The Week That Was: 2019-10-26 (October 26, 2019)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Alarmists in Local Media – Using Surface Data: The huge propaganda push by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the need for “climate protection” has resulted in many strident claims in the local media, many becoming colorful slogans such as “climate crisis”, “climate chaos”, etc. Joseph D’Aleo, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has long addressed false ideas about climate change both in the AMS and in the public. D’Aleo was a founder of the Weather Channel and of WeatherBell Analytics, LLC. He is a pioneer in seasonal forecasts based on evidence and statistical modeling. As with many well-known skeptics who rebut the unsubstantiated claims that carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming, D’Aleo has been called a shill for oil companies and suffered many other politically motivated attacks.
On his blog, ICECAP, D’Aleo discusses some of the challenges he has faced in public and how he has addressed them. In the presentation he has a link to “Alarmist Claim Rebuttals” where he and others confront many of the myths produced by the IPCC with physical evidence – something sorely lacking in the IPCC summaries and in the US National Climate Assessment. Scientific knowledge is built with physical evidence, not with speculative mathematical models that fail basic testing against physical evidence. Among the many myths D’Aleo and his group address are heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods, wildfires, are carbon pollution as a health hazard, etc.
D’Aleo relates that when James Hansen was at NASA in 1999, he recognized that in the U.S. temperature record: “’In the U.S., the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934’.” D’Aleo says that due to political pressure, the US surface record has been adjusted to reflect a warming trend that does not exist in the measurements. The adjustment is disguised by various tricks such as:
“The alarmists in National Climate Assessment finessed the issue by creating a ratio of record highs to record lows. Both have been declining since the 1930s, but record lows are declining faster thanks to urban heat island nighttime temperature contamination. Colors were appropriately chosen to give the illusion heat records are rising rapidly although as we have shown they are declining.”
“Most of the warming in daytime average readings is with nighttime lows and related to urbanization….”
“Importantly, NOAA “adjustments’ to the data shown below have cooled the past, producing an upward trend where the Measured data linear trend would be basically flat. Clearly, this data adjustment yielded Reported data that increased the chance of subsequent months and years will routinely rank among the records.”
Comparison of the graph of USCHN temperature trends from 1890 to about 2016 with that of NOAA-adjusted data shows the stark difference between measured temperatures and reported adjusted temperatures. Adjusted temperatures are significantly lower early in the record by as much as 1.5 degrees F, giving a false impression of warming. (Tony Heller frequently cites specific measurements on his web site.)
As D’Aleo states:
“Overall, the urban heat island is a far more significant anthropogenic factor than CO2. You hear it every night on local TV forecasts. It was adjusted for in the first US data set in 1989. Tom Karl Director of NCDC said if they didn’t, an artificial warming of 6F/century would result. He was pressured to remove it in version 2 a decade ago to get the appearance of warming the government wanted.”
D’Aleo gives an excellent review of many of the assertions by those promoting “climate protection” that are contradicted by physical evidence. Also, he exposes a number of the false claims promoted by highly politicized sections of US government entities. His discussion on surface temperatures covers some of the reasons why TWTW does not rely on surface temperatures or on reports from these specific entities of NOAA and NASA. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and https://alarmistclaimresearch.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/ac-rebuttal-heat-waves-081819.pdf (p. 5).
The Greenhouse Effect –Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS): On his blog, Roy Spencer takes up the issue presented by statistician Nic Lewis on the paper presented Gregory et al., that the sensitivity of earth to changing CO2 can be derived from studies of historic climate change. These involve the problem of using statistical techniques to estimate the relationship of top-of-the-atmosphere changes in radiation as measured by satellites with temperature trends. As mentioned in the last TWTW, Lewis demonstrates that the statistical techniques used in the Gregory paper were weak and that the authors of the Gregory paper may not fully understand the weaknesses of the statistics they use.
Spencer discusses that ten years ago he and Danny Braswell:
“…published a series of papers pointing out that time-varying radiative forcing generated naturally in the climate system obscures the diagnosis of radiative feedback. Probably the best summary of our points was provided in our paper “On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing” (2010). Choi and Lindzen later followed up with papers that further explored the problem.”
“The bottom line of our work is that standard ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression techniques applied to observed co-variations between top-of-atmosphere radiative flux (from ERBE or CERES satellites) and temperature will produce a low bias in the feedback parameter, and so a high bias in climate sensitivity. [Spencer states he provides a simple demonstration.] The reason why is that time-varying internal radiative forcing (say, from changing cloud patterns reflecting more or less sunlight to outer space) de-correlates the data (example below). We were objecting to the use of such measurements to justify high climate sensitivity estimates from observations.
Our papers were, of course, widely criticized, with even the editor of Remote Sensing being forced to resign for allowing one of the papers to be published (even though the paper was never retracted). Andrew Dessler objected to our conclusions, claiming that all cloud variations must ultimately be due to feedback from some surface temperature change somewhere at some time (an odd assertion from someone who presumably knows some meteorology and cloud physics).
So, even though the new Gregory et al. paper does not explicitly list our papers as references, it does heavily reference Proistosescu et al. (2018) which directly addresses the issues we raised. These newer papers show that our points were valid, and they come to the same conclusions we did — that high climate sensitivity estimates from the observed co-variations in temperature and radiative flux were not trustworthy. [Boldface was italics in the original.]
Spencer writes the new Gregory paper is important. It:
“…is extensive and makes many good conceptual points which I agree with. Jonathan Gregory has a long history of pioneering work in feedback diagnosis, and his published research cannot be ignored. The paper will no doubt figure prominently in future IPCC report writing.”
Unfortunately, a huge problem remains – natural climate variation which tends to be eliminated by the approaches used in many studies, illustrated by Gregory.
“In other words, their methodology would seem to have little to do with determination of climate sensitivity from natural variations in the climate system, because they [Gregory]have largely removed the natural variations from the climate model runs. The question they seem to be addressing is a very special case: How well can the climate sensitivity in models be diagnosed from 30-year periods of model data when the radiative forcing causing the temperature change is already known and can be subtracted from the data? (Maybe this is why they term theirs a “perfect model” approach.) If I [Spencer] am correct, then they [Gregory] really haven’t fully addressed the more general question posed by their paper’s title: “How accurately can the climate sensitivity to CO2 be estimated from historical climate change?” The “historical climate change” in the title has nothing to do with natural climate variations.
“Unfortunately — and this is me [Spencer] reading between the lines — these newer papers appear to be building a narrative that observations of the climate system cannot be used to determine the sensitivity of the climate system; instead, climate model experiments should be used. Of course, since climate models must ultimately agree with observations, any model estimate of climate sensitivity must still be observations-based. We at UAH continue to work on other observational techniques, not addressed in the new papers, to tease out the signature of feedback from the observations in a simpler and more straightforward manner, from natural year-to-year variations in the climate system. While there is no guarantee of success, the importance of the climate sensitivity issue requires this.” [Boldface in original]
“And, again, Nic Lewis is right to object to their implicit lumping the Lewis & Curry observational determination of climate sensitivity work from energy budget calculations in with statistical diagnoses of climate sensitivity, the latter which I agree cannot yet be reliably used to diagnose ECS.”
Spencer goes on to give a simple demonstration of the problem of diagnosing feedbacks. This discussion goes to the critical issue: the physics is not simple and there is no generally accepted theory of the greenhouse effect, regardless of what the IPCC and its followers claim.
The discussion of the Gregory paper on his blog led Spencer to discuss a more general question: Does the Climate System Have a Preferred Average State? To which TWTW would add: If It Does, Can Humans Comprehend It? This is an issue for the near future. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Issues With Atmospheric Temperature Trends: Issues with satellite measurements of atmospheric temperatures have been discussed since the 1990s. The most significant issue was orbital decay which resulted in a cooling trend. These errors were quickly corrected when confirmed. The scientists at the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville publicly release their findings monthly, making them and the need for any corrections open for public review and criticism.
In 2017, a group of climate scientists published a paper in Nature, Geoscience, explaining why they think models differ from observations in estimates of temperature trends in the troposphere (the part of the atmosphere where water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas and where weather occurs). Climate Scientist Zeke Hausfather who, as an environmental economist worked on the Berkeley Earth program of evaluating land surface temperature records, published a review of the 2017 paper in Carbon Brief. Among the issues Hausfather discusses are:
“Much of our historical temperature data comes from weather stations, ships, and buoys on the Earth’s surface. Since 1979 temperature records of the atmosphere are also available from satellite-based microwave sounding units (MSU). These measure the “brightness” of microwave radiation bands in the atmosphere, from which scientists can estimate air temperatures.
“However, the bands measured by the satellite instruments cannot easily provide the temperature of a specific layer of the atmosphere. Researchers have identified particular sets of bands that correspond to the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) spanning roughly 0 to 10 km, the middle troposphere (TMT) spanning around 0 to 20 km and the lower stratosphere (TLS) spanning 10 to 30 km.
“Unfortunately, these bands tend to overlap a bit. For example, TMT estimates will include part of the lower stratosphere, while TLT estimates will include some surface temperature. These overlaps matter because different parts of the atmosphere are expected to react very differently to climate change.”
The article criticizes the UAH data for showing less warming than estimates from Remote Sensing Services (RSS), two executives of which participated in the Nature study. Carl Mears, the co-founder of RSS stated:
“’In general, I think that the surface datasets are likely to be more accurate than the satellite datasets. The between-research spreads are much larger than for the surface data, suggesting larger structural uncertainty’.”
An explanation for the claim is not given and it is questionable. As D’Aleo states above, the nighttime warming from the Urban Heat Island effect creates great uncertainty in the surface data. Hausfather’s essay concludes with:
“Ultimately, the [Nature] paper finds that while there is a mismatch between climate models and observations in the troposphere since the year 2000, there is little evidence to-date that the model/observation differences imply that the climate is less sensitive to greenhouse gases. The results suggest that while these short-term differences between models and observations are a subject of great scientific interest, it does not diminish the reality of long-term human-driven warming.”
Additional papers by Christy, et al. present physical evidence compared to models that the difference is real and significant. See links under Models v. Observations and http://berkeleyearth.org/team/zeke-hausfather/
Sue Them All! The attorney general of New York has taken Exxon to court in what trial lawyer Francis Menton calls “A Serious Contender For Stupidest Litigation In The Country Goes To Trial.” Menton’s biograph as a contributor to the Federalist Society states, in part:
“Francis J. Menton, Jr. is a partner in the Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the Business Litigation Practice Group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. Mr. Menton specializes in complex and technical commercial litigation, principally contract and securities claims. He has a nationwide trial practice and has tried cases in state and federal courts including Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.”
Other candidates for Menton’s title of “Stupidest Litigation in the Country” include: the one that was “brought in Oregon by a group of minor children claiming a ‘constitutional right’ to a ‘stable climate,’ and seeking a nationwide injunction forcing the phase-out of all use of fossil fuels in the United States”; ones by municipalities in California and New York seeking compensation for sea level rise and other “climate harms.” Some of the cases have been dismissed, others are pending.
Menton concludes the essay with:
But it’s not just that this case, now in its third iteration, has no discernible relationship to its supposed purpose of investor protection. (Are we really to believe that the NY AG is trying to help you make more money by investing in Exxon?) And then consider the category of supposedly addressing “climate change.” That is nowhere stated as a purpose of the litigation in its current configuration, and I would really challenge anyone to come up with an articulation of how this case might have anything to do with that cause. Other than, I suppose, “we hate Exxon.”
As with any litigation, it is impossible to predict with reliability how it will go. New York has a different set of rules than other states. Menton sat through part of the oral arguments and no doubt will report on developments. Note for disclosure: several years ago, Ken Haapala was on some telephone conference calls that included Menton. See links under Litigation issues and https://fedsoc.org/contributors/francis-menton
California Fires: Last week’s TWTW briefly discussed regulated utilities and how ill-considered policies implemented by politicians divert funds needed for maintenance and public safety to special causes, such as alternative electricity generation. On October 25, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial detailing some of the special politicized demands politicians have placed on the now-favorite target of “corporate greed” – Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). This week, PG&E declared another black-out, cutting power to over 900,000 consumers. Another major fire driven by Fall winds is threatening cities in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.
According to the EIA in 2017, the average retail price for electricity was 16.06 cents/kWh in California, while the national average was 10.48 cents/kWh. In the lower 48 states, California prices were exceeded only by New England. Customers in black-out California have yet to feel the full effect of state law which mandates that utilities obtain 33% of electric generation from renewables such as wind and solar by 2020 and 60% by 2030. See links under California Dreaming, Article # 1, and https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/
Number of the Week: $11.69 billion up 31%. According to a report in the District of Columbia newspaper, The Hill, the Interior Department reported that revenue collected from energy production on public lands rose in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 by 31 percent over FY 2018 to $11.69 billion. About $2.44 billion was dispersed to states and Indian tribes.
The increase can be attributed, chiefly, to opening public lands for oil and gas production, including hydraulic fracturing. Some of the increase may have come from more accurate accounting of fair market value in resource sales. Unfortunately, the news report did not link or identify the Department of Interior report.
Separately, the Oil and Gas Journal reported that:
“American gas end-users have realized $1.1 trillion in savings since 2008 as a result of increased gas production in the Shale Crescent USA region (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia), according to a new economic analysis released Oct. 21.”
Americans are enjoying the benefits of plentiful, reliable, and affordable oil and gas, except in states that penalize such production, processing and use. See links under Washington’s Control of Energy, Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?, and https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Denier, denier, job on fire
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
“On the plus side, Crockford vows not to be silenced. But she and those like her will need all our help if universities are not to turn from places of free inquiry to inquiry-free places.”
Polar bear expert frozen out for telling the truth
By Benny Peiser, The Conservative Woman, Oct 23, 2019
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019
Download with no charge:
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge:
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data
By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Battling radical alarmists in the local media
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, Oct 22, 2019
Alarmist Claim Rebuttals
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, Acresearch, May 20, 2019
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Oct 25, 2019
“Substantial chaos in the climate system injects a large component of uncertainty into all predictions of future climate change, including our ability to determine climate sensitivity. It reduces the practical value of climate modelling efforts, which cost billions of dollars and support the careers of thousands of researchers. While I am generally supportive of climate modeling, I am appropriately skeptical of the ability of current climate models to provide enough confidence to make high-cost energy policy decisions.”
Comments on the Gregory et al. Climate Sensitivity Paper and Nic Lewis’s Criticism
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Oct 24, 2019
Chicken Littles vs Adelie Penguins
By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, Oct 23, 2019
“By perpetuating bogus claims of a world ending in 12 years, the Chicken Littles are doing far more harm than blinding children to scientific evidence that many species, from polar bears to Adelie Penguins, are thriving. Our children miss the “important lesson” that a “climate crisis” is only a theory supported by scary narratives, not facts.”
Defending the Orthodoxy
As The Climate Warms, Companies Scramble To Calculate The Risk To Their Profits
By Dan Charles, NPR, October 16, 2019
“‘Any publicly traded company, I think, is under increasing pressure from the investment community to articulate what we see as our upcoming climate risk,’ Nash [head of sustainability at the agriculture company, Ingredion] says. ‘That’s partly because of prodding from an international organization called the Financial Stability Board, which set up a task force chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help companies voluntarily disclose such risks.”
[SEPP Comment: And what is the risk of it getting colder as it has been in this Quaternary Period of ice ages?]
Defending science in a post-fact era
Naomi Oreskes’ latest book lays out an argument for why the process of proof is worth trusting.
Harvard Professor Naomi Oreskes is author of “Why Trust Science?”.
By Jill Radsken, The Harvard Gazette, Oct 22, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Are there facts supporting Oreskes’ smear of respected scientists? Perhaps Harvard will employ professors on paranormal science – fact-free science?]
Global climate laws threatened by rise in investor-state disputes
By Florence Schulz, EURACTIV.de, Oct 23, 2019
“A global rise in investor lawsuits against nation-states is putting climate protection laws under threat, activists warn.”
[SEPP Comment: What is needed for “climate protection”?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Climate Science’s Myth-Buster
It’s time to be scientific about global warming, says climatologist Judith Curry.
By Guy Sorman, City Journal, Winter 2019 [H/t William Readdy]
Clouds ain’t so cool
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
Link to paper: Weak average liquid-cloud-water response to anthropogenic aerosols
By Toll, Christensen, Quaas and Bellouin, Nature, July 31, 2019
Has climate change jumped the shark?
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
“The hardcore believe that if voters are not willing to pay high carbon taxes and otherwise do without the conveniences of modern life, they are short-sighted idiots and democracy itself must give way in this climate emergency.”
Who Are the “Experts” on Climate Change?
Guest post by John Droz, Jr., WUWT, Oct 22, 2019
Trump prepares to formally withdraw US from Paris Climate Accord
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Oct 23, 2019
Without help from US, UN climate fund struggles to meet goal
By Staff, AP, Oct 24, 2019
“The two-day meeting in Paris aims to replenish the Green Climate Fund, which has spent much of the $7 billion it received from governments in the past five years.
“Governments agreed at a U.N. climate summit in 2015 to raise $100 billion each year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions and cope with the inevitable impacts of global warming, such as sea level rise and droughts.”
[SEPP Comment: Without the US leading the way, many countries are not paying “climate protection” money.]
AusExit: Petition to remove Australia from the Paris Climate Agreement
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 22, 2019
27 nations pledge nearly $10B to fight climate change, US not among them
By Tal Axelrod, The Hill, Oct 25, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Pledges can be easy to make, but difficult to collect.]
Land-based measures in Europe require food system transformation
By Staff Writers, Karlsruhe, Germany (SPX), Oct 16, 2019
Link to paper: Implementing land-based mitigation to achieve the Paris Agreement in Europe requires food system transformation
By Heera Lee, et al., Environmental Research Letters, Oct 4, 2019
From the abstract: Maintaining food imports at today’s levels to avoid the potential displacement of food production and deforestation required at least a 15% yield improvement, or a drastic reduction in meat consumption (avg. 57%).
Loophole on counting emissions threatens Paris climate agreement
By Staff, AFP-JIJI, Oct 11, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
Change in US Administrations
Obviously People In The Permanent Bureaucracy Are Working To Undermine And Remove President Trump
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 20, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Unfortunately, the assertion by Menton also applies to organizations claiming to be scientific.]
Senate GOP bill seeks to move 90% of jobs in 10 federal departments outside D.C.
By Valerie Richardson, The Washing Times, Oct 23, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Hear the swamp scream, led by lobbyists.]
Trump nominates deputy energy secretary to replace Rick Perry
By Morgan Chalfant, The Hill, Oct 18, 2019
Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide
The Greening of Planet Earth Confirmed Video Archive
By Staff, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Via CO2 Science, Oct 19, 2019
Since 1981 74% Of The Globe Greened And Crop Production Swelled By 95% Due To Rising CO2, Warming
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 21, 2019
Link to first paper: Vegetation structural change since 1981 significantly enhanced the terrestrial carbon sink
By Jing M. Chen, et al., Nature, Communications, Sep 15, 2019
Link to second paper: Detected global agricultural greening from satellite data
By Xueyuan Gao, Shunlin Liang and Bin Hec, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Oct 15, 2019
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Britain now G7’s biggest net importer of CO2 emissions per capita, says ONS
Fall in UK-produced emissions has been offset by those from increase in imported products
By Richard Partington, The Guardian, Oct 21, 2019
Link to report: The decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions: UK evidence
How the UK’s economy has developed over time and the efforts it has made to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
By Staff, Office for National Statistics, Oct 21, 2019
Britain Importing CO2 Emissions!! Who Would Have Guessed?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 24, 2019
Global carbon emissions increased by 1.9% in 2018: JRC report
By Umar Ali, Power Technology, Oct 22, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
Link to report: Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries
By Monforti-Ferrario, F, Joint Research Centre (European Commission) 2019
Russia Rejects Climate Change Plan After Business Uproar
Russia’s largest companies have killed off plans to introduce individual emissions quotas and a carbon trading system.
By Staff, The Moscow Times, Oct 17, 2019
Seeking a Common Ground
Reflections on energy blogging
By Planning Engineer, Climate Etc. Oct 21, 2019
“This brings up another criticism that relates to the differences between academics and engineers, or scientists and engineers. Engineers are less concerned with observations and theory, focusing more on creating workable real-world solutions.”
Facebook’s False Fact Check
There’s no guarantee scientific research is credible or accurate just because it has been peer-reviewed. Why is Facebook promoting this lie?
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Oct 23, 2019
Science, Policy, and Evidence
The Real Climate Debate
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 20, 2019
“The real climate debate is not between ‘believers’ and ‘deniers’.”
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Combined Effects of Elevated CO2 and Warming on the Soil Water Content of a Mixed-prairie Grassland
Blumenthal, D.M., Mueller, K.E., Kray, J.A.,LeCain, D.R., Pendall, E., Duke, S., Zelikova, T.J., Dijkstra, F.A., Williams, D.G. and Morgan, J.A. 2018. Warming and elevated CO2 interact to alter seasonality and reduce variability of soil water in a semiarid grassland. Ecosystems 21: 1533-1544. Oct 25, 2019
Temperature-related Mortality Effects in Australia
Cheng, J., Xu, Z., Bambrick, H., Su, H., Tong, S. and Hu, W. 2019. Impacts of heat, cold, and temperature variability on mortality in Australia, 2000-2009. Science of the Total Environment 651: 2558-2565. Oct 24, 2019
“Human mortality from cold weather events is far more deadly than from warm weather events. Thus, any warming of the planet should have a net positive impact on human mortality…”
A CO2-induced Alleviation of High Temperature Stress in Tomato Plants
Pan, C., Zhang, H., Ma, Q., Fan, F., Fu, R., Ahammed, G.J., Yu, J. and Shi, K. 2019. Role of ethylene biosynthesis and signaling in elevated CO2-induced heat stress response in tomato. Planta 250: 563-572. Oct 23, 2019
So-called Ocean Acidification Alleviates Cadmium Toxicity in a Key Seaweed Species
Ma, H., Zou, D., Wen, J., Ji, Z., Gong, J. and Liu, C. 2018. The impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on cadmium toxicity in Pyropia haitanensis (Rhodophyta). Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25: 33361-33369. Oct 21, 2019
“The growth and development of urban areas near coastal waters has introduced heavy metal pollution to the marine environment. Among such potentially debilitating pollutants is cadmium, which if present in sufficient concentrations, can severely impact marine life.”
Tropical Mid-Troposphere Temperature Variations Models vs. Observations
Study: Why troposphere warming differs between models and satellite data
Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief, June 21, 2017
Link to paper: Causes of diﬀerences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rates
By Benjamin Santer, et al., Nature, Geoscience, June 19, 2017
Heavy Rain, Strong Warm Front, Flooding, and Model Problems
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 22, 2019
“Finally, now the model problem part of the blog. As many of you know, I am an atmospheric modeler, using computer simulation for understanding both weather and climate phenomena. I, of course, like to see the models do well, but my most important job and that of UW graduate students and research scientists, is to note model failures and try to fix them.”
Measurement Issues — Surface
The Bureau of Met disappears “Very Hot Days” graph showing the most hot days in 1952
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 23, 2019
Giles weather station — sited next to almost the only bitumen for 500 km
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 25, 2019
Climate Emergency Tour: St. John’s Edition
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
Atlantic Hurricane Season
By Staff, ICECAP, Oct 21, 2019
Japan Sea Surface Temperatures, Typhoons Show Japanese Media Living In A Climate Fantasy
By Kirye, No Tricks Zone, Oct 20, 2019
“The number of typhoons has been trending down modestly for many decades, even though atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased.”
More Super El Niños? Not so fast my friend
By Joe Bastardi, CFACT, Oct 24, 2019 [H/t David Wojick]
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below.]
Climate change making stronger El Ninos, study finds
By Seth Borenstein, AP, Oct 21, 2019 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
“Scientists examined 33 El Ninos…”
“Researchers did not study La Ninas, the cooler flip side to El Nino.”
[SEPP Comment: No link to paper!]
Study reveals dry season increase in photosynthesis in Amazon rain forest
By Staff Writers, Norman OK (SPX), Oct 23, 2019
Link to paper: TROPOMI reveals dry-season increase of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence in the Amazon forest
By Russell Doughty, PNAS, Oct 14, 2019
Very Serious Wind Situation in Northern California This Weekend
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 25, 2019
Warming means a greener Sahara
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
Antarctic ice cliffs may not contribute to sea-level rise as much as predicted
Study finds even the tallest ice cliffs should support their own weight rather than collapsing catastrophically.
Press Release by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office, Oct 21, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
EPA : Five To Six Feet Of Sea Level Rise 
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Oct 23, 2019
Great Barrier Reef In Good Shape, Has ‘Vibrant Future’, Reef Authority Says
By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Via GWPF, Oct 22, 2019
Climate havoc wipes out coastal kelp as S.F. Bay’s native fish species die off
By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct 22, 2019 [Ken Schlichte]
Link to one paper: Marine heat wave and multiple stressors tip bull kelp forest to sea urchin barrens
By Rogers-Bennett and Catton, Nature, Science Reports, Oct 21, 2019
“Twenty years of kelp ecosystem surveys reveal the timing and magnitude of events, including mass mortalities of sea stars (2013-), intense ocean warming (2014–2017), and sea urchin barrens (2015-)”
[SEPP Comment: Why did the oceans stop warming in 2018?]
Link to second paper: State of the Estuary Report 2019
By Staff, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Starting with the historical record of the changing estuary in the 19th century is absurd for a report commenting on recent change. The estuary was highly altered from the 19th century on.]
Purple sea urchins wreaking havoc on the west coast
By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Oct 24, 2019
“Scientists are unsure whether climate change has played a role in the population boom, but believe it played a role in the events leading up to it.”
[SEPP Comment: Note the difference from the article immediately above on sea urchins.]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
West Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing As Southern Ocean Warms Slightly
By Patrick Michaels, CEI, Oct 21, 209
Link to paper: A New 200‐Year Spatial Reconstruction of West Antarctic Surface Mass Balance
By Yetang Wang, et al., JGR Atmospheres, Apr 23, 2019
New Paper: West Arctic Sea Ice ‘Relatively Stable’ Since 1800s…Much Less Ice Coverage During The 1600s!
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 24, 2019
Link to paper: Ice core δ18O record linked to Western Arctic sea ice variability
By Stacy E. Porter, et al., JGR Atmospheres, Oct 9, 2019
Susan Crockford: The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened
Video, GWPF TV, Oct 24, 2019
Russia’s Thawing Permafrost May Cost Economy $2.3Bln a Year
Russia’s oil and gas infrastructure isn’t ready for rising temperatures and melting ice.
By Yuliya Fedorinova and Olga Tanas for Bloomberg, Oct 18, 2019
[Under certain circumstances] Earthquakes can be predicted five days ahead
By Staff Writers, Moscow, Russia (SPX), Oct 25, 2019
Link to paper: Variations of the Parameters of Internal Gravity Waves in the Atmosphere of Central Asia before Earthquakes
By V. V. Adushkin, et al. Doklady earth Sciences, July 2019
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
How more organic farming could worsen global warming
By Courtney Vinopal, PBS, Oct 23, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: Organic Farming, Climate Change Mitigation and Beyond
By Adrian Muller, et al, IFOAM EU GROUP, “Making Europe More Organic, 2016
“Shifting all global cropland to a regenerative model could cut annual CO2 emissions by more than 100 percent.” [According to “Erin Callahan, director of the Climate Collaborative, based in Vermont — an organization that seeks to reverse the emissions pollution effects created by climate change in the natural food industry.” Boldface added.]
Nature Magazine fails again
By Staff, ICECAP, Oct 24, 2019
Link to retraction: Retraction Note: Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition
By L. Resplandy, et al., Nature, Sep 25, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Melting permafrost adding to atmospheric methane is a nothing issue.]
More Junk Science From the AAAS: A Bird Apocalypse Edition
By David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 21, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Figure this: [climate modeler] Andy Pitman says “we don’t understand what causes droughts” but “the indirect link is clear”!
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 21, 2019
Plant physiology will be major contributor to future river flooding
By hoarding water underground, vegetation will help saturate soil, boosting rain runoff
By Staff, NSF, Oct 22, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: The effect of plant physiological responses to rising CO2 on global streamflow
By Megan Fowler, et al., Nature, Climate Change, Oct 21, 2019
More [Religious?] Journalism: Der Spiegel And Potsdam Institute Leave Readers In The Pre-Industrial Climate Dark
The missing context: Climate change in the Mediterranean region
By the Kalte Sonne, (German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Oct 23, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
America Being Misled by Cook, Oreskes, Lewendowsky and Maibach
By David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 23, 2019
Climate change may see one in four US steel bridges collapse by 2040
By Ruby Prosser Scully, New Scientist, Oct 12, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: For climate change “to see” requires a new type of scientist.]
Link to paper: Impact of climate change on the integrity of the superstructure of deteriorated U.S. bridges
By Palu and Mahmoud, PLOS One, Oct 23, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Unfortunately, the article’s graphics use a logarithmic scale. According to the graphics, most bridges are adequate, some obsolete, and a few deficient. The largest number of deficient bridges are of the “Truss-Thru” type. In the US, truss bridges were common from the 1870s to 1930s. They are being replaced by other types of bridges such as cantilevered, arched, suspension and cable-stay bridges.]
Is Solar Replacing Coal Power In India?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 25, 2019
New study: US air pollution rose from 2016-2018, resulting in premature deaths
By Tal Axelrod, The Hill, Oct 23, 2019
Link to paper: Recent Increases in Air Pollution: Evidence and Implications for Mortality
By Karen Clay, Nicholas Z. Muller, NBER Working Paper, Oct 2018
From Abstract: “The health implications of this increase in PM2.5 between 2016 and 2018 [5.5%] are significant. The increase was associated with 9,700 additional premature deaths in 2018.”
[SEPP Comment: Taking a highly questionable model and driving it to trivial.]
Offshore Wind Getting Crushed by Carbon Capture
By David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 22, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
The Bogus “Consensus” Argument on Climate Change
By Robert P. Murphy, Mises Institute, Oct 23, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
Isaac Orr: Guilty as Charged (Desmog’s ‘Climate Denier Spotlight’ introduces new talent)
By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Oct 21, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
Coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels are neither sustainable nor safe. We shouldn’t use them.
By Staff, Union of Concerned Scientists, Accessed Oct 23, 2019
“But fossil fuels come with a cost. Coal smoke is linked with everything from asthma and birth defects to cancer and premature death. Natural gas fracking is tied to contaminated groundwater and earthquakes. And oil is the single largest source of air pollution and smog in the world.”
[SEPP Comment: Great propaganda photo of an elderly lady holding a pet dog looking out at a chimney emitting steam. Inhaling smoke from open indoor heating and cooking fires using wood or dung is a great improvement to clean-burning power plants?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Protest
German farmers stage tractor protest over climate measures
By Staff Writers, Berlin (AFP), Oct 22, 2019
Extinction Rebellion’s real target are old English men
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 21, 2019
This Rebellion Risks Its Own Extinction
Editorial, The Times, Via GWPF, Oct 20, 2019
Police Chief: Climate Protestors are Forcing the Diversion of Crime Investigation Resources
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 24, 2019
Watch: James Lovelock, Godfather of Green, Calls Out Extinction Rebellion Activists as ‘Silly Buggers’ [Video]
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Oct 20, 2019 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
No More Cooking With Gas: Environmental Activists Going After The Appliances Consumers Love
By Erin Mundahl, Western Wire, Oct 18, 2019
Questioning European Green
Even an expensive reliable grid may now be beyond us
By Staff, Cornwall Insight, Via GWPF, Oct 21, 2019
Brexit Is Delaying Global Action To Fight Climate Change
By Dave Keating, Forbes, Oct 20, 2019
High Electricity Costs, Hostile Environmental Activism, Uncertainty Now Crippling German Economy …Outlook Bleak
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 22, 2019
How Much Power Will Be Wasted In A Low Carbon World?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 20, 2019
[SEPP Comment: How much excess, wasted capacity needed for back-up?]
Questioning Green Elsewhere
China’s Green Future Implodes as Economy Hits Stall Speed
By Chriss Street, The Epoch Times, Oct 21, 2019
Breathe Free: Capitalism Helps Protect the Environment
By Nicolas Loris, The Washington Times, Oct 21, 2019
Report: Nearly 80% of EU Coal Units Operate at a Loss
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Oct 24, 2019
Link to report: Apocoalypse Now
By Staff, Carbon Tracker, Oct 24, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Shall they celebrate when the plants are closed and there is no power when wind and solar fail?]
Over a Barrel, Canadian documentary preview
By Charles the moderator, WUWT, Oct 25, 2019
“Over a Barrel is a short political documentary about the work of Vivian Krause, and the questions she raises regarding U.S foundations funding activism against the Canadian oil and gas industry.”
The Political Games Continue
House Panel Holds Hearing to Bash Exxon
By Marlo Lewis, CEI, Oct 23, 2019
House Democrats Keep Anti-Exxon Climate Crusade Alive As NY’s AG Ratchets Up Pressure On Oil Producers
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Oct 2, 1029 [H/t WUWT]
“House Democrats on the Oversight Committee Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties are inviting academic Naomi Oreskes and other activists to Congress Wednesday to discuss the oil industry and its effect on the environment. Oreskes is known for accusing Exxon of climate crimes.”
[SEPP Comment: Continuing the theme of accusations without evidence!]
New bipartisan Senate climate caucus aims to take ‘politics’ out of the topic
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Oct 23, 2019
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 22, 2019
The scoop behind the #ExxonKnew show trial
By Anthony Watts, Interview Christopher Horner, WUWT, Oct 24, 2019
The incredible collapsing ‘#ExxonKnew’ climate change lie
Editorial, New York Post, Oct 20, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
Trial set in New York on Exxon’s climate statements
By Staff Writers, New York (AFP), Oct 17, 2019
Federal court dismisses California case challenging Trump car emissions rule
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Oct 25, 2019
“In a unanimous ruling, all three Obama-appointed judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction “because EPA has not engaged in ‘final action’ under the Clean Air Act.’”
[SEPP Comment: The legal term is “Not Ripe.”]
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Nyet to carbon pricing
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
EPA and other Regulators on the March
CEI Leads Coalition to Comment in Support of EPA’s Proposed Rule Updating Regulations on Water Quality Certification
By Staff, CEI, Oct 22, 2019
“Fifteen non-profit groups filed official comments on October 22nd in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to require states to consider only water quality impacts of projects when exercising their role under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.”
Trump admin weakens California fish protections that Interior chief once lobbied to reduce
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Oct 22, 2019
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above and Article # 2.]
EERE Reform: Brouillette’s Turn (‘deep decarbonization’ threat still alive)
By Mark Krebs and Tom Tanton, Master Resource, Oct 24, 2019
[SEPP Comment: EERE is the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Department of Energy]]
Energy Issues – Non-US
Divestment can’t hold back ocean of demand for oil: analysts
Offloading fossil fuel stocks may dry up capital for Canadian oil and gas producers, but it won’t quench the world’s thirst for petroleum
By Nelson Bennett, JWN Energy, Oct 22, 2019
Energy Issues — US
Marcellus Fracking Means Farewell to Dems in 2020
By Daniel John Sobieski, American Thinker, Oct 2, 2019
Murray blasts ‘feckless’ FERC, warns against short-sighted US energy policy
By Jasmin Melvin, S&P Global, Platts,
US National Security Demands More Offshore Oil & Gas Development
By Jim Nicholson, Real Clear Energy, Oct 23, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Author is secretary of Explore Offshore. a project by the American Petroleum Institute.]
TVA’s cybersecurity unit in Chattanooga monitors over 1 billion potential cyberthreats a day
By Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Oct 16, 2019
“The Tennessee Valley Authority — the biggest U.S. government-owned electric utility with seven nuclear reactors, 29 hydroelectric dams and service to the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons arsenal — is one of the richest potential targets for cyberterrorists.”
[SEPP Comment: Oak Ridge is national laboratory, not an arsenal.]
Replacing coal with gas or renewables saves billions of gallons of water
Press Release by Staff, Duke University, Oct 22, 2019
Link to paper: Quantification of the water-use reduction associated with the transition
from coal to natural gas in the U.S. electricity sector
By Andrew J Kondash et al 2019 Environ. Res. Lett. in press
Revenue from drilling on public lands increased by a third last year
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Oct 24, 2019
Strong gas production in Shale Crescent region led to $1.1 trillion in savings
American gas end-users have realized $1.1 trillion in savings since 2008 as a result of increased gas production in the Shale Crescent USA region (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia), according to a new economic analysis released Oct. 21.
Editorial, Oil and Gas Journal, Oct 21, 2019 [H/t Cooler Heards]
China Is The World’s Largest Oil & Gas Importer
By Jude Clemente, Forbes, Oct 17, 2019
Return of King Coal?
China feeds coal addiction with 17 new mines this year
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 24, 2019
CNN Report: China Proudly Going Coal (clean, new generation plants at forefront)
By Robert Bradely Jr. Master Resource, Oct 22, 2019
S.Africa to increase coal-fired energy, sparking climate outcry
By Staff Writers, Johannesburg (AFP), Oct 18, 2019
“In June two environmental organisations launched a lawsuit against the government for pollution they said was in ‘violation of the constitutional right to clean air’ — a legal first in South Africa.”
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
6 Ways to Capture Tidal Energy
Capturing the power of tides is still in its early stages of development, but there are big gains in this renewable energy sector.
By Mark Crawford, ASME, Oct 23, 2019
[SEPP Comment: What about the major problem, algae and other sea vegetation?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
The Lithium Even Elon Couldn’t Buy
By Jon LeSage, Oil Price.com, Oct 19, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Where will the processing occur?]
AEP’s Energy Storage Delusions
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 22, 2019
California prepares for biggest blackout yet
By Tal Axelrod, The Hill, Oct 25, 2019
In California, a third-world solution to a first-world problem
By Frank Wolak, The Hill, Oct 24, 2019
PG&E notifies 200K customers of potential second planned blackout
By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Oct 22, 2019
ProPublica Journo Sees What He Thinks Is The Positive Side Of California’s Rolling Blackouts
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Oct 23, 2019
DOJ sues California to stifle cap-and-trade program with Quebec
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Oct 23, 2019
“’The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement. The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of U.S. foreign policy,’ DOJ said in a release.”
How The California Blackouts Could Have Been Avoided
By Leonard Hyman and William Tilles, Oil Price.com, Accessed Oct 23, 2019
[SEPP Comment: De-centralize the grid! A wind turbine for all?]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Milloy presentation to EPA CASAC re claim that PM kills
By Steve Milloy, Junk Science.com, Oct 22, 2019
NHS Chief Says We Have A “Health Emergency”, As Well As A Climate One!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 21, 2019
Other Scientific News
The Antarctic ozone hole is the smallest since it was discovered
By Ashley Strickland, CNN, Oct 22, 2019 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
“This is only the third time in 40 years when warm temperatures caused by weather systems have actually helped limit the ozone hole, NASA said in a statement. This also occurred in 1988 and 2002. But the scientists say there is no connection they’ve identified to link the patterns with climate change.”
[SEPP Comment: Does increasing CO2 have a benefit?]
Other News that May Be of Interest
Is math racist? Yes, according to Seattle Public Schools
By Staff: Free Press International News Service, Oct 22, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Entering a new dimension in dementia. Is math sexist as well?]
Seattle School says Maths is racist, used to oppress people of color
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 25, 2019
Devine: Eco madness may be reason for disastrous Boeing 737 MAX safety issues
By Miranda Devine, New York, Post Oct 23, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Interesting speculation. The main issue is: Rigorous testing is needed for any model or design before it is adopted.]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Demonstrable Casualties of Climate Change
By Tim Blair, Quadrant, Oct 25, 2019
Common sense, RIP
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 23, 2019
Is the World Wild Life Fund Wishing for Global Warming?
Guest humor by David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 25, 2019
When Crazy Meets Crazier: California Wants To Label Tylenol A Carcinogen
By Josh Bloom, ACHS, Oct 18, 2019
1. Fires and Blackouts Made in Sacramento
Newsom tries to deflect blame, but PG&E is the agent of his policies.
Editorial, WSJ, Oct 25, 2019
TWTW Summary: Amplifying a theme discussed in last week’s, that politicians and their appointed regulators have abridged the concept of a regulated utility, serving the public and customers with reliable electricity and / or gas at the lowest possible cost, the WSJ editorial discusses specific examples of this political failure:
“After again shutting power to hundreds of thousands this week, California’s utility PG&E disclosed Thursday that it had discovered a broken jumper cable by the ignition site of a wildfire blazing across Sonoma County. The company has warned of more blackouts this weekend and perhaps for the next decade as it refurbishes its aging grid.
“Gov. Gavin Newsom is trying to deflect political blame. “It’s about dog-eat-dog capitalism meeting climate change. It’s about corporate greed meeting climate change. It’s about decades of mismanagement,” Mr. Newsom declared. But Democrats for years have treated PG&E as their de facto political subsidiary. The wildfires and blackouts are the direct result of their mismanagement.
“The state Public Utilities Commission is in charge of enforcing state safety laws and regulations, which can carry penalties of up to $50,000 per violation per day. Yet PG&E received no safety fines related to its power-grid management over the last several years. The commission has instead focused on enforcing the Legislature’s climate mandates.
“State law mandates that utilities obtain 33% of electric generation from renewables such as wind and solar by 2020 and 60% by 2030. Utilities must spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to reduce the cost of green energy for low-income households. PG&E has prioritized political obeisance over safety.
“In 2018 PG&E spent $509 million on electric discounts for low-income customers in addition to $125 million for no-cost weatherization and efficiency upgrades for disadvantaged communities. Utilities also receive allowances from the state’s cap-and-trade program—$7.5 billion since 2012—to pay for other “ratepayer benefits” that reduce emissions.
“For instance, the Legislature in 2015 mandated that utilities spend $100 million annually on solar systems in low-income communities. This is on top of the $2.2 billion in customer rebates for rooftop solar installations, which utilities charged to ratepayers between 2007 and 2016. Under the state’s net-metering program, solar customers also get a break on their bills.
“Last year PG&E invested more than $150 million in battery storage and “sustainable” technologies, which was paid for by a special charge on ratepayers. PG&E is also spending $130 million over three years to install 7,500 electric-car charging stations and offers drivers a $800 “clean fuel” rebate.
“All of this has been part of a Democratic political strategy to use PG&E to advance their climate agenda without raising taxes. But Californians have instead paid through higher electric rates—PG&E rates are twice as high as in Oregon and Washington—while utilities have had to redirect capital and ratepayer revenue away from fortifying the grid and tree-trimming.
“Is it any wonder that electric equipment is malfunctioning? PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January amid tens of billions in liabilities for dozens of wildfires linked to its equipment. The utility says it doesn’t know if the failed jumper cable caused the Sonoma fire and that it had done repairs and inspections on the site.
“But PG&E customers are rightly furious. They’ve suffered inconvenience and financial losses due to power outages that start with little warning and may go on for days. Who can run a business or household this way? Sorry, kids, you’re going to have to do your homework by candlelight.
“Gov. Newsom is demanding that PG&E pay rebates to customers affected by the blackouts. The utility has declined, citing its bankruptcy debts, though it may have to follow the Governor’s orders if investors want to avoid getting wiped out. San Francisco has proposed buying some utility assets, and San Jose wants to turn it into a customer-owned cooperative.
“Democrats are accusing PG&E of putting profits over safety, but the utilities commission approves its return on equity based on what’s needed to attract private investment. Utility shareholders are typically older folks who rely on dividends for a reliable stream of income—not billionaire hedge funds.
“PG&E has prioritized serving its political overlords above all else. California’s return to the dark ages is a direct result of the Democratic political monopoly in Sacramento.” [Boldface added.]
2. Trump’s Gift to California
The EPA liberates more water from smelt and salmon regulations.
Editorial, WSJ, Oct 24, 2019
TWTW Summary: After starting with wildfires and rolling blackouts, the editorial states [Boldface added]:
“… the Trump Administration this week brought welcome relief to the Golden State by allowing more water to be sent to farmers and folks in the south. Will California liberals accept the deregulatory gift?
“Federal biological opinions designed to protect smelt and salmon have limited how much water can be exported from northern California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Environmentalists say the delta pumps can suck in fish and indirectly limit their food supply, increase contaminants and boost predator species.
“There’s little scientific evidence for any of this, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals deferred to federal regulators. More than 100 billion gallons of water each winter—enough to sustain millions of households—have since been flushed into San Francisco Bay. During the recent seven-year drought, folks in Southern California experienced water restrictions while farmers in the fertile Central Valley—where nearly all of the country’s pistachios, walnuts, garlic and plums are grown—resorted to pumping groundwater.
“Increased groundwater pumping has caused land to subside and water to become contaminated. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler last month wrote a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom warning that 202 water systems in the state violate public health standards, including 67 that tested high for arsenic. Most are in low-income rural communities.
“Despite regulatory protections, smelt and salmon have continued to disappear. A state survey last fall found no smelt in the delta though some are probably still swimming around. In 2008 there were 23. Enter the Trump Administration, which this week revised the smelt and salmon biological opinions to help the fish recover while meeting demands for water.
“The new opinions allow pumping to be adjusted based on real-time monitoring of fish rather than time of year. Pumping will be reduced if scientists in the delta determine that fish are in danger. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will also withhold more water in Shasta Reservoir during wet years to help migrating salmon and spend $1.5 billion over the next decade for species recovery.
“Environmentalists are furious, but the new rules will especially benefit rural communities now represented by Democrats in Sacramento and Washington. Last month Mr. Newsom vetoed a bill that would have enshrined Obama -era environmental regulation in state law largely because it would have restricted his flexibility to increase water to farmers and to southern California. He should also send a thank you note to President Trump.”