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)
Influence of Greenhouse Gases: The past two TWTWs discussed that when liquid water changes phases and turns into a gas, water vapor, it absorbs heat energy, which is not measured by temperature. By convention, the energy is called latent heat. Most, but not all, of the idealized process takes place in the tropics or what was once labeled the Torrid Zone, lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. In the idealized model, solar energy transports the water vapor to the top of the troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) where the water vapor condenses into rain, or freezes into ice, releasing the latent heat.
This idealized process, which TWTW called the weather engine, apparently accounted for a major amplification of the greenhouse gas effect emphasized by climate modelers discussed in the 1979 Charney Report. The speculated impact is called the “hot spot” and is common to global climate models. As TWTW previously discussed, 40 years of comprehensive atmospheric temperature trends and 60 years of more narrow weather balloon temperature measurements by separate instruments do not reveal an unusual rate of warming at the speculated (hypothesized) region. Thus, the prediction fails and one should no longer assume the speculated warming exists.
Unfortunately, the climate establishment, including the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), ignore atmospheric temperature trend data, where the greenhouse gas effect takes place. Thus, they poorly serve the public by producing unreliable science.
The weather engine is illustrated in the center of a widely accepted graph in the 1997 Kiehl and Trenberth’s paper on the “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget.” Over the next several issues, TWTW will discuss the right side of the graph, surface radiation and back radiation, and how greenhouse gases interfere with outgoing longwave radiation. Every effort will be made to keep the discussion in clear English, using as little technical language, graphs, and equations as possible. An exhaustive discussion of the greenhouse gas effect requires an understanding of integral equations, thus TWTW’s discussion will not be thorough. But it will attempt to explain what is missing in the treatment of the greenhouse gas effect by the IPCC and the USGCRP and why they greatly overestimate, or exaggerate, the influence of carbon dioxide (CO2).
To start, this TWTW will address a few misconceptions. One frequently encountered misconception is that since increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is greening the earth, increasing CO2 must also be greatly influencing the climate, the weather, and causing global warming. These are two greatly different systems on earth that should not be confused. CO2 is vital for life as we generally recognize it. But as a greenhouse gas, it is not vital for climate change, global warming, etc. The earth has been warming and cooling for hundreds of millions of years, independently of the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.
One can look at these two roles as similar to an accomplished Shakespearian actor playing different roles in a repertory theater. An accomplished actor is vital in the role of Brutus in Julius Caesar. But an accomplished actor is not needed in the role of King of France in King Lear. It is important to know of the existence of the King of France, because his wife, Lear’s daughter, is torn between her love for Lear and her love for her husband and family. But his actual character is not vital to the performance. As with these plays, the importance of carbon dioxide is vital in promoting life but minor in causing climate change.
Another popular misconception is that CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas. There are five naturally occurring greenhouse gases: water vapor, H2O; carbon dioxide, CO2; ozone, O3, methane, CH4; and nitrous oxide, N2O. How these gases in different concentrations interfere with outgoing longwave radiation is vital to understanding the total greenhouse gas effect.
By far, the dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, which the IPCC ignores. Supposedly, the IPCC only considers the emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities and water vapor is natural. This is bunk. One cannot understand the temperature effects of a greenhouse gas without understanding the interrelationships among all greenhouse gases. The IPCC’s reports are similar to mounting a production of King Lear with no one playing the role of Lear.
An additional popular misconception is that interrelationships uniformly apply. The relationship between CO2 and temperature is logarithmic, not linear. As the concentration of CO2 changes, its relationship with other greenhouse gases changes. A common error is that methane is many times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2. To make such a calculation one must assume specific concentrations, including residence times. The relationship changes as these vary.
For example (a rare exception to “no equations”), consider the equation A is equal to 1 divided by X with X less than 1. The closer the value of X is to zero, the greater is the value of A, to the point that the equation virtually explodes, becomes meaningless. As will be shown later, the actual value of methane as compared with CO2 is far less than commonly assumed. (To keep equations from exploding, modelers insert controls, called parameters, which can influence the results of the models in ways not described.) See links in the last two TWTWs and links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.
Quote of the Week “Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference — science and the nation will suffer.”— Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, [H/t Michael Crichton via Roy Spencer]
Number of the Week: 5.7%
El Niño Cooling: This past week, the central US experienced severe cold. Someone at NOAA tweeted an absurd comment implying that the cold was caused by oceans being warmer. As discussed in the past two TWTWs, NOAA’s estimates of ocean heat content are highly questionable and may be the result of individual, personal studies, and not NOAA reports.
A key graph in NOAA response, “Predicted daily mean, near-surface temperature (ºC) differences from normal (relative to 1979-2000),” shows extensive warming of Antarctica where there are few instruments and where atmospheric temperatures show a cooling. No source is given for the data covering areas with no weather stations. Separately, in fall 1918, NOAA estimated that the 2018-19 winter would be mild and warmer than usual in the central states and the east. It remains to be seen.
In August, Weatherbell Analytics LLC issued its estimates for the winter, with the central and southeastern US, except for Florida, cooler than usual with more snow than usual. Weatherbell cautioned its viewers that there would be blasts of frigid air from the Arctic interrupted by brief warm periods. Weatherbell based its forecasts on a type of El Niño that is generally not discussed, the Modoki El Niño. Usually, an El Niño results in a warming of the equatorial surface waters of the eastern Pacific, off the coast of South America. The Modoki El Niño is characterized by a warming of the equatorial central Pacific, which produces different weather patterns for the US. Weatherbell based its forecasts on analogs, that is, years that had similar patterns. The meteorologists systematically review analogs by seeking “fits” for over 20 variables.
When Weatherbell saw a high number of thunderstorms occurring in the Indian Ocean, it forecast a warming of the stratosphere, which would move over the Arctic. According to the forecast, the stratospheric warming would result in a subsequent cooling of the central and eastern US. The stratospheric warming occurred in December, and some news agencies predicted that winter was over. This week central and eastern US experienced severe cold. Weatherbell is now predicting that after another warm spell winter will return and remain into March.
Unfortunately, as with the tweet from NOAA (not identified), the changing weather resulted in nonsense, including claims that the “Polar Vortex” is responsible and unusual. In the 19th century, settlers in the upper Midwest noted severe blasts of cold Arctic air. In the 1880s, even Theodore Roosevelt speculated whether the Great Plains were inhabitable. Numerical weather forecasting greatly advanced the field, but reliable forecasts beyond two weeks remain elusive and NOAA’s forecasts seem mired in erroneous climate models.
Regrettably, the Weatherbell link is available only temporarily, but please see https://www.weatherbell.com/, and the links under Defending the Orthodoxy, Questioning the Orthodoxy, and Changing Weather.
Hot and Cold: Contradicting the claim that the Polar Vortex is due to global warming, Roy Spencer presents data showing “there is no evidence in the data supporting the claim that decreasing Arctic sea ice in recent decades is causing more frequent displacement of cold winter air masses into the eastern U.S., at least through the winter of 2017-18:”
Tony Heller brings up data showing that 1936 had both the hottest and coldest temperatures in the US Midwest. TWTW was unable to locate the source. However, in addressing many of the errors in the 2018 Fourth National Assessment, by the USGCRP, Roger Andrews located an EPA site on Climate Change Indicators. These data show that from 1895, the hottest decade in the contiguous 48 states was the 1930s; from 1910, the coldest decade was the 1980s. The data came from NOAA. Apparently, the representatives of NOAA and the EPA participating in the USGCRP Fourth National Assessment did not check their own databases. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Measurement Issues – Surface.
Crichton Speech: Roy Spencer posted a 2003 lecture at Caltech by Michael Crichton on the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy, “Aliens Cause Global Warming.” It covers a number of false predictions / projections made by scientists and the folly of believing a particular point of view is correct because it is a consensus. In addressing global climate models Crichton states:
“This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynmann called it a disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands.”
If anything, in the subsequent 15 years the disease has become worse, not better. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Christy On EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board: John Christy of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, has been appointed to the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board. The Hill newspaper gave a toned-downed version of what the defenders of global warming say:
[Christy] “is an outspoken climate skeptic and often cited by pundits and politicians opposing climate policies.”
“Christy’s work includes arguing that the climate is less sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than the scientific consensus has found, including the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He argues, therefore, that human activity has a very small impact on the climate.”
“He told the House Science Committee in 2017 that the climate models that international bodies rely upon have failed in the past and shouldn’t be used to set policy.
“’The average of the models is considered to be untruthful in representing the recent decades of climate variation and change, and thus would be inappropriate for use in predicting future changes in the climate or for related policy decisions,’ he said.”
SEPP and TWTW have a clear respect Christy. He is a recipient of the Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award presented by SEPP and his work is frequently cited in TWTW. He will deliver evidence, something that Washington clearly needs, rather than sound bites that the news media crave. See links under Change in US Administrations.
A Lesson from Banking? Energy Matters posted an essay by John Andrews on what dangers may be ahead for the tech industries. John Andrews draws from his 30-year experience in banking. He cautions:
[The] “‘golden age’ of minimal oversight is already coming to an end for many.
“This is a challenging and dangerous place to be for any company or industry. As a banker, I can assure my tech colleagues that public perception and policymakers can fundamentally alter any business model, and in very damaging ways. That is a reality that the tech industry needs to quickly understand.”
Although Andrews is not specifically referring to the US and the experience with mortgage backed securities, he describes times of tremendous turmoil beginning in 2008. A time when politicians, who were among the strongest promoters of mortgage-backed securities with minimal documentation, turned on the investment banks that sold them. The bad loans turned to disaster and politicians tried to out-do themselves by penalizing those who sold them.
If there is a good parallel, it is with wind and solar and the false promises that they can deliver reliable, affordable electricity. Some politicians have promoted heavily that promise, requiring citizens to accept the promise. As we see in Australia, Germany, and some states of the US, that promise can turn to dust. When the public realizes that the promise is false, they will turn on the politicians, who will turn on other promoters. See links under Seeking a Common Ground, Questioning European Green, Questioning Green Elsewhere and Energy Issues – Australia.
Number of the Week: 5.7%. TWTW reader Paul Dellevigne that recognized proclaimed surface temperature data going back to 1880, or a similar date, were suspect. So, he wished to understand how solid the data are since 1905. Exploring temperature stations records maintained by NOAA, the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA), he found data showing when stations went into service and out-of-service. He classified the data by periods: 1905 to 1929; 1930 to 1949; 1950 to 1969; 1970 to 1989; 1990 to 2009; and 2010 to 2018.
Dellevigne calculated that 5.7% of the stations in service during 2010 to 2018 were in service from 1905 to 1929; 32.1% of those in service during 2010 to 2018 were in service from 1930 to 1949. Yet, when writing press releases, NOAA has no difficulty in claiming precision to two decimal places? See links under Measurement Issues — Surface
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Solar Cycle 24 Going Down As Quietest In Almost 200 Years, May Put The Brakes On Warming
The sun in December 2018
By Von Frank Bosse und Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated / edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: When the current cycle ends has not yet been determined.]
Ocasio-Cortez presses top tech firms over conference that included climate-change skeptics
By Emily Birnbaum, The Hill, Jan 28, 2019
“Mother Jones first reported that the libertarian event included a session titled “Let’s Talk About Not Talking: Should There Be ‘No Debate’ that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?” The group behind the session, CO2 Coalition, opposes mandatory reductions in CO2 emissions.”
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
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, 2019
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
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Challenging the Orthodoxy
UAH Global Temperature Update for December 2018: +0.25 deg. C
2018 was 6th Warmest Year Globally of Last 40 Years
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 2, 2019
December 2018 Maps and Graphs
Including 40 Year Trend (Jan 1979 to Dec 2018)
By Staff, ESSC Global Temperature Report, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Accessed Jan 4, 2019
Mathematical modeling illusions
The global climate scare – and policies resulting from it – are based on models that do not work
By Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris, WUWT, Jan 29, 2019
If the Polar Vortex is due to Global Warming, Why are U.S. Cold Waves Decreasing?
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 31, 2019
Aliens Cause Global Warming
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 31, 2019
Climate Fish Tales
What’s Natural? Guest essay by Jim Steele, WUWT, Jan 30, 2019
Defending the Orthodoxy
Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate
By Jule G. Charney, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chairman, et al. to the:
Climate Research Board, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy of Science, 1979
By J. T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 1997
Figure 7, page 206
NOAA’s Brilliant Response To Trumps Climate Tweet
By Trevor Nace, Forbes, Jan 30, 2019
Why we won’t quit the climate fight. Friends and experts may tell us we’re doomed, but there are too many reasons to keep pushing for climate action. Reposted from Earth Island Journal.
By Kathleen Dean Moore & Sue Ellen Campbell, Yale Climate Connections, Jan 28, 2019
“Destructive ways of living are skillfully protected by tangles of profit and power around the globe, and we are running out of time. The IPCC now gives the world twelve years to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions in half, if we are to stop warming at “only” 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
Climate change likely to hit red states hardest
By Reid Wilson, The Hill, Jan 29, 2019
Link to report: How the geography of climate damage could make the politics less polarizing
By Mark Muro, David G. Victor, and Jacob Whiton, Brookings, Jan 29, 2019
Data from: Estimating Economic Damage from Climate Change in the United States
By Hsiang, S., Kopp, R.E., et al. Climate Impact Lab, 2017
Link to article: Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States
By Solomon Hsiang, et al. Science, Jun 30, 2017
“The combined value of market and nonmarket damage across analyzed sectors—agriculture, crime, coastal storms, energy, human mortality, and labor—increases quadratically in global mean temperature, costing roughly 1.2% of gross domestic product per +1°C on average. Importantly, risk is distributed unequally across locations, generating a large transfer of value northward and westward that increases economic inequality.”
[SEPP Comment: Leave it to Brookings to re-cycle an old, poor report. Typical unsupported claims of rising sea levels, falling crop yields, etc.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Reassessing the RCPs
By Kevin Murphy, Climate Etc. Jan 28, 2019
[SEPP Comment: More analysis indicating that the Representative Concentration Pathways (RPCs) presented in the latest IPCC and US National Assessment Reports are highly unlikely.]
Ominous Climate Change Costs
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 1, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Questioning claims about insurance such as: “In the new normal, billion-dollar disasters are regular occurrences.”]
Veteran Swiss Meteorologist Slams Media For “Making It Up”…NOAA: Polar Vortex Term “Nothing New…Appeared In 1853”
By P Gosselin, No tricks Zone, Feb 1, 2019
German Scientists Back Findings By Gebbie et al 2019, Believe Climate CO2 Sensitivity Even “Likely To Be Lower” Than 1.3°C
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 29, 2019
265 Papers Published Since 2017 Subvert The Claim That Post-1850s Warmth Has Been Unusual, Global
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 31, 2019
Another False Premise that Underlies Environmental, AGW, and Creationists Views Thriving in a Moral Vacuum.
Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Jan 28, 2019
Scientists Consider “Quick Response” Plan to Counter Climate Misinformation
The effort comes as President Trump makes comments that deny climate science
By Scott Waldman, E&E News, Scientific American, Jan 30, 2019
Link to Climate Communications Initiative Strategic Plan (2019)
By Staff Writers, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019
“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is considering a ‘quick response capability’ to challenge mistruths about climate change.”
[SEPP Comment: The E&E article may not be available. The National Academies should first make sure their publications are not “mistruths about climate change.”
EPA puts climate change skeptic, conservative think tank scholar on science board
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jan 31, 2019
EPA taps climate skeptic for science advisory panel
By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, Jan 31, 2019 [H/t Cooler Heads]
“Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, has said he believes climate change is occurring, but told senators at his confirmation hearing earlier this month that he did not see it as an urgent problem.”
Trump has attacked science 80 times, group says
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jan 28, 2019
“The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) said in a Monday report that the attacks have been in areas like censoring scientific findings, halting studies, stopping data collection and politicizing grants.”
Social Benefits of Carbon – Fuels and CO2
Marian Tupy: “Celebrate the Industrial Revolution and What Fueled It”
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 30, 2019
The Idiocy of Risking Peoples’ Lives and Welfare to Keep Fossil Fuels “in the Ground”
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Feb 2, 2019
Prof Guus Berkhout: Stop the Doom-and-Gloom Mongering
By Jan van Friesland, JAS Foundation, Holland, VIA GWPF, Jan 29, 2019
“According to him, climate research is much more than just making computer models. He emphasizes utilization of the Earth’s climate history being hidden in the geological and archaeological archives as well as the absolute necessity to differentiate between climate change and environmental degradation.”
German Scientists To More Closely Investigate Cloud Formation, A Vital Component In Climate
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 27, 2019
The Analog Tipping Points Lurking in Tech’s Future
Guest Post, John Andrews, Energy Matters, Jan 27, 2019
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Response of a Mediterranean Red Algae to Ocean Acidification
Yildiz, G. 2018. Physiological responses of the Mediterranean subtidal alga Peyssonnelia squamaria to elevated CO2. Ocean Science Journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12601-018-0044-9. Feb 1, 2019
Rice Lodging Resistance Improved By Elevated CO2
Zhao, X., Zhou, N., Lai, S., Frei, M., Wang, Y. and Yang, L. 2019. Elevated CO2 improves lodging resistance of rice by changing physicochemical properties of the basal internodes. Science of the Total Environment 647: 223-231. Jan 31, 2019
Temperature-related Human Mortality in Taiwan
Lin, Y.-K., Maharani, A.T., Chang, F.-T. and Wang, Y.-C. 2019. Mortality and morbidity associated with ambient temperatures in Taiwan. Science of the Total Environment 651: 210-217. Jan 30, 2019
The Influence of Farmer Adaptation in Maize Production Projections
Parent, B., Leclere, M., Lacube, S., Semenov, M.A., Welcker, C., Martre, P. and Tardieu, F. 2018. Maize yields over Europe may increase in spite of climate change, with an appropriate use of the genetic variability of flowering time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 115: 10642-10647. Jan 28, 2019
The Impact of Ocean Acidification on Atlantic Salmon Smolts
McCormick, S.D. and Regish, A.M. 2018. Effects of ocean acidification on salinity tolerance and seawater growth of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts. Journal of Fish Biology 93: 560-566. Jan 25, 2019
Models v. Observations
Are climate models overpredicting global warming?
By Patrick Michaels, The Hill, Jan 31, 2019
Link to paper: Taking climate model evaluation to the next level
By Veronika Eyring, Peter M. Cox, et al., Nature: Climate Change, Jan 7, 2019
Integrated Surface Database (ISD)
By Staff Writers, NOAA-NCEI, Accessed Feb 2, 2019 [H/t Paul Dellvigne]
Integrated Surface Database (ISD)
By Staff Writers, NOAA-NCEI, Accessed Feb 2, 2019 [H/t Paul Dellevigne]
1936: Coldest Winter And Hottest Summer In The Midwest
By Tony Heller, The Deplorable Climate Science Blog, Feb 1, 2019
Fact-checking the second volume of the U.S. National Climate Assessment
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Dec 4, 2018
Climate Change Indicators
By Staff Writers, EPA, August 2016
Global Mean Surface Temperature: Early 20th Century Warming Period – Models versus Models & Models versus Data
A Guest Post By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Feb 1, 2019
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
UAH Global Temperature Update for January 2019: +0.37 deg. C
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 1, 2019
The biggest unnoticed storms in the world cause sudden Polar Vortex havoc
Sudden Stratospheric Warmings
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 1, 2019
Excellent video on stratospheric change.
#PolarVortex2019 smashes records – 84 million people below 0°F
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 31, 2019
Global warming left when the Midwest needed it most
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Jan 29, 2019
Fascinating animation showing the #polarvortex slamming the USA
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 30, 2019
Record Cold Forces Rethink on Global Warming
By Tom Harris and Tim Ball, PJ Media, Jan 29, 2019
Polar Vortex: Killer Freeze Is Really Due To…Wait For It…Global Warming
Editorial, IBD, Jan 30, 2019
History making big freeze in the US
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 31, 2019
NOAA 2018-19 Winter Outlook: Another Mild Winter
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 31, 2019
Extreme Cold Straining Xcel Energy’s Natural Gas System, Residents Urged To Turn Down Thermostat [Northern Minnesota]
By Staff Writers, CBS, Minnesota, Jan 30, 2019
Pacific Ocean Tide Gauges Of 100+ Years: ‘Both The Relative Rate Of Rise And Acceleration Are Negative’
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 28, 2019
Climate change might not slow ocean circulation as much as thought
Observations over 21 months cast doubt on ideas of what drives Atlantic Ocean ‘conveyor belt’
By Carolyn Gramling, Science News, Jan 31, 2019
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Hole two-thirds size of Manhattan found in Antarctic glacier
By Justin Wise, The Hill, Jan 31, 2019
“The findings are significant given how much ice the Thwaites Glacier holds. NASA said in its statement that the glacier holds ‘enough ice to raise the world ocean a little over 2 feet.’”
[SEPP Comment: The Thwaites glacier is in West Antarctica, where the atmosphere is cooling. If the glacier is not grounded, as claimed in the article, why would its melting raise sea levels significantly?]
Abundant polar bear habitat across the Arctic at the start of winter
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Feb 1, 2019
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
This May Be the Worst Regulation Ever
A USDA rule about labels on ‘bioengineered’ food costs hundreds of millions and has no benefits.
By Henry I. Miller and Drew L. Kershen, WSJ, Jan 30, 2019
Brazil Coffee Glut Causes Price Collapse
By Staff Writers, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: But global warming was threatening our supply of coffee!]
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Evil whites caused the Little Ice Age by bringing small-pox to America
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 2, 2019
Link to paper: Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492
By Alexander Koch, et al., Quaternary science Reviews, Mar 1, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Based on CO2 variation in ice cores, the authors conclude the virgin forests cleared by European settlers in settling the Eastern North America were actually secondary growth trees? How did the pre-European immigrants clear the humid eastern and boreal forests without metallurgy – the axe? Slash and burn are not particularly effective when addressing massive trees with stone tools. According to contemporary accounts, the natives look on with awe at the European with his axe.]
Harrabin [BBC] Peddles Latest Arctic Nonsense
[SEPP Comment: Is it the earth, the climate, or the journalists that have reached a tipping point?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Climate Change Gets a New Language… Again
Guest whatever by David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 30, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Bill Nye’s Latest Climate Warning: The US Will Have to Grow Its Food in Canada
By Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: The self-proclaimed “science guy” is clueless. Midwest America’s biggest export crops are soybeans and corn (maize). Its biggest competitor in these crops is central Brazil – in the tropics.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
John Cook, we’ll believe you when you stop doing what you complain we’re doing
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Illustrating the hypocrisy of Mr. Cook, the latest of the 97% pollsters who would have George Gallup spinning in his grave.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
By Abe Greenwald, Commentary, Jan 25, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
“Nothing says ‘end of the world’ like a big fake clock.”
The New Language of Climate Change
Scientists and meteorologists on the front lines of the climate wars are testing a new strategy to get through to the skeptics and outright deniers.
By Bryan Bender, Politico, Jan 27, 2019
“The spring blossoms keep coming earlier; seasonal allergies are worsening and lasting longer; extreme heat is upending the kids’ summer camp schedule; crops are drying up or washing away at alarming rates.”
[SEPP Comment: Starting with a great propaganda photo of “sea level rise” that may be from land subsidence. Is this overwhelming scientific evidence?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Greta Thunberg: PR Puppet or Climate Figurehead?
By Stefan Winterbauer, media, de, Via GWPF, Jan 30, 2019
“16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg is now regarded by much of the media as a ‘figurehead of the climate protection movement’.”
Expanding the Orthodoxy
UN Interferes in Canada & Australia
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Jan 30, 2019
The World’s Dumbest Energy Policy
Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Jan 30, 2019
Energy bills could rise by £100 a year after price cap is revised
By Katie Morley, Daily Telegraph, UK, Jan 25, 2019
Green Madness: Wind Farms Alongside HAS Train Line ‘Could Maket It the World’s Most Expensive Railway’
By Staff Writers, Sunday Telegraph, Via GWPF, Jan 28, 2019
Emissions targets for transport sector can’t be met using natural gas alone
By Caroline Brogan, Phys.org, Jan 28, 2019
Link to paper: Can Natural Gas Reduce Emissions From Transport? Heavy Goods Vehicles and Shipping, White paper 4
By Jamie Speirs, et al, Imperial College, Sustainable Gas Institute, January 2019
Dark Ages Beckon with Green Left Energy Policies
By Nick Cater, The Australian, Via GWPF, Jan 29, 2019
“The evocation of the Churchillian spirit was not entirely inappropriate. Back in World War I, Winston ordered what was probably the first government-mandated blackout in an effort to deter the German navy from shelling the English south coast.
“Today’s enemy is not the kaiser but the weather.”
The Political Games Continue
Ocasio-Cortez, Markey to unveil Green New Deal legislation
By John Bowden, The Hill, Jan 30, 2019
Special Edition Devoted to the Green New Deal
Climate Change Weekly #313
By H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute, Feb 1, 2019
The ‘Green New Deal’ is a prescription for poverty
By Craig Richardson, Washington Examiner, Jan 28, 2019
Green New Deal: Is 100% Renewable Energy Even Possible, Or Good For The Environment?
By John Merline, IBD, Jan 31, 2019
Gov. Abbott, let us scientists help you understand climate change
By Andrew Dessler, Dallas News, Jan 30, 2019
Tx. Governor Abbott: Beware of Andrew Dessler (science-is-settled climate alarmist requires balance)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 24, 2019
See link immediately above
Will Climate Destroy the Utility Industry?
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 29, 2019
15 AGs petition Trump administration to draft asbestos rule
By Miranda, Green, The Hill, Jan 31, 2019
“‘It is widely known that asbestos is one of the most harmful chemicals known to humankind,’ said California AG Xavier Becerra. ‘There is no excuse to continue allowing any amounts of toxic asbestos to pass into our community, especially into the lungs of workers and children, when we know the danger it presents. We call on Acting Administrator Wheeler to begin the process of eliminating exemptions that allow this unsafe chemical to continue to harm tens of thousands of people each year.’” [Boldface added.]
[SEPP Comment: How toxic is white asbestos, mined in North America, compared to the nerve agent VX?]
Court Deals Virginia’s Anti-Exxon AG a Major Blow
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Jan 28, 2019
UK Court of Appeal Rejects Climate Lawsuit
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Jan 31, 2019
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Plan B to the Carbon Tax (NYT’s remarkable obituary article)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 28, 2019
Policymakers should glean lessons from Canada’s carbon tax
By Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman, The Hill, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: An example on how government taxation actually works.]
Carbon Taxes and Other Idols of Economics
By Peter Morici, Washington Times, Jan 30, 2019 [H/t Cooler Heads]
On climate change, good economics sadly does not make good politics
By Ryan Bourne, City A.M., Jan 30, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
Irish Carbon Tax Rise in Doubt Following Yellow Vest Revolt in France
By Staff Writers, The Times, Via GWPF, Jan 27, 2018
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Electric car subsidies largely benefit ‘rich’ Tesla and Jaguar drivers
By Staff Writers, Dutch News.nl, Jan 30, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
Energy Issues – Non-US
GWPF Calls on UK Government to Remove Arbitrary Shale Gas Restrictions
Press Release, GWPF, Jan 31, 2019
Planned German coal exit boosts case for Nord Stream 2
By Peter Teffer, EU Observer, Jan 28, 2019
More Blackouts In South Australia–Where’s Elon Musk?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 29, 2019
Nearly a billion dollars for electricity for just one day — $500 per family
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 26, 2019
“The cost of electricity on Thursday in two states of Australia reached a tally of $932 million dollars for a single day of electricity. Thanks to David Bidstrup on Catallaxy for calculating it.”
[SEPP Comment: Is this amount the “bonus” for going to renewables?]
Energy Issues — US
Another New England Winter, Same Natural Gas Shortage
By William Murray, Real Clear Energy, Jan 30, 2019
“The reason energy prices are so easy to forecast in New England is simple: Hyper-localism and enviro-ideology have blocked construction of several needed natural gas pipelines into the region in the past decade, leaving it the only part of the country that has constrained supplies of natural gas.”
“They’re [New England governors are] asking Congress to grant the region an exemption to a 99-year-old shipping law — the Jones Act — so that cheap natural gas can be moved by ship from Texas and Louisiana to Boston.”
Trump Eyes Action to Limit States’ Powers to Block Pipelines
By Ari Natter and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg, Jan 24, 2019
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Fears Of U.S. Shale Demise May Be Overblown
By David Messler, Oil Price.com, Jan 14, 2019
U.S. Set To Pump More Oil Than Russia And Saudis Combined
By Staff Writers, Rystad Energy, Jan 24, 2019
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Is China’s plan to use a nuclear bomb detonator to release shale gas in earthquake-prone Sichuan crazy or brilliant?
Scientists have developed an ‘energy rod’ that can fire multiple shock waves to frack sedimentary rock at depths of up to 3.5km
China has the world’s largest reserves of natural gas but current mining technology makes most of it inaccessible
By Stephen Chen, Sought China Morning Post, Jan 27, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
Creativity needed in nuclear power recruitment, report says
By Staff Writers, World Nuclear News, Jan 23, 2019
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Texas town’s environmental narcissism makes Al Gore happy while sticking its citizens with the bill
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Politicians holding fast, as citizens pay “$1,219 per household in higher electricity costs.” Arrogance is not limited by political party / tribe.]
The Green Energies Of Instability…Swiss Power Grid Requires 200 Fold More Intervention Than 8 Years Ago!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 26, 2019
The Era Of Ultra-Cheap Solar Panels Is Over
By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price.com, Jan 26, 2019
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
Misconceptions About Battery Storage
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 27, 2019
Federal judge asks PG&E: Should I ‘let you keep killing people?’ Rules utility violated its felony probation
U.S. District Judge William Alsup spent Wednesday morning eviscerating PG&E in federal court over wildfires
By Matthias Gafni and John Woolfolk, Chico Enterprise-Record, Calf., Jan 30, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
“Among other measures, Alsup said he might require PG&E to adopt San Diego Gas & Electric’s system for shutting down power service during high winds that could fell trees or power lines and spark deadly, fast-moving wildfires.”
Here’s How PG&E’s Bankruptcy Might Hurt California’s Ambitious Climate Goals
By Lauren Sommer, KQED, NPR, Jan 31, 2019
Health, Energy, and Climate
Study: Climate change could lead to worse heart defects in babies
By Morgan Gstalter, The Hill, Jan 30, 2019
Link to paper: Projected Changes in Maternal Heat Exposure During Early Pregnancy and the Associated Congenital Heart Defect Burden in the United States
By Wangjan Zhang, et al, Journal of the American Heart Association, Jan 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Humanity evolved in tropical Africa. It can’t take the heat? The American Heart Association has lost it.]
Congratulations Anti-Vaxxers, You’ve Made Measles Great Again
Editorial, IBD, Jan 31, 2019
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Climate conference emits hot air!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Jan 26, 2019
“Amid talk of offsetting the hefty carbon footprint of the United Nations climate conference in Bali, organisers missed a large elephant in the room.
“The air-conditioning system installed to keep more than 10,000 delegates cool used highly damaging refrigerant gases – as lethal to the atmosphere as 48,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and nearly the equivalent of the emissions of all aircraft used to fly delegates to Indonesia.
“In addition, the refrigerant is a potent greenhouse gas, with each kilogram at least as damaging as 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Investigators at the Balinese resort complex at Nusa Dua counted 700 cylinders of the gas, each of them weighing 13.5 kilograms, and the system was visibly leaking.” Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Dec 2007
Will you lead by example?
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Feb 1, 2019
“If it’s so hard to change the climate to suit humans, why not alter humans to suit the changing climate, philosophers from Oxford and New York universities are asking. They suggest humans could be modified to be smaller, to dislike eating meat, have fewer children and be more willing to co-operate with social goals.
“Behavioural changes might not be enough, even if they are widely adopted, and international agreements for market solutions such as emissions trading are proving difficult to achieve, say Matthew Liao, of New York University, and Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache, of Oxford University.
“They suggest hormone treatments could be used to suppress child growth, or embryos selected for smaller size. They say people who lack the motivation or willpower to give up eating meat could be helped by ‘meat patches’ on their skin, which deliver hormones to stimulate the immune system against common bovine proteins.
“’Henceforth eating ‘eco-unfriendly’ food would induce unpleasant experiences,’ the authors say. Better-educated women have fewer children, so human engineering to enhance cognition could lead to fertility reduction as ‘a positive side effect from the point of view of tackling climate change’, the paper also argues.” Sydney Morning Herald, 6 Apr 2012
1. The Prosperity Paradox’ Review: A Better Way to Fight Poverty
The current foreign-development paradigm of government-funded programs should be replaced by an entrepreneurial model.
By Rupert Darwall, WSJ, Jan 30, 2019
SUMMARY: The reviewer writes:
“Perhaps the most corrosive and enduring consequence of the 2008 financial crisis was the capitalist’s loss of confidence in capitalism. “Society is increasingly looking to companies, both public and private, to address pressing social and economic issues,” BlackRock’s Larry Fink wrote last year in a letter to CEOs, as if to say that capitalism absent such an overt objective would be inherently bad. It’s easy for Mr. Fink to call for curbs to the pursuit of prosperity—his compensation for the year before his social-purpose letter was $28 million. But the biggest losers from such a sentiment aren’t corporate bosses; they’re the majority of ordinary workers and society as a whole. As the economist Joseph Schumpeter observed: “The capitalist process, not by coincidence but by virtue of its mechanism, progressively raises the standard of life of the masses.”
“For Schumpeter, entrepreneurs and the companies they found are the engines of wealth creation. This is what distinguishes capitalism from all previous forms of economic society and turned Marxism on its head, the parasitic capitalist becoming the innovative and beneficent entrepreneur. Since the 2008 crash, Schumpeter’s lessons have been overshadowed by Keynesian macroeconomics, in which the entrepreneurial function is reduced to a ghostly presence. As Schumpeter commented on John Maynard Keynes’s “General Theory” (1936), change—the outstanding feature of capitalism—was, in Keynes’s analysis, “assumed away.”
“Progressive, ameliorative change is what poor people in poor countries need most of all. In “The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty,” Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen and co-authors Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon return the entrepreneur and innovation to the center stage of economic development and prosperity. The authors overturn the current foreign-aid development paradigm of externally imposed, predominantly government funded capital- and institution-building programs and replace it with a model of entrepreneur-led innovation. “It may sound counterintuitive,” the authors write, but “enduring prosperity for many countries will not come from fixing poverty. It will come from investing in innovations that create new markets within these countries.” This is the paradox of the book’s title.
“The authors’ notion of innovation is Schumpeterian, as is the singular importance they accord it in the economic process. Their conception goes beyond final products to embrace production, process, organization and financing. They are especially insightful about the catalyzing effects of market-creating, behavior-changing and culture-forming innovation on economic development by providing products and services people didn’t know they needed, thereby converting nonconsumers into consumers. “By investing in market-creating innovations,” Mr. Christensen and his co-authors argue, “investors and entrepreneurs inadvertently engage in nation-building.”
“Skeptics will contend that the stony ground of today’s poorest countries—the book lists 20 countries whose 2015 per capita income had declined below its 1960s levels—is too barren for growth. “Many prosperous countries today,” the authors respond, “were once poor, corrupt, and badly governed.” America in the 1850s was more impoverished than present-day Angola, Mongolia or Sri Lanka. Institutional capacity was weak and corruption rife. “Successful economies develop in spite of widespread corruption,” the authors write. South Korea’s spectacular economic growth in the 1960s and ’70s occurred during the corrupt rule of Gen. Park Chung-hee.
“Innovation, regardless of circumstances, is possible, Mr. Christensen and his co-authors say. Examples drawn from the developing world, past and present—including 19th-century America and postwar Japan and South Korea—illustrate the book’s central idea: that development takes root when innovation harnessed to the entrepreneur’s ambition pulls in the resources a society needs to become prosperous.”
After discussing the example of the Tolaram Group, a Singapore-based conglomerate that created the instant-noodle market in Nigeria, the reviewer continues:
“Some of the authors’ examples operate with an explicit social purpose, and plenty do not, but profit is what sustains all of them and makes their societal contributions sustainable. What the author describes and advocates is simply capitalism in action.
“Not all innovation works this way, of course. Did the North American Free Trade Agreement have a retarding effect on Mexico by encouraging it to specialize in efficiency innovations and somehow leach out home-grown innovation? ‘We do not know the answers to all of the development puzzles in our world,’ the authors admit. Instead of a book of glib answers, they present something much more powerful—a work of creative destruction for today’s failed development-policy paradigm.”
2. A Hoax and Its ‘Human Subjects’
An Institutional Review Board disciplines an academic prankster. But is it constitutional?
By Charlotte Allen, WSJ, Jan 28, 2019
The essayist writes:
“A massive academic hoax has taken a surprising twist. Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy, faces disciplinary action at Oregon’s Portland State University. The accusations against him raise constitutional questions about federal regulation of academic research. They also implicitly acknowledge that the prank had a serious point.
“Mr. Boghossian—along with two confederates, neither of whom has an academic affiliation—set out to expose shoddy scholarship in what they call ‘grievance studies.’ They concocted 20 pseudonymous ‘academic papers,’ complete with fake data, and submitted them to leading peer-reviewed scholarly journals in fields like ‘queer studies’ and ‘fat studies.’ The Journal’s Jillian Melchior discovered the deception last summer and broke the story in October, by which time seven of the phony papers had been accepted for publication and four published.
“‘It had to be done,’ Mr. Boghossian tells me. ‘We saw what was happening in these fields, and we were horrified at the faulty epistemology that these people were using to credential themselves and teach others.’ The effort drew praise from some well-known public intellectuals, including Richard Dawkins, Jordan Peterson and Steven Pinker.
“Mr. Boghossian said in October that he expected to face disciplinary action and maybe to lose his job. He quickly came under fire from Portland State colleagues—one of whom, social-work professor Stéphanie Wahab, is a co-editor of Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, which accepted an article titled ‘Our Struggle Is My Struggle.’ It consisted in part of a chapter of ‘Mein Kampf’ with feminist buzzwords swapped in for Hitler’s anti-Semitisms. In an anonymous letter to the student newspaper, a dozen professors accused Mr. Boghossian of ‘chronic and pathological, unscholarly behavior.’
A hastily formed university committee recommended that Mr. Boghossian be investigated for ‘research misconduct’—that is, purposely fabricating data. That case would seem to be open and shut, but the investigation has stalled.
“More serious are the sanctions against Mr. Boghossian announced Dec. 21 on behalf of Portland State’s Institutional Review Board for conducting research on ‘human subjects’ without submitting his research protocol to the IRB for review as required by the federal National Research Act of 1974. The ‘human subjects’ in question were the editors and peer-reviewers of the duped journals. Portland State ordered Mr. Boghossian to undergo ‘human subjects research training,’ and its letter warns that ‘further actions may be required,’ with no elaboration.
Odd as it may sound, experts say Portland State seems to have a strong case against Mr. Boghossian: As a legal matter, he was doing research, and other professors were his subjects. The real problem is the 1974 law and the tangled regulations the Health and Human Services Department has issued over the years. Scholars have long complained that HHS’s sweeping interpretation of its mandate has censored, delayed and stymied their scholarly projects—a classic example of governmental mission creep.
“Congress passed the National Research Act in response to the notorious Tuskegee experiments on unwitting black men and similar abuses. Yet the scope of the law—designed to ensure that researchers have ‘informed consent’ from their subjects—extends far beyond medicine, to social science and even historical scholarship if living persons are involved. Only in 2017, after decades of complaints, did HHS agree to exempt such endeavors as oral history and literary criticism from IRB oversight. More exemptions went into effect early this year, but they don’t seem to cover Mr. Boghossian’s work. Sanctions can include withholding of federal money from an entire institution until the violation is corrected.
“Further, although IRB vetting technically applies only to federally funded research, HHS has strongly encouraged institutions to apply it to private research as well, and most have gone along. Portland State is one of numerous schools that take federal funding to have signed an ‘assurance’ that it will apply IRB vetting to all its research, no matter what the funding source.”
After further discussing legal issues the essayist concludes:
“Unfortunately for Mr. Boghossian, his deception may make him an unsympathetic plaintiff in a constitutional challenge to a federal law. Nonetheless, Portland State, in pursuing disciplinary sanctions against him, is paying him a backhanded compliment: acknowledging that he has done genuine research exposing the intellectual vacuity of ‘grievance studies,’ to which its practitioners must now respond.”