The Week That Was: 2020-01-04 (January 4, 2020)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: “And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way.” – Richard Feynman (1966)
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Science Is Dynamic, Not Static: As articulated by Richard Feynman, the scientific method is an on-going process of trial and error correction. It is not imposed by any organization or political power. It is a process of evaluating various concepts, ideas, guesses. If the guesses agree with physical evidence, obtained by experiments and / or observations, then they are tentatively accepted. If the guesses do not agree with the physical evidence, then they are changed or discarded. Failure to do so leads to poor science.
Elaborate models always include many assumptions, and computational models produce sets of numerical calculations. For elaborate models, it can be impossible for third parties to evaluate the internal logic, including the validity of the assumptions. Thus, the ability to describe and predict is usually the key for evaluating complex models, such as climate models. For several decades, the US climate models have not been able to correctly describe the atmospheric temperature trends. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume these models can predict changes in trends far into the future. In the formation of government policies, they should be dismissed as having no importance.
Atmospheric greenhouse gases warm the surface of the earth by slowing the transfer of energy from the surface to space. These atmospheric gases absorb some of the infrared radiation emitted by the surface, thereby directly warming the atmosphere and indirectly warming the surface by a lesser amount by reducing the transfer of energy to space. Government entities that are funding modeling research and the EPA have confused warming of the surface – which may be from many other means, such as the Urban Heat Island effects – with greenhouse gas warming. The models (and the publications by the modelers) fail to account for the difference between surface warming and atmospheric warming – a critical failure.
The same failure to apply the scientific method of constant testing against changing physical evidence applies to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers. Many of the problems of the IPCC’s pronouncements result from their failure to follow the scientific method including ignoring contradicting evidence and / or substituting questionable indirect evidence for direct evidence. The failure to understand proper implementation of the scientific method is so widespread that members of The Union Of Concerned Scientists, have taken to calling comparison of model results against direct physical evidence as “cherry-picking.” (Cherry-picking is the process of selecting only the physical evidence that supports the hypothesis and ignoring other evidence that does not support the hypothesis, even though other evidence may be more direct or rigorously obtained.)
Today, TWTW will discuss two examples of the failure to properly apply the scientific method: one, ignoring significant warming of the Arctic in the past; and, two, the use of the linear no-threshold model (LNT) to claim beneficial activities and products are harmful. Both failures apply to US government entities as well as to many other organizations and people world-wide. For the 1966 description of science by Richard Feynman see Seeking a Common Ground.
Arctic Warming: There is little question that the Arctic has been warming over the past, say, 50 years. The question is cause. Is it due to carbon dioxide, or is this part of a natural cycle that the IPCC ignores? On his blog, Landscapes and Cycles, environmentalist and conservationist Jim Steele states he has become a climate skeptic who contrasts the success of conservation science with the deceptive claims of global warming advocates. In a new post, Steele discusses the current Arctic warming stating:
“Over the past 100 thousand years Greenland’s ice cores recorded 24 extreme warming episodes when air temperatures suddenly rose 14°F – 28°F (8°C – 16°C) in a few decades or less. More recently over 4000 years in the Canadian Arctic, decades of rapid ice loss accompanied air temperatures 3°F -10°F warmer than today, quickly followed by centuries of more sea ice and colder temperatures. Although the physics of those dramatic warming events are still in play today, the good news is[that] warming climates [actually] minimize such dramatic warm events.”
“The most extreme Arctic warming episodes were named “Dansgaard-Oeschger events” in honor of two scientists who discovered them. Although Greenland experienced the greatest warming, Dansgaard-Oeschger events affected climates globally. Ventilating warmth [energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere] changed global atmospheric circulation, shifting European forests and altering California’s ocean currents. Counter-intuitively, each Dansgaard-Oeschger extreme warming event happened during the last Ice Age when the northern hemisphere was covered with great ice sheets and global temperatures were 5°F-14°F (3°C – 8°C) colder than pre-industrial times.”
After discussing how important the Atlantic Ocean is in transporting tropical heat to the Arctic, Steele goes on to say:
“The same dynamics triggering past Dansgaard-Oeschger events provide insight into today’s Arctic warming. During the 1970s and 80s, measurements over an ice covered Arctic recorded cooling air temperatures prompting researchers to publish, “Absence of Evidence For Greenhouse Warming Over the Arctic Ocean In the Past 40 Years.” Those cooling air temperatures did not reduce modern Arctic sea ice. But other factors did.
“Arctic winds can trap ice in the Arctic causing ice to thicken. However, when the winds shift, thick sea ice will be blown out and melt in warmer Atlantic waters. The resulting open water and thinner ice allows more Arctic subsurface heat to ventilate [transfer energy away]. In addition to wind-driven ice loss, satellites reveal the greatest area of open Arctic waters corresponds to the pathway where warm dense tropical waters, via a branch from the Gulf Stream, enter the Arctic and melt sea ice from below. It is now widely believed high inflows of warm Atlantic water helped to melt sea ice and trigger the Dansgaard-Oeschger warm events, just as oscillating warm inflows now melt Arctic sea ice today.” Steele gives the journal references supporting his claims.
The major Dansgaard-Oeschger events provided the basis for: “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years” By S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, published in 2007. [Fred Singer is the chairman emeritus of SEPP.] With some new references, Steele’s essay can be considered a brief introduction to this book on climate change which is ignored by the climate establishment because it shows that nature is more important in determining global climate change than human activities, particularly more important than human carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is anathema to climate alarmists.
The book provides graphs showing the relationship between Arctic warming and solar activity since 1880, 6,000 years of changing temperatures in China based on peat cellulose, the relationship between changing solar activity monsoon activity in Oman based on stalagmites, and similar physical evidence. Such studies are conveniently ignored by those who claim human CO2 emissions are the dominant determinant for changing climate. Such actions by the climate establishment are opposite to following the Scientific Method. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Assessing Cancer Risk: Traditionally, the method for assessing the risk of a substance is the dose-response model. Small amounts of a substance may have no effect, or may even be beneficial, while large amounts of the same substance may become toxic. For example, humans need low doses of potassium, one of the most abundant ions in seawater, and low doses are not toxic to humans, but high doses can be.
Unfortunately, in assessing cancer risks, many regulatory agencies (including the EPA) often ignore the traditional dose-response model and use the linear no-threshold (LNT) hypothesis — even for a single hit of the substance. The thinking is along the lines that if some amount of a substance is harmful, then any amount, no matter how small, can be harmful. There is no lower threshold of toxicity. Or as implied by practice: if a massive amount of the substance kills half a group of laboratory rats, then if a large population of humans were exposed, a tiny amount would kill one person. This poor reasoning has given rise to fears that have little basis in evidence. Such fears have been spread by former administrators of EPA in railing against modern coal-fired power plants.
There is no question that frequent, prolonged exposure to smoky air can be harmful to the respiratory system – be it from smoking tobacco or open fires of coal, dung, or wood used for heating and/or cooking. Modern coal-fired power plants have removed the harmful pollutants, but the EPA and many news organizations in the US did not acknowledge this fact, claiming health risks including cancer risks based on the LNT model.
Toxicologist Edward Calabrese has been a persistent critic of this simplistic approach. He now has a clear video explaining his position presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Radiation Oncology. Calabrese’s paper was published in the journal, “Chemico-Biological Interactions.” He addresses possible errors in the basic research by Herman Muller on artificial gene mutations which were the foundation of LNT. The gene mutations could not be replicated. Of course, replication is absolutely critical to the scientific method. Further, Muller assumed that the dose response model in gene mutations was linear (the proportionality response rule). Calabrese considers the real issue to be the total dose versus dose rate. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
The Worst of Times or The Best of Times: As discussed in the last TWTW, the propaganda surrounding the UN’s claims of a climate crisis has become so extreme that many news organizations publish little else except stories that the world is doomed. The “Our World in Data” is an independent organization which addresses issues such as poverty, disease, and hunger with data as solid as possible. Contrary what the UN and its supporters claim, there is little or no evidence that the world is in a climate crisis, or that humanity is about to become extinct.
Using current population statistics, revised in May 2019, by Our World in Data, discusses the growth in human population:
“…the world population growth rate has halved from above 2% per year 50 years ago to 1.05% per year.”
“World population growth – This article is focusing on the history of population growth up to the present. We show how the world population grew over the last several thousand years and we explain what has been driving this change.
“Life expectancy – Improving health leads to falling mortality and is therefore the factor that increases the size of the population. Life expectancy, which measures the age of death, has doubled in every region in the world as we show here.
“Child & infant mortality – Mortality at a young age has a particularly big impact on demographic change.
“Fertility rates – Rapid population growth has been a temporary phenomenon in many countries. It comes to an end when the average number of births per woman – the fertility rate – declines. In the article we show the data and explain why fertility rates declined.”
“Around 108 billion people have ever lived on our planet. This means that today’s population size makes up 6.5% of the total number of people ever born
“For the long period from the appearance of modern Homo sapiens up to the starting point of this chart in 10,000 BCE it is estimated that the total world population was often well under one million.
“In this period our species was often seriously threatened by extinction.” [Boldface added.]
The report also demonstrates that the population growth rate is declining, and the UN expects that the annual increase to decline by 1 million every year. This decline is not a response to extreme poverty, or as shown in last week’s TWTW, a response to increasing extreme weather. Rather, it is a matter of personal choice of not having infants.
“Whilst Western Europe’s growth rates are currently close to zero, sub-Saharan Africa’s rates remain higher than 3% — that is, still higher than the peak growth rates recorded for the world at the beginning of the 1960s. Moreover, in many cases there has been divergence in growth rates. For instance, while India and Nigeria had similar growth rates in 1960 (around 1.7%), they took very different paths in the following years and thus currently have populations that grow at very different rates (about 1.26% for India compared to 2.67% for Nigeria).”
Based on these statistics one can argue that prosperity is the world-wide characteristic reason for declining population growth.
“One of the big lessons from the demographic history of countries is that population explosions are temporary. For many countries the demographic transition has already ended, and as the global fertility rate has now halved, we know that the world as a whole is approaching the end of rapid population growth.”
“We are on the way to a new balance. The big global demographic transition that the world entered more than two centuries ago is then coming to an end: This new equilibrium is different from the one in the past when it was the very high mortality that kept population growth in check. In the new balance it will be low fertility keeps population changes small.”
“There are two important relationships that help explain how the level of development of a country affects its population growth rates:
1. Fertility rate is the parameter which matters most for population changes – it is the strongest determinant;
2. As a country gets richer (or ‘more developed’), fertility rates tend to fall.
“Combining these two relationships, we would expect that as a country develops, population growth rates decline.
“Generally, this is true. In the visualization we see how the population growth rate has changed for ‘more developed’, ‘less developed’ and ‘least developed’ countries (based on UN categorization), and how they are projected to change through 2100.
“Here we see that population growth rates are lowest in the most developed regions – starting at just over 1% in the 1950s and falling to just 0.25% today. ‘Less developed’ regions peaked later, at a higher growth rate (2.55%) and have declined more slowly. ‘Least developed’ regions did not peak in growth rate until the early 1990s.
“Over the last two decades we have seen declining population growth rates in countries at all stages of development.
The article goes into details about population momentum, migration, age structure, etc. In brief, there is no population crisis, no indication of too many people or too few people, the “Population Bomb” is a failed concept. And there is no indication of famine, mass starvation, or increased human misery.
The “climate crisis” and “population crisis” fall into H.L Mencken’s famous observation “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary” and it is also the business model of the news media. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
More Fingerprint Studies: A paper appeared in “Nature, Climate Change” claiming that using climate models researchers can detect climate change daily from using weather data. An article in the Washington Post stated:
“For the first time, scientists have detected the “fingerprint” of human-induced climate change on daily weather patterns at the global scale. If verified by subsequent work, the findings, published Thursday in Nature Climate Change, would upend the long-established narrative that daily weather is distinct from long-term climate change.
“The study’s results also imply that research aimed at assessing the human role in contributing to extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods may be underestimating the contribution.
The paper states:
“Overall, the conclusion that a forced climate change is detected with >97.5% confidence in any individual day or month since early 2012 is robust across any of the five reanalysis and observational datasets.”
Reanalysis data is available only for small parts of the world since the 1950s. They are not comprehensive. Further one can develop statistical correlations about many variables. Claiming they have meaning is totally different. The operative phrase in the article is “If verified by subsequent work…” Given the ability of the climate establishment to ignore the most direct evidence on human-induced climate change, particular atmospheric temperature trends, no doubt the IPCC and its followers will engage in another search for non-existing fingerprints, such as the non-existent pronounced warming in atmosphere above the tropics.
Number of the Week: 14°F – 28°F (8°C – 16°C) Change. It bears repeating that ice core studies taken in Greenland show sharp increases in temperatures unrelated to carbon dioxide. Based on the graphs in the 2019 article, sometimes sharp temperature increases were considerably more 10°C (18°F), even without including the Younger-Dryas transition about 12,800 to 11,500 years ago. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
The BBC, Bob Ward and the climate catastrophists’ attack on dissent
By Matt Ridley, Reaction, Dec 30, 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
When Warming is Cooling!
By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, Dec 31, 2019
Link to paper: Coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean dynamics in Dansgaard-Oeschger events
By Camille Le and Andreas Born, Quaternary Science Reviews, Jan 1, 2019
Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years
By S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, 2007
Updated Analysis Shows Climate Models Continue to Predict Too Much Warming
By James Taylor and Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute, Jan 2, 2020
Link to paper: Evaluating the performance of past climate model projections
By Hausfather, Drake, Abbott, Schmidt, Geophysical Research Letters, Dec 4, 2019
[SEPP Comment: The issue is greenhouse gas warming. The paper uses surface temperature predictions which are meaningless for the central issue. More direct to the issue are atmospheric temperature trends, which indicate moderate warming.]
LNT (Linear Non-Threshold) Dose Response Model for Cancer Risk Assessment
Link to paper: The linear No-Threshold (LNT) dose response model: A comprehensive assessment of its historical and scientific foundations
By Edward Calabrese, Chemico-Biological Interactions, March 1, 2019
How Billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg Corrupted Climate Science
By Roger Pielke, Forbes, Jan 2, 2020
[SEPP Comment: They promoted the extreme scenario, but none of the scenarios are supported by the physical evidence given.]
The Best Decade in Human History
By H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute, Jan 3, 2019
Top 5 most outrageous 2020 doomsday predictions that didn’t pan out
By Maxim Lott, Fox News, Jan 1, 2020
Defending the Orthodoxy
The signal of human-caused climate change has emerged in everyday weather, study finds
By Andrew Freedman, Washington Post, Jan 2, 2019
Link to paper: Climate change now detectable from any single day of weather at global scale
2020 is world’s last chance to tackle climate change and protect nature, heads of environmental bodies warn
Top officials say UK is already being hit by ‘dire consequences’ from climate change
By Emily Beament, Independent, UK, Dec 30, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
They said the environmental challenges of climate change and nature losses are fundamentally connected to each other.
“Climate change is causing damage to ecosystems, such as the droughts which are wrecking chalk rivers and wetlands, while the degradation of the natural environment, such as deforestation and drainage of peatlands, is leading to the emissions causing climate change,” the two leaders said
[SEPP Comment: Were ice ages connected to human causes?]
Prince William to offer multimillion-dollar prize to those who solve greatest climate crisis problems
By Brooke Seipel, The Hill, Dec 31, 2019
Link to: The Earthshot Prize: A decade of action to repair the Earth
By Staff, Earthshot, Accessed Jan 3, 2020
Questioning the Orthodoxy
2019 Science Refutes Climate Alarm On Every Front… Shrinking Deserts, Growing Islands, Crumbling Consensus, Weaker Storms, Cooler Arctic Etc. Etc. Etc.
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 31, 2019
[SEPP Comment: List of articles posted questioning the orthodoxy.]
2019 – The End of a Decade When Climate Change Alarmism Tipped Abruptly Into Climate Crisis Hysteria
By Jaime Jessop, Climate Scepticism, Dec 28, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 31, 2019
[SEPP Comment: What might lie ahead.]
Scientists Document A DECLINE In Overall Greenhouse Effect Forcing From 1985-2014
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 30, 2019
“CO2 concentrations rose from 345 ppm to 398 ppm in the 29 years from 1985 to 2014. Mainstream scientists sympathetic to the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) paradigm have nonetheless reported the overall greenhouse effect forcing has been flat to declining throughout this period.”
[SEPP Comment: Diminishing returns for CO2?]
2019: the year of peak green bullsh*t
Greta, Prince Harry and Extinction Rebellion took the eco-cult to new heights of madness.
By Ben Pile, Spiked, Dec 30, 2019
2019 Was Another One Of Those Tough Years For The “Experts”
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Dec 31, 2019
[SEPP Comment: How experts in the Pentagon, experts in economics, and experts in the EPA build “a crisis.”]
2004 “Expert” Climate Predictions Of “Siberian Climate” For Britain, “Anarchy”, “Famine” Turn Out Preposterous
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 28, 2019
New Video: 80 Years Of Climate Change
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Jan 3, 2020
Change in US Administrations
Trump proposal would nix climate reviews for new projects: report
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Jan 3, 2020
“Changes to how agencies must conduct environmental impact statements are expected to be unveiled next week and could drastically alter one of America’s bedrock environmental laws: the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).”
[SEPP Comment: NEPA was used to stop the construction of moving barriers that would have protected New Orleans from Katrina.]
Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide
One Upside of More CO2: Beautiful Upper Atmospheric Clouds
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 1, 2020
Problems in the Orthodoxy
China Goes All-In On Coal While Telling The Rest Of The World To Reduce Emissions
By Chuck DeVore, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Forbes, Dec 16, 2019
Seeking a Common Ground
What Is Science?
By Richard Feynman, National Science Teachers Association, 1966
Our World in Data
By Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, Our World in Data (2013 revised 2019)
Nicholas Kristof: Why 2019 has been the best year in human history
By Nicholas Kristof, NYT Via Salt Lake Tribune, Jan 1, 2020
Celebrate our bright future on New Year’s eve!
By Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus website, Dec 31, 2019
Mailbag: Stop fretting about global warming
Daniel W. Nebert, Professor Emeritus, Corvallis (OR) Gazette-Times, Dec 29, 2019
Science, Policy, and Evidence
Fire policy shift: Government says “hazard reduction” to stop fires. Labor says “Carbon market”
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 4, 2020
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
A 2500-year Temperature Reconstruction for Western Sweden
Asteman, I.P., Filipsson, H.L. and Nordberg, K. 2018. Tracing winter temperatures over the last two millennia using a north-east Atlantic coastal record. Climate of the Past 14: 1097-1118. Jan 3, 2020
“In light of all of the above, it is clear that there is nothing unusual, unnatural, or unprecedented about 20th century warmth, which reality is far different from the cries of the alarmists who claim current temperatures are unprecedented due to rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Clearly, the record indicates they are not.”
The Likelihood of a Tropical Rainforest Lizard to Endure Climate Change
Llewelyn, J., MacDonald, S.L., Moritz, C., Martins, F., Hatcher, A. and Phillips, B.L. 2018. Adjusting to climate: Acclimation, adaptation and developmental plasticity in physiological traits of a tropical rainforest lizard. Integrative Zoology 13: 411-427. Jan 2, 2020
An Absence of Ocean Acidification and Warming Impacts on a Red Sea Coral
Bellworthy, J., Menoud, M., Krueger, T., Meibim, A. and Fine, M. 2019. Developmental carryover effects of ocean warming and acidification in corals from a potential climate refugium, the Gulf of Aqaba. Journal of Experimental Biology 222: jeb186940, doi:10.1242/jeb.186940. Dec 23, 2019
Models v. Observations
Climate signals detected in global weather
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Jan 3, 2020
Measurement Issues — Surface
It has been hotter, fires have burnt larger areas
By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, Jan 4, 2020
“The summer of 1938-1939 was probably the hottest ever in recorded history for the states of New South Wales and Victoria. It is difficult to know for sure because the Bureau has since changed how temperatures are measured at many locations and has not provided any indication of how current electronic probes are recording relative to the earlier mercury thermometers.
“Further, since 2011, the Bureau is not averaging measurements from these probes so the hottest recorded daily temperature is now a one-second spot reading from an electronic devise with a sheath of unknown thickness. In the United States similar equipment is used and the readings are averaged over five (5) minutes and then the measurement recorded.”
[SEPP Comment: Calibration is extremely important when going from one type of instrument to another. When it is not done properly, the record should so state, which is often not done.]
Smoke And Deception Blanket Australia: NASA GISS Fudges Data, Cooling Turns Into Warming
By Kirye and P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 3, 2020
Climate News – January 2020
By Alan Moran, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Jan 2, 2020
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
UAH Global Temperature Update for December 2019: +0.56 deg. C
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 3, 2020
“2019 was the third warmest year (+0.44 deg. C) in the 41-year satellite record, after 2016 (+0.52 deg. C) and 1998 (+0.48 deg. C).”
Australian Wildfire Latest
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 3, 2020
Aboriginals didn’t need a water bomber God to save them from Government nurtured firestorms
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 31, 2019
An Exceptional Year? Hardly, Mr McCarthy
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 1, 2020
Snowmageddon warnings in North America come from tropics more than Arctic stratosphere
By Staff Writers, Reading UK (SPX) Dec 29, 2019
Link to paper: Wintertime North American Weather Regimes and the Arctic Stratospheric Polar Vortex
By S.H. Lee, et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Dec 27, 2019
The Deadliest Weather Phenomenon in the Northwest
What is the deadliest weather phenomenon in the Pacific Northwest?
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Dec 28, 2019
The Meteorology of the Tumbleweed Storm. Plus, The Ukrainian Connection
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Jan 3, 2020
Low-carbon fuel on agenda for WA lawmakers
By Mateusz Perkowski, Chinook Observer, Jan 2, 2020 [H/t Ken Schlichte]
“’The fact is, despite our significant efforts we are well, well short of doing what is necessary to protect Washingtonians from the scourge of climate change,’ Inslee said. ‘The clean-fuel standard is one of the most important tools in our tool box in defeating climate change.’”
[SEPP Comment: The “Scourge of Climate Change”: According to the Montana Natural History Center: About 12,000 years ago, the valleys of western Montana lay beneath a lake nearly 2,000 feet deep. Glacial Lake Missoula formed as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet dammed the Clark Fork River just as it entered Idaho. The rising water behind the glacial dam weakened it until water burst through in a catastrophic flood that raced across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington toward the Pacific Ocean. Thundering waves and chunks of ice tore away soils and mountainsides, deposited giant ripple marks, created the scablands of eastern Washington and carved the Columbia River Gorge. Over the course of centuries, Glacial Lake Missoula filled and emptied in repeated cycles, leaving its story embedded in the land. http://www.glaciallakemissoula.org/]
Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations
Researchers determine age for last known settlement by a direct ancestor to modern humans
By Staff Writers, Ames IA (SPX), Dec 30, 2019
Link to paper: Last appearance of Homo erectus at Ngandong, Java, 117,000–108,000 years ago
By Yan Rizal, Nature, Dec 18, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Apparently the species was wiped out during the onset of the last glacial period – cooling.]
No Data on Coral Growth Rates for 15 Years
By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, Jan 2, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Does the fear of coral losses rely on imagining what is occurring to the corals?]
Unsettled: Scientists Find Ocean Heat Change Rate And Earth’s Energy Imbalance In DECLINE Since 2000
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 2, 2020
Catching the Alarmists in a Baldfaced Sea Level Lie
By David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 2, 2020
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Things You Won’t Hear Reported By The Press Today
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Jan 3, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Greenland surface ice mass balance. Digging WW II planes out of deep ice.]
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Jan 3, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Minus 40 to Minus 60 C at Summit Station, Greenland, is not warm!]
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jan 2, 2020
[SEPP Comment: It’s not safe for a 700-800 lb. bear to stroll downtown Longyearbyen?]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Met Office’s “Extreme Weather Year” Brings Record Cereal Yields
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 3, 2020
Bank of England chief Mark Carney issues climate change warning
By Roger Harrabin, BBC, Dec 30, 2019
Link to post: 2020: time to walk the talk on climate and nature
By Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, and Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, Green Alliance blog, Dec 30, 2919
“As we start the New Year, it’s clear that 2020 is our last chance to bring the world together to take decisive action on climate change, to protect our communities and reverse the alarming loss of wildlife we have witnessed in recent years.”
BBC Press Office Leap To Harrabin’s Defence–But Ignore His Bias
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 2, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?
Shouting into the apocalypse: The decade in climate change
Opinion by John D. Sutter, CNN, Dec 29, 2019
CNN Climate Expert: “Shouting into the apocalypse”… because climate change
By David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 1, 2020
See link immediately above.
Five things to know about Australia’s devastating wildfires
By Rachel Frazin and Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Jan 3, 2020
“Experts say climate change is a factor.”
[SEPP Comment: It’s not raining during the dry season?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Climate change driving expansion of Lyme disease in the US
By Lara G. Streiff, AGU GeoSpace, Dec 18, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: In the US, named after Lyme, Connecticut, where it was recognized in the1970s,the disease is common in Scandinavia at elevations below 1500 meters (5,000 ft.) https://www.iamat.org/risks/lyme-disease. It may be expanding along eastern US with the return of forests, which had been logged for fuel and farmland.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Lies, Damn Lies And Tall Climate Tales
Fake Climate News Competition, 2019
By Staff, GWPF, Jan 2, 2020
[SEPP Comment: A contest on who exaggerates the most!]
Victoria Falls Drying Up? Sky Accused Of Fake News By Locals
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 3, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
New Poll Finds BBC Losing Trust And Credibility Amid Concerns Over Political Bias
By Staff, The Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Dec 28, 2019
Three-quarters of Britons want the BBC licence fee SCRAPPED as ex-Ofcom chair calls for a Netflix-style subscription model to replace it
By James Gant, Daily Mail, Dec 29, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Why Kids Swallow Climate Nonsense
By Luke Powell, Quadrant, Jan 2, 2020
BP Boss: Daughter’s Friends on Anti-Depressants Because of Climate Change
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 31, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda
Greta’s Generational Supremacists: Indoctrinated German Girls Sing: “My Grandma Is An Old Environmental Scumbag!”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 29, 2019
Communicating Better to the Public – Protest
ABC deleting facebook posts on how protesters stop prescribed burns “more worried about climate change” than wildfires
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 1, 2020
Extinction Rebellion targets key media sites including the BBC’s Broadcasting House and newspaper print works in war on free speech
Document details how six key print and broadcast media sites would be targeted
The plans include staging ‘occupations/blockades’ outside media headquarters
A ‘Great March for Truth’ with be held on April 16 to the Broxbourne print works
By Holly Bancroft, Daily Mail, Dec 28, 2019
Expanding the Orthodoxy
UK satellites to help lead the fight against climate change
By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX) Jan 01, 2020
“A new 5 million pound satellite data centre involving the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds will use cutting-edge satellite technology to help combat climate change, including helping lower the risk of people being affected by flooding. The data centre will bring together 50 of the UK’s brightest and best PhD researchers to help solve climate change.”
[SEPP Comment: Help solve climate change? In government entities that ignore satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature trends?]
Questioning European Green
Madness Radiates from Europe
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 3, 2020
Green civil war in Germany?
By David Wojick, CFACT, Jan 2, 2020
Questioning Green Elsewhere
Glacier National Park quietly removed ‘Gone by 2020’ signs in 2019—Update
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Jan 1, 2020
Ross Clark: Christian Aid Should Drop The Climate Rubbish
By Ross Clark, The Sunday Telegraph, Via GWPF, Dec 29, 2019
“Nasa satellite data shows that globally the amount of land burned in wildfires fell by a quarter between 1998 and 2015 – not that you would know from hysterical reporting and the lazy assertion, made by Greta Thunberg and others, that the ‘Earth is on fire’.”
Climate alarmist banks go carbon-colonialist
Africa must move forward without them, using fossil and nuclear energy to build prosperity
By Paul Driessen and David Wojick, WUWT, Dec 29, 2019
Goldman Sachs pledges $750 billion on climate change — bankers just want to save the world too
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Following the Deutsche Bank bubble?]
The Political Games Continue
Five environmental fights to watch in 2020
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Jan 1, 2020
USRTK, Carey Gillam Collaborated With Monsanto Plaintiff Attorney Charged With Extortion
By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Dec 19, 2019
Energy Issues – Non-US
Why the 2010s Were a Definitive Decade for Power
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Jan 1, 2020
Energy Issues — US
Issues 2020: A Fracking Ban Would Trigger Global Recession
By Mark Mills, Manhattan Institute, Dec 17, 2019
Major utilities continue to increase spending on U.S. electric distribution systems
By Staff, EIA, July 20, 2018
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
The Future of Oil, Gas, and Coal: Stranded Assets or Safe Refuge?
By John Constable, GWPF, Jan 1, 2020
“To those outside Policy World this sort of confusion of desires and physical probabilities will appear delusional; almost a case study from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). – Out here on Planet Earth, wishes don’t wash dishes, let alone scrub up your energy system. Of course, Mr Carney’s interview, conducted in the even and barely modulated tones of great power and consequent self-confidence, does not sound insane, far from it, but it is surely yet another instance of that subtle malaise whereby those in authority come to believe that the world is infinitely plastic to their commands.”
The Top 10 RBN Energy Prognostications For 2020 – Year Of The Rat: Abandoning The Sinking Ship?
By Rusty Braziel, RBN Energy, Jan 1, 2020
“Shale is not over, but it is going to be much more difficult to get projects done. Seems like every pundit on the street would have you believe that it is “game over” for the Shale Revolution. We beg to differ. Nobody is abandoning a sinking ship. Sure, growth has slowed. But production is still increasing. The problem with the Shale Era is the same as it’s always been: too much success. Econ 101. More supply at a lower unit cost drives prices down.”
[SEPP Comment: Might be paywalled.]
Outgoing BP CEO: fossil fuels essential for decades
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 31, 2019
Oil Will Fuel the Roaring 2020s
By Andy Critchlow, The Telegraph, Via GWPF, Dec 30, 2019
Return of King Coal?
Coal isn’t dying. It moved to Asia.
By Nathanael Johnson, Grist, Dec 16, 2019
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Germany Aims To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022
By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price.com, Dec 30, 2019
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Trump administration says it will approve largest U.S. solar farm
By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, Jan 12, 2019
Link to questionable report: Levelized Cost of Energy and Levelized Cost of Storage 2019
By Staff, Lazard, Nov 7, 2019
“Lazard’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 13.0) shows that as the cost of renewable energy continues to decline, certain technologies (e.g., onshore wind and utility-scale solar), which became cost-competitive with conventional generation several years ago on a new-build basis, continue to maintain competitiveness with the marginal cost of existing conventional generation technologies.”
Denmark sources record 47% of power from wind in 2019
By Jacob Gronholt,-Pedersen, Reuters, Jan 2, 2020
[SEPP Comment: No statement on what provided the other 53% of total power when wind failed. Could it be selling wind power to Norway when wind power is cheap for hydro storage, and buying it back when wind is dear?]
A Wind Turbine’s Blades Fly Off In New York City, Crushing A Billboard And Vehicle
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Dec 30, 2019
Health, Energy, and Climate
Scientists link La Niña climate cycle to increased diarrhea
Press Release, Columbia University School of Public Health, Dec 30, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
“Researchers analyzed associations between ENSO and climate conditions and cases of under-5 diarrhea in the Chobe region in northeastern Botswana. They found that La Niña is associated with cooler temperatures, increased rainfall, and higher flooding during the rainy season. In turn, La Niña conditions lagged 0-7 months are associated with about a 30-percent increase in incidence of under-5 diarrhea in the early rainy season from December through February.”
Linking Health And Air Pollution To Biologic Plausibility – Easier Said Than Proved
By Chuck Dinerstein, ACSH, Dec 30, 2019
Link to paper: Polyaromatic hydrocarbons in pollution: A heart‐breaking matter
By C.R. Marris, et al., The Journal of Physiology, Dec 15, 2019
Study: Climate change lessons are rare at medical schools
By Maya Earls, E&E Climatewire, Via WUWT, Dec 30, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Thankfully!]
Michael Mann — Climate Warlock downunder — coal mines cause wildfires 1,000 km away. Sees giant Petrostate Conspiracy
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 3, 2020
Other Scientific News
Will Trump Smash Academic Paywalls?
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Dec 30, 2019
Other News that May Be of Interest
Life could have emerged from lakes with high phosphorus
Press Release, University of Washington, Dec 30, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Scientists want to move the Sun and our Solar System to save Earth from killer asteroids
By Harry Pettit, Fox News, Jan 2, 2020
Link to paper: Stellar engines: Design considerations for maximizing acceleration
By Matthew E.Caplan, Acta Astronautica, Dec 2019
[SEPP Comment: The Environmental Impact Statement should be interesting!]
BBC: Blend 20% Hydrogen in Natural Gas to Reduce Home CO2 Emissions
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 2, 2019
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 30, 2019
Happy New Year! Pentagon Predicted Global Climate Catastrophe & Nuclear War By 2020
By Staff, The Observer, Via GWPF, Jan 3, 2020
Study shows trees along the coast and in the Cascade and Olympic mountains have the most potential to sequester carbon.
By Cassandra Profita, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan 1, 2020 [H/t Ken Schlichte]
Link to paper: Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western USA
By Polly Buotte, et al., Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State, Accepted
[SEPP Comment: Young forests absorb more CO2 than old forests!]
1. Greens Against Solar Power
Look who’s trying to block a new renewable energy source in the desert.
Editorial, WSJ, Jan 3, 2020
TWTW Summary: After a comment about the Trump administration, the editorial states:
“The Bureau of Land Management this week released an environmental impact statement indicating its intent to approve the 7,100-acre Gemini solar farm east of Las Vegas. The project could power 130,000 homes and would include four-hour lithium ion batteries to store solar energy for use at night. Gemini is the type of renewable energy project that environmental groups claim will be needed to move from fossil fuels that, unlike solar and wind, can provide power on demand. Nevada also needs large-scale solar to meet its 50% renewable energy goal by 2030. It currently generates 20%.
“Yet greens grouse that solar arrays would disturb habitat for Mojave Desert species such as the desert tortoise, kit fox and the Threecorner milkvetch, a rare plant. They also complain that solar projects in California’s desert have been linked to thousands of bird deaths. BLM’s review details myriad measures to mitigate harm to species, including a biological monitor.
“Still, greens kvetch that the project will do permanent damage to the desert. “There is no justification for this project that outweighs the importance of the desert tortoise, its habitat and BLM’s obligations to use its full authority to take actions that will contribute to the recovery of this threatened species,” the Defenders of Wildlife declared.
“It’s nice to see environmental groups finally realizing that renewable energy isn’t a free lunch. Even wind and solar energy can have baleful impacts on the land. Lithium and other rare earth minerals in batteries must also be extracted from the earth, which in countries with lax environmental regulation like China can result in water pollution.
“Progressives denounce anyone who points out there are costs to a fossil-fuel free future. Perhaps we’re all climate-change deniers now.”
2. Idaho Needs More Power but Parts of Oregon Object
Utilities are trying to build lines to transport clean energy across states but face local resistance
By Jim Carlton, WSJ, Dec 30 2019
TWTW Summary: The reporter starts:
“LA GRANDE, Ore.—In this small town in eastern Oregon, renewable energy is widely popular. But the power lines needed to transmit it aren’t.
“La Grande is one of many communities nationwide fighting against transmission lines being built to keep up with a surge in clean-power generation.
“‘We need to develop more renewable energy, of course, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of damage to our last remaining wild places,’ Brian Kelly, who helps lead a green group in the area, said of a proposed transmission line that would run through the nearby forest.
“Utilities are under pressure to put up more power lines because many clean-energy plants are being built far from major cities. Renewable energy is generated from sources like the sun or wind that don’t get depleted, unlike finite amounts of oil and coal.
“There were about 2,500 planned or newly completed transmission projects in the U.S. last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. While the federal agency didn’t have historical data on such projects, it estimates industry costs for transmission-related operations increased to $11.4 billion last year from $6.7 billion in 2009.
“About 900 new plants, most of which produce renewable energy, were proposed last year, compared with 300 in 2004, said Glenn McGrath, an analyst with the federal agency.
“‘Regardless of where you go, there’s always some issues—whether it’s bats, whether it’s birds, whether it’s wealthy landowners who don’t want their view interrupted,’ said Dan Shreve, wind-energy research director at consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. ‘As a consequence, you see these initiatives drag on forever.’”
The article discusses opposition to transmission lines in Wisconsin, New Mexico, then goes on to state some of the opposition.
“Mr. Kelly, restoration director of the Greater Hells Canyon Council, is one of many local residents fighting the 300-mile line. They say it would disrupt elk and deer herds, add to the wildfire threat and spoil views of the Oregon Trail, where remnants of pioneers’ wagon tracks are still visible.”
[TWTW Comment: Doubt power lines disrupt elk and deer herds, unless hunters are using the cleared area under them, and strongly doubt the Oregon Trail is a significant visual amenity, except for signs posted that it exists at a particular location.]