbrush due to a mix of human influences, including a past federal policy of putting out fires, rather than letting them burn. Washington has also sharply reduced logging under pressure from environmentalists.
“Now, the unlikely coalition is pushing new programs to thin out forests and clear underbrush. In 2017, California joined with the U.S. Forest Service and other groups in creating the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative, which aims to thin millions of trees from about 2.4 million acres of forest—believed to be the largest such state-federal project in the country.
“The current fires have trained a spotlight on the strategy: Parts of the forest burned in the Camp Fire in and around Paradise, for example, were overgrown with small, young trees, according to a 2017 forest health plan by the Butte County Fire Safe Council, which had planned to thin a thousand acres of land there over the next decade.
“We need to try new things because what we’ve done in the past hasn’t worked,” said David Edelson, Sierra Nevada project director of the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit that is part of the new thinning partnership.”
Of course, prudent fire suppression has worked in the past, but the article continues with some of the advantages and disadvantages.
2. Government Motors Is Back
GM floats a China-style plan to subsidize and promote electric cars.
Editorial, WSJ, Nov 11, 2018
Summary: The article begins:
“General Motors has recharged since being bailed out by the government in bankruptcy nearly a decade ago. But now Government Motors is back: The largest U.S. automaker wants the Trump Administration to juice its bottom line with a truckload of electric-car mandates and subsidies.
“Electric cars make up a mere 1% of U.S. sales, but manufacturers have been required to produce an increasing number to comply with California’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate and federal fuel-economy (Cafe) standards. China, which accounts for half of the world’s EV sales, has also imposed aggressive mandates with generous consumer and manufacturer subsidies.
“Yet battery technology has lagged government ambitions. Longer-range EVs can take eight hours or more to charge, and a battery cell for a medium-sized vehicle costs more than $13,000—equivalent to the material cost of an entire gas-fueled compact car. Since electric cars remain unattractive to consumers beyond the rarified quarters of Palo Alto or Bel Air, they typically sell at a loss.
“The Obama Administration nonetheless sought to compel auto makers to produce ever more electric cars by requiring an average fleet fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Car manufacturers rightly said the Cafe ramp-up was infeasible, so in August the Trump Administration proposed freezing the 2020 target of 37 miles per gallon through 2025.
“No good gesture goes unappreciated. Auto makers now complain that the Trump Administration’s deregulation has gone too far and that they won’t get regulatory credit for their electric-car investments. They also worry that they may still have to increase EV production to meet California’s quotas that have been adopted by nine other states.
“The Obama Environmental Protection Agency issued California a waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows it to set its own emissions standards, and the state has threatened to sue to enforce its authority. Yet under the Clean Air Act, the EPA may reject a waiver if California “does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.”
“Unlike ozone-causing pollutants, CO2 doesn’t affect California any more than it does the other 49 states. But car makers say they can’t handle the legal uncertainty and want California and the Trump EPA to compromise. Enter GM, which last month in public comments responding to the Cafe revisions proposed a “national electric vehicle program.”
“This is regulatory arbitrage masquerading as political virtue. After Tesla, GM is the nation’s top electric car maker. Its Chevy Bolt has the longest range among mid-priced cars at 238 miles per charge. After announcing plans last year for 20 new zero-emission vehicles through 2023, GM is expanding a battery lab in Michigan.
“GM’s plan would provide credits for production based on factors like battery range that have no bearing on emissions. Credits are ripe for political manipulation, and, right on time, GM is trying to game the system. GM suggests awarding 1.5 times as many credits for heavier duty vehicles and six times as many for driverless cars. GM’s Cruise startup is ahead of most manufacturers in the self-driving car race. As in California, credits could be banked and traded. No doubt GM hopes to emulate Tesla by hoarding and selling credits as the quotas increase.
“GM also proposes to replace the 200,000 per manufacturer cap for the federal $7,500 tax credit with an industry-wide phase-out once electric cars exceed 5% of the U.S. light-duty fleet. While Tesla has already hit the limit and GM is expected to do so this quarter, most auto makers at their current sales rate won’t for half a decade.”
The article concludes with political issues but does not discuss a key issue: can similar models of electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles be made on the same production line.?