The Week That Was: 2020-02-01 (February 1, 2020)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: “”Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” —John Adams (1770)
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Scientific Integrity: In his 1974 commencement address to graduating students of Caltech, Nobel Laurate in physics and brilliant teacher Richard Feynman chose the topic of “Cargo Cult Science: Some remarks on science, pseudoscience, and learning how to not fool yourself.” He began with:
“During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. (Another crazy idea of the Middle Ages is these hats we have on today—which is too loose in my case.) Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas—which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn’t work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact, that we have difficulty in understanding how witch-doctors could ever have existed, when nothing that they proposed ever really worked—or very little of it did.”
Feynman describes the scientific method by describing ideas or fads that didn’t work. He describes the Cargo Cult of inhabitants in the South Seas who built the forms of a landing strip, with apparent communication equipment made of wood. But planes loaded with cargo did not land. Though Feynman did not say this, the Cargo Cult lacked the ability to communicate to planes through invisible radio waves.
To avoid poor science, or a cargo cult science, the rigorous follower of the scientific method must try to give all of the information regarding the researcher’s work to help others to judge the value of his contribution; “not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.”
In short, there is no easy way of recognizing what does not work without utter and complete honesty in reporting the results of research. Through recognition of failure, one can hope to correct the errors in past research. A goal of TWTW is to look beyond what is presented and focus on what is omitted.
For the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the omission is clear. It has omitted trying to explain the natural variation over the past 2.6 million years, the Quaternary Period. During this period the earth may have had more than 60 periods of glacial expansion interspersed with brief warm periods. During the last glacial period which reached a maximum about 22,000 years ago, ice covered about 30 percent of the earth’s surface.
Without understanding natural variation, we cannot hope to understand the human influence during this current warm period.
The IPCC has a bureaucratic excuse for its omission, understanding natural variation is not part of its charter. US entities under US Global Change Research Program had no such excuse. Their legal mandate stated:
“USGCRP was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to develop and coordinate ‘a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.’” Boldface added. https://www.globalchange.gov/about/legal-mandate
To date, the USGCRP has ignored its legal mandate to understand, assess, and predict the natural processes of global change. A search of current activities of USGCRP shows nothing newer than the FY2019 President’s Proposed Budget of $2,013,000,000. Apparently, nothing was enacted for FY2019, which ended on September 30, 2019, and here is no indication of activity in FY2020.
Given the failure of the USGCRP to meet its legal mandate to pursue rigorous science as described by Feynman, perhaps the disappearance of the USGCRP into a bureaucratic black hole is appropriate. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
The Concept of Time: “The Global Risks Report 2020” produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) can be considered an excellent example of cult science. Figure III shows that the impact of climate change is similar to, or greater than, the impact of weapons of mass destruction, and indicates that the likelihood of the former is far greater.
During the last ice age retreating about 18,000 years ago, massive ice sheets covered Manhattan. Such an ice sheet would utterly destroy Manhattan, but it would take tens of thousands of years to develop.
During the last interglacial period, about 127,000 to 116,000 years ago, sea levels may have been 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) above present sea levels. The current elevation of Manhattan ranges from about 7 feet to 265 feet (2 to 30 meters) above sea level today. A sea level rise of 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 m) would make commerce in lower Manhattan impossible and create difficulties elsewhere. However, at the current rate of 7 inches of sea level rise per century (questioned by others as being too high or too low) a 7-foot rise would require 12 centuries or 1200 years.
The 50 megaton Tsar Bomb detonated by the Soviet Union over 50 years ago would demolish Manhattan in seconds. Yet, the World Economic Forum does not consider the concept of time of seconds to tens of thousands of years important in its assessment of risks. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.
The Pacific Ocean Is So Acidic: Another example of cult science appeared in headlines by CNN: “The Pacific Ocean is so acidic that it’s dissolving Dungeness crabs’ shells.” This eventually linked to a paper on issues in the development of Dungeness crab larva, which may be the result of changing pH during upwellings of the Pacific Ocean along the US seaboard. Additional checking raised additional questions among them:
· Changes in ocean upwelling along the west coast of South America have been known since the 18th century. Such changes of ocean upwelling change the pH of the sea water along the coast.
· The measured pH is 7.48. It is alkaline not acidic.
· The change in pH trend over 20 years in the report was established by a regression model, not measurement. Anyone familiar with regression can design a model that demonstrates an upward or downward trend to a sine curve – but a sine curve is a continuous wave with no such trend.
· The crab shells were magnified 11,000 times. An infant’s butt magnified 11,000 times would show abnormal skin. The researchers did not establish what is normal for larval Dungeness crabs magnified 11,000 times.
See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.
Out of Africa: Our species evolved in the tropics of Africa over the past several hundreds of thousands of years, during periods of significant climate change. Not necessarily warming and cooling of the tropics but shifting rainfall patterns. A major issue was how did the species migrate from the moist tropics, across the arid Sahara, and across the arid Arabian Peninsula.
John Kutzbach, professor emeritus of atmospheric and oceanic sciences of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his team may have hit on an explanation. After his career studying how changes in Earth’s movements through space – the shape of its orbit, its tilt on its axis, its wobble – and other factors, including ice cover affect its climate, his team trace changes in climate and vegetation in Africa, Arabia, and the Mediterranean going back 140,000 years. The article sates:
“For instance, the [Kutzbach] model shows that around 125,000 years ago, northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula experienced increased and more northerly-reaching summer monsoon rainfall that led to narrowing of the Saharan and Arabian deserts due to increased grassland. At the same time, in the Mediterranean and the Levant (an area that includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine), winter storm track rainfall also increased.
“These changes were driven by Earth’s position relative to the sun. The Northern Hemisphere at the time was as close as possible to the sun during the summer, and as far away as possible during the winter. This resulted in warm, wet summers and cold winters.”
There are still questions, but the research seems be filling some of the blanks in explaining the migration of our species. The greening and drying of the Sahara were noted in the pioneering work of H.H. Lamb. The 2008 NIPCC report showed a very tight correlation, both moving in the same direction at the same time, between monsoons in Oman and changing cosmic rays, both measured by proxies. It is not mentioned in the Kutzbach work, but it is interesting to speculate, that changing activity of the sun shifts the monsoons. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Changing Climate.
Hope for US Weather Prediction: The US Numerical Weather Prediction System is considered third rate. Meteorologists rank the US global prediction model, GFS, behind the European Center and the UK Met Office, and often no better than the Canadian model. A frequent critic, meteorologist Cliff Mass says there is hope in a new entity, EPIC: The Environmental Prediction Innovation Center. Mass writes:
“The Bottom Line
“From all my experience in dealing with this issue, I am convinced that an independent EPIC, responsible for producing the best weather prediction system in the world, might well succeed. It is the breakthrough that we have been waiting for.
“Why? Because it can simultaneously solve the key issues that have been crippling U.S. operational numerical weather prediction centered in NOAA: a lack of single point responsibility, that complex array of too many players and decision makers, and the separation of the research and operational communities, to name only a few.
“A NOAA-dependent virtual center, which does not address the key issues of responsibility and organization, will almost surely fail.
“And let me stress. The problems noted above [in the main part of his essay] are the result of poor organization and management. NOAA and NWS employees are not the problem. If anything, they have been the victims of a deficient organization, working hard to keep a sinking ship afloat.
“The Stars are Aligned
“This is the best opportunity to fix U.S. NWP I have seen in decades. We have an extraordinary NOAA administrator (Neil Jacobs) for whom fixing this problem is his top priority (and he is an expert in numerical weather prediction as well). The nation (including Congress) knows about the problem and wants it fixed. The President’s Science Advisory (Kelvin Drogemaier) is also a weather modeler and wants to help. There is bipartisan support in Congress.
“During the next month, the RFP (request for proposals) for EPIC will be released by NOAA. We will then know NOAA’s vision for EPIC, and thus we will know whether this country will reorganize its approach and potentially achieve a breakthrough success or fall back upon the structure that failed us in the past.”
To this, TWTW would add that it is critical keep the climate modelers out of the effort. Based on the analysis presented in last week’s TWTW, they are more aligned with promoting the IPCC’s effort with its ignorance of the natural influences on climate, than with integrity to the scientific method as described by Feynman. See links under Models v. Observations
Diversity Needed: One of the more amusing examples of cult science appeared in a press release by the Earth Institute at Columbia University stating, “Wine regions could shrink dramatically with climate change unless growers swap varieties.” Although traditional, the wine industry is one of the most diverse and experimental industries in the world.
The traditional European and Middle Eastern species is Vitis vinifera, possibly first cultivated about 8,000 years ago in the South Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia) between southeastern Europe and western Asia. The Phoenicians and the Greeks took vinifera throughout the Mediterranean. The Romans took vinifera throughout the Empire, including York in England and northern Germany. The vineyards thrived in the north until the Little Ice Age.
There are thousands of varieties of vinifera today. The grapes can be green, red or purple (black). In addition, there are thousands of clones of the popular varieties such as Pinot Noir.
Efforts to expand wine production in the mid to late 1800s almost destroyed it. High yielding American species (such as Vitis labrusca) were imported into Europe bringing a sap-sucking insect related to aphids, phylloxera, which almost wiped out vinifera word-wide. Fortunately, scientists hit upon the idea to graft the vinifera vine onto American rootstock such as Vitis aestivalis. Those who appreciate excellent European style wine can thank these scientists and the wine growers who adapted to using American rootstock, and Canadian rootstock to survive cold winters.
European style wine grapes are grown from the hot climates of Israel to the cold climates of Canada. But the Earth Institute at Columbia University is warning that wine producers must adapt? See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.
Number of the Week: 60% Rule: According to Tony Heller, in the Soviet Union Pravda (the official newspaper of the Communist Party) had a 60% rule, meaning that 60% of its news stories had to be credible in order to get people to accept their propaganda. Is this what is meant by “good enough for government work?” See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Chinese Censorship Goes Global: Facebook Agrees to Delete Corona Virus Posts Flagged by China
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 31, 2020
Democrat Congressional Committee Demands Google Bury “Climate Misinformation”
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 29, 2020
Link to letter from Rep Kathy Castor to CEO of Google Jan 27, 2020:
Democrat admits climate dogma loses to skeptics, asks YouTube to block them instead
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 30, 2020
“Avaaz has a project page Why is YouTube Broadcasting Climate Misinformation to Millions? On it the very first example they give is the tragedy of Professor Richard Lindzen getting 1.9 million views. Obviously, the MIT professor of atmospheric physics should not be allowed to run amok on You tube. People might learn something.”
According to its website, “Avaaz—meaning ‘voice’ in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.” https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/about/
[SEPP Comment: And who defines what “most people everywhere want”?]
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
Cancel Culture Hits Medical Journals
Anti-meat experts ask external bodies to suppress rival research.
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Jan 27, 2020
Here’s Who Pressured the Medical Journal
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Jan 29, 2020
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
Cargo Cult Science
Some remarks on science, pseudoscience, and learning how to not fool yourself.
By Richard Feynman, Caltech’s Commence Address, 1974
World Leading Alps Glaciologist Shows “Today’s Climate, Vegetation And Glacier Situation Nothing Special”
“Glaciers: climate witnesses of the ice age to the present”. A book review
By Horst-Joachim Lüdecke and Klaus-Eckart Puls, (Translated by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Jan 25, 2020
No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Climate Change
By J Kauppinen and P. Malmi, arXiv, Cornell University, June 29, 2019
Study Recalculates New Greenhouse Effect Values And Sharply Minimizes CO2’s Contribution And Climate Sensitivity
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 27, 2020
Link to paper: Challenging the Greenhouse Effect Specification and the Climate Sensitivity of the IPCC
By Antero Ollila, Physical Science International Journal, May 24, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Fig 4 of the paper shows an increasing absolute humidity corresponding to increasing atmospheric temperature, but nothing alarming.]
Why You Can’t Trust The Insurance Industry’s Secret Science On Climate Catastrophes
By Roger Pielke, Forbes, Jan 25, 2020
Imagine A World Without Oil
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Jan 27, 2020
Analysis of a carbon forecast gone wrong: the case of the IPCC FAR
By Alberto Zaragoza Comendador, Climate Etc. Jan 31, 2020
[SEPP Comment: FAR refers to the IPCC First Assessment Report, 1990, now often called AR-1]
Defending the Orthodoxy
The Global Risks Report 2020
By Staff, World Economic Forum, In partnership with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group. 2020
We have the vaccine for climate disinformation – let’s use it
By Stephan Lewandowsky and John Hunter, The Conversation, Jan 20, 2020
“The below video illustrates this. We used historical data from Adelaide to project the expected incidence of extreme heatwaves for the rest of the century, assuming a continued warming trend of 0.3℃ per decade.”
[SEPP Comment: The atmospheric warming trend calculated from atmospheric temperatures trends by Christy and McNider is 0.1℃ per decade, or third of what the authors use.]
By Scottie Andrew, CNN, Jan 27, 2020 [Joe Tomlinson]
Link to paper: Exoskeleton dissolution with mechanoreceptor damage in larval Dungeness crab related to severity of present-day ocean acidification vertical gradients
By Nina Bednaršek, et al., Science of the Total Environment, Jan 22, 2020
Diversity is key to resilience, says new study
Press Release, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Via EurekAltert, Jan 27, 2020
“If you were planning to drink your way through the climate apocalypse, here’s some unfortunate news: Just as climate change threatens homes, food and livelihoods, so does it threaten the world’s supply of wine.”
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Over 440 Scientific Papers Published In 2019 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 30, 2020
Quick Links to My Recent RCP8.5 Series of Articles
By Roger Pielke Jr. His Blog, Jan 27, 2020
Hypocrites Preaching Green
By Ronald Stein, WUWT, Jan 28, 2020
Glasgow COP26: Yet Another Last Chance to Prevent Climate Crisis
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 27, 2020
Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide
New research highlights how plants are slowing global warming
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Feb 1, 2020
“Even regions far, far removed from human reach have not escaped the global warming and greening trends. “Svalbard in the high-arctic, for example, has seen a 30 percent increase in greenness [in addition to] an increase in [summer temperatures] from 2.9 to 4.7 degrees Celsiuis between 1986 and 2015,” says study coauthor Rama Nemani of NASA’s Ames Research Center.”
[SEPP Comment: Unable to locate paper. Making the benefits of CO2 enrichment seem bad.]
Problems in the Orthodoxy
China’s Coal Power To Remain Dominant Till At Least 2035
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 28, 2020
“In short, anybody who thinks that China’s coal power output will suddenly start to plummet after 2030, even if it peaks then, is in for a rude awakening!”
[SEPP Comment: The dilemma in the US in the early 20th century. Once they see the bright lights in the city, you can’t get the back on the farm.]
This just in
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 29, 2020
“Back in 1997, Jean Chrétien bombastically signed the Kyoto Accord, and then rushed to ratify it just five years later, right before retiring. But at least he didn’t pretend to have a plan to meet our commitments or to be working on one. Instead he saw a political problem, found a political solution, and pounded his political opponents rhetorically. Which to him was the definition of success.”
Seeking a Common Ground
Saving Our Monarch Butterflies, part 1
By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Climate shaped early forests of New England
Historical insight alters rationale for modern land management
Press Release, NSF, Jan 22, 2020
Link to paper: Conservation implications of limited Native American impacts in pre-contact New England
By W. Wyatt Oswald, et al., Nature Sustainability, Jan 20, 2020
“’This study shows the importance of testing assumptions,’ says Doug Levey, a program director in NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology. ‘In coastal New England, other factors appear to have had a greater impact on the region’s ecosystems than early Native Americans did.’”
Tree planting extends an olive branch across the climate divide
By Matthew Lavietes, Reuters, Via Japan Today, Jan 26, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
“Replanting destroyed forest areas, the size of the United States, could capture two-thirds of man-made planet-warming emissions, a 2019 study by Switzerland’s Crowther Lab found.”
Science, Policy, and Evidence
Enron on Mineral Resource Theory (Part II)
By Bruce Stram, Master Resource, Jan 28, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Second of two parts on a bit of history.]
What caused the Australian fires? Global warming? Obstruction of fire prevention burns? Arson?
By John Eidson, American Thinker, Jan 27, 2020
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Yellowtail Kingfish Response to Ocean Acidification and Warming
Frommel, A.Y., Brauner, C.J., Allan, B.J.M., Nicol, S., Parsons, D.M., Pether, S.M.J., Setiawan, A.N., Smith, N. and Munday, P.L. 2019. Organ health and development in larval kingfish are unaffected by ocean acidification and warming. PeerJ 7: e8266, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.8266. Jan 30, 2020
The Interactive Effects of CO2 and Water Stress on Pyrenean Oak Seedlings
Aranda, I., Cadahía, de Simón, B.F. 2020. Leaf ecophysiological and metabolic response in Quercus pyrenaica Wild seedlings to moderate drought under enriched CO2 atmosphere. Journal of Plant Physiology 244: 153083. Jan 29, 2020
The Impacts of Elevated CO2 and High Temperature Stress on Wheat
Chavan, S.G., Duursma, R.A., Tausz, M. and Channoum, O. 2019. Elevated CO2 alleviates the negative impact of heat stress on wheat physiology but not on grain yield. Journal of Experimental Botany 70: 6447-6459. Jan 27, 2020
“Consequently, they advocate for more research and breeding programs designed to improve grain filling and translocation of plant resources to the grain at high temperatures and elevated CO2 to protect future food production.”
The Future of U.S. Weather Prediction Will Be Decided During the Next Month
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Jan 26, 2020
Fungal decisions can affect climate
Press Release, American Society of Agronomy, Jan 29, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
“Treseder is working to incorporate these findings into new and existing models of climate change. One particular area of focus are Earth system models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change uses for its official predictions. ‘We hope our research improves predictions of future trajectories of climate change,’ says Treseder.”
GWPF Factsheet, Jan 31, 2020
“Figure 1: the proportion of the globe in drought is largely unchanged.”
Off the charts: Bushfires may be 20 times more intense than the largest fires humans can control
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 27, 2020
Warming and the Snows of Yesteryear
By Gregory Wrightstone, American Thinker, Jan 30, 2020
Rutgers University Global Snow Lab and “the Snows of Yesteryear”
By David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 31, 2020
Data: Northern Hemisphere Fall/Winter Snow Cover Continues To Climb. Arctic Ice Mass Stabilizes
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 29, 2020
Driven by Earth’s orbit, climate changes in Africa may have aided human migration
Press release By Kelly April Tyrrell, U. of Wisconsin-Madison, Jan 27, 2020
Link to paper: African climate response to orbital and glacial forcing in 140,000-y simulation with implications for early modern human environments
By John E. Kutzbach, et al. PNAS, Jan 21, 2020
Link to earlier study: Human migration out of Africa may have followed monsoons in the Middle East
Press release By Kelly April Tyrrell, U. of Wisconsin-Madison, Nov 25, 2019
‘Blob’ research shows ecological effects that halted fishing and hiked whale entanglements
Unprecedented environmental changes inspire new online tools to better spot them next time
Press Release, NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region, Jan 207, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: The perfect government excuse, if you cannot explain it, blame it on climate change.]
Down you go
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 29, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Land subsidence from ground water extraction is a problem in Jakarta, Indonesia and elsewhere.]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
CryoSat sheds new light on Antarctica’s biggest glacier
By Staff Writers, Paris (ESA), Jan 28, 2020
Link to paper: Complex evolving patterns of mass loss from Antarctica’s largest glacier
By Bamber & Dawson, Nature Geoscience, Jan 27, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Using satellite observations since 2010 the abstract states: “Instead, our results support model simulations that imply only modest changes in grounding-line location over that timescale… We demonstrate how the pattern of thinning is evolving in complex ways both in space and time and how rates in the fast-flowing central trunk have decreased by about a factor of five since 2007.”]
Thwaites Glacier: Why Did The BBC Fail To Mention The Volcanoes Underneath?
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Jan 29, 2020
Surprisingly warm water found on underside of Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’
By Laura Geggel, Live Science, Jan 29, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
For the first time, an underwater robot visited the bottom of Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier
[SEPP Comment: Not surprising to those who realized the Thwaites Glacier was on a geothermal hot spot. See two links immediately above.]
Scientists find record warm water in Antarctica, pointing to cause behind troubling glacier melt
By Staff Writers, New York NY (SPX), Jan 30, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Yellow (Green) Journalism, see links immediately above.]
Majority Of East Antarctic Stations Show Cooling Or Stable Temperature Trends
By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 31, 2020
Arctic Sea Ice Refuses To Melt As Ordered
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science.com, Jan 30, 2020
Sea Ice Same Thickness As 60 Years Ago
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Jan 20, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Re-cycling icy news.]
Tiny, ancient meteorites suggest early Earth’s atmosphere was rich in carbon dioxide
By Staff Writers, Seattle WA (SPX), Jan 28, 2020
Link to paper: Atmospheric CO2 levels from 2.7 billion years ago inferred from micrometeorite oxidation
By O. R. Lehmer, Science Advances, Jan 22, 2020
[SEPP Comment: No surprise here. But did the high concentrations of CO2 warm the planet about 3.5 – 4 billion years ago, allowing life (prokaryotes) to form? And photosynthesis to start about 3 billion years ago?]
Study underscores complexity of predicting acidification’s impacts on marine organisms
By Staff, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, Nov 15, 2019
“Although pteropods have identical genetic structures, researchers have found that their vulnerability to OA is not uniform.”
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Genome Editing [for agriculture]
By Matt Ridley, His Blog, Jan 30, 2020
Un-Science or Non-Science?
UCI oceanographers predict increase in phytoplankton by 2100
Machine learning Earth system model projects higher numbers in low-latitude regions
Press Release, University of California, Irvine, Jan 27, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: Global picophytoplankton niche partitioning predicts overall positive response to ocean warming
By Pedro Flombaum, Nature Geoscience, Jan 27, 2020
“The unexpected simulation outcome runs counter to the longstanding belief by many in the environmental science community that future global climate change will make tropical oceans inhospitable to phytoplankton, which are the base of the aquatic food web.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?
Greenpeace and the annexing of BBC news
By David Keighley, The Conservative Woman, Jan 27, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
Politicians must tackle BBC’s pro-vegan bias, says NFU deputy president
NFU deputy president Guy Smith has said politicians who control the BBC’s licence fee must tackle pro-vegan bias at the broadcaster.
By Abi Kay, Farmers Guardian, Jan 29, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
Enviros Rally Around A Podcast Designed To Out Supposed Big Oil Propagandists
By Chris, White, Daily Caller, Jan 30, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Climate change’s surprise twist
By Amy Harder, Axios, Jan 27, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Downplays President Trump’s speech at Davos.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
With Straight Face, Yale Says Fracking Causes Sexually-Transmitted Infections
By Josh Bloom, ACSH, Jan 28, 2020
Telegraph Blames Biblical Plague Of Locusts On Global Warming
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 30, 2020
Climate change ‘could cause massive economic disruption around the world’
By Rob Waugh, Yahoo, UK, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Climate change is threatening sports stadiums and arenas, and teams like the Yankees and Dolphins are battling back
By Diana Olick, CNBC, Jan 27, 2020
“Lions and Tigers and Bears!” Major League Sports Tackle Climate Change!
By David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 30, 2020
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets
Kevin Anderson explains why he refused to purchase a carbon offset, and why you should steer clear of them too.
By Kevin Anderson, Nature, Apr 4, 2012 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
“Offsetting is worse than doing nothing. It is without scientific legitimacy, is dangerously misleading and almost certainly contributes to a net increase in the absolute rate of global emissions growth.”
[SEPP Comment: Dangerous CO2-caused climate change is without scientific legitimacy, and such claims are dangerously misleading.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
Aussie Academic: “we need to drive the [Climate] Dismissive group out of positions of power”
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 30, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
Follow the money
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 29, 2020
“The government, [Environment and Climate Change Canada] paying people to say what they tell them to say. Which turns out to be, of all things, that man-made climate change is a clear and present danger so politicians must be given more money and power.”
The 60% Rule
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Jan 28, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
World ends, children hardest hit
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 29, 2020
Link to article: How Climate Change Is Clobbering Kids’ Health
By Jeffrey Kluger, Time, Nov 13, 2019
“One more thing: the story claims that ‘Rising temperatures are reducing the duration of the growing season for three key staples – maize, rice and spring wheat – slashing harvests and increasing the risk of famine in vulnerable developing countries.’”
Attenborough’s Arctic Betrayal: New video reveals that terrorizing young children about climate began with polar bears
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jan 27, 2020
David Attenborough Blamed For Epidemic Of Eco Anxiety Among Young People
Press Release, GWPF, Jan 27, 2020
University offers students struggling with anxiety about climate change THERAPY to tackle their feelings of ‘anger, guilt and grief’
By Harry Howard, Daily Mail, Jan 24, 2020
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda
The Cult of Western Shaming
By Victor Davis Hanson, Townhall, Jan 30, 2020
Expanding the Orthodoxy
How Davos Became a Climate Change Conference
By Justin Worland, Time, Jan 27, 2020
Why we should be wary of blaming ‘overpopulation’ for the climate crisis
By Heather Alberro, The Conversation, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
“The annual World Economic Forum in Davos brought together representatives from government and business to deliberate how to solve the worsening climate and ecological crisis.”
Whether It’s a ‘Climate Emergency’ or Nuclear War: Doomsday Never Seems to Happen
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 30, 2020
Decarbonising academia: confronting our climate hypocrisy
By James Higham &Xavier Font, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Dec 2, 2019
“It is time for academic institutions to take responsibility and for academics to show leadership in the sector by auditing our own impacts, reducing them within our current institutional constraints…”
Economic Analysis of IMO 2020
The Benefits to the U.S. Economy of Full Participation and Compliance
By Staff, Charles River Associates, June 2019
[SEPP Comment: According to the study, there is negligible economic impact to US gasoline prices and refiners for compliance with the UN International Maritime Organization to significantly reduce sulfur emissions. But what is the cost to the consumer for increased shipping costs?]
Questioning European Green
No Wind, No Sun, No Power!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 26, 2020
Germany Continues to Destroy its Economy
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 28, 2020
$0.34/kwh! German Electricity Prices Skyrocket To New Record Highs…”A Gigantic Redistribution Machine”
Germany’s Energiewende (transition to green energies) is driving up prices
By Holger Douglas (Translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Jan 26, 2020
The looming German capacity crunch
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 27, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Looking grim.]
German coal regions to be allocated €40 billion as part of coal phase-out plan
By Florence Schulz, EURACTIV.de, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
[SEPP Comment: How will spending €40 billion reduce temperature rise?]
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Friedman on Friedman on the Carbon Tax (remembering Bob Inglis’s faux pas)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 30, 2020
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
ABC outrage: Solar in Australia no longer ‘a licence to *steal* money’
Solar generation is being buffeted by financial headwinds that are killing investment
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 29, 2020
What will Germany’s coal phase-out mean for the EU carbon market?
By Florence Schultz, EURACTIV.de, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
A Water Rule the EPA Got Right
Contrary to reports, the EPA is not raising the limits on the level of a certain herbicide allowed in drinking water. Unfortunately, Tucker Carlson and others may have been taken in by left-wing propaganda on the issue.
By Steve Milloy, American Greatness, Jan 25, 2020 [H/t John Dunn]
EPA re-approves key Roundup chemical
By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Jan 31, 2020
Energy Issues – Non-US
China Thermal Power Up 2.4% Last Year
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 28, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Ranking of actual growth in power production (not percentage growth): 1) Thermal; 2) Hydro; and 3) Nuclear.]
Energy Issues — US
American LNG Exports Jump To Third Place Worldwide
By Jude Clemente, Forbes, Jan 26, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Behind Australia and Qatar.]
Fewer recessions thanks to the shale revolution
By Steve Goreham, World Net Daily, Jan 31, 2020
Atlantic City: I’ll meet you tonite…..
By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Jan 30, 2020
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Penn State Finds Next To No New Methane Contamination
Penn State has identified a method of determining whether methane contamination of water wells is new or not and found almost none of it is in gas regions.
By Tom Shepstone, Natural Gas Now, Aug 29, 2019
The Rise of Distributed Natural Gas Generation
By Shayne Willette, Power Mag, Jan 24, 2020
“The power sector has increasingly turned to various forms of distributed generation to meet growing power demands over the past several decades. Although solar PV and other renewable technologies receive most of the coverage, they represent only a fraction of the distributed market.”
[SEPP Comment: Although the article is a marketing effort, it is correct in the sense that natural gas is a reliable replacement for diesel generation (gensets), wind and solar are not.]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Russian Scientists Reveal Plans for Fusion-Fission Reactor
It runs almost entirely on thorium, not uranium.
By Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, Jan 30, 2020
“The term ‘critical state’ is just a technical one, and these reactors are all shored up by safety and containment, but experts say a subcritical reactor is inherently safer because it requires less containment in order to operate normally. You can safely jump out of an airplane, but if you don’t jump at all, you’re even safer. And thorium itself is far less reactive and explosive to begin with.”
Germany’s overdose of renewable energy
Anti-nuclear hysteria is destroying the environment
By Jonathan Tennenbaum, Asia Times, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t Mark Liebe]
“On the Cover of the Rolling Stone” #ExxonKnew: Earth Is Radioactive
By David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 28, 2020
MOX Nuclear Fuel Loaded in Russian Reactor, More to Come
By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, Jan 28, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The US has yet to complete the plant to use MOX, begun in October 2005.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Mark Carney Says We Can Do Without Fossil Fuels!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 26, 2020
“We have had a spell of high pressure this week over the UK, and consequently wind power has been well down:”
100% Reliable Green Energy
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Jan 28, 2020
Mobile solar power – a Ponzi scheme
German Wind Projects Hit Intense Citizens’ Protests, Dividing Once Harmonious Communities
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 28, 2020
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Electric Vehicle Sales Fall Despite A Proliferation Of New Models
By Brad Anderson, Carscoops, Jan 25, 2020
“A number of factors could explain this. For starters, it seems as though range anxiety remains a serious cause for concern among consumers. In addition, electric vehicles remain more expensive than their ICE-powered rivals and with some of the government’s generous subsidies ending for many of the market’s best-selling EVs, buyers are feeling the pinch. What’s more, gas prices remain low and stable.”
Democratic Candidates’ Electric Car Mandates Will Kill Jobs in Iowa and Beyond
By Ed Wiederstein, Real Clear Energy, Jan 30, 2020
“Cars that lose 40% of their range in cold temperatures when they’re driven with the heater on simply won’t work in Iowa winters.”
What California Stands to Lose in the Climate Legal Battle
By Spencer Walrath, Energy In Depth, Jan 24, 2020
Health, Energy, and Climate
Stuff of Progress, Pt. 8: Disinfectants
By Tony Morley, Human Progress, Jan 31, 2020
What a Piece of Work is Mann
By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, Jan 31, 2020
The West’s role in Africa’s day of the locust
By Richard Tren and Jasson Urbach, CapX, Jan 28, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
Other Scientific News
Mysterious particles spewing from Antarctica defy physics
By Rafi Letzter, Live Science, Jan 24, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
What’s making these things fly out of the frozen continent?
Ultrafast camera takes 1 trillion frames per second of transparent objects and phenomena
By Staff Writers, Pasadena CA (JPL), Jan 24, 2020
Link to paper: Picosecond-resolution phase-sensitive imaging of transparent objects in a single shot
By Taewoo Kim, et al., Science Advances, Jan 17, 2020
Other News that May Be of Interest
Britain needs to rediscover failure if it wants to prosper
Britain needs to rediscover trial and error, serendipity, speed, and innovation
By Matt Ridley, His Blog, Jan 30, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The worst thing about failure is not learning from it.]
Bulgarians’ patience runs dry over water crisis
By Vessela Sergueva and Diana Simeonova, Pernik, Bulgaria (AFP) Jan 29, 2020
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
The Shortest Book Ever Written
By David Middleton, WUWT, Jan 30, 2020
Link to book: Knowledge in the Anthropocene
By Deborah R. Coen
The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene, Science, Jan 17, 2020
Summary: “Can science save humanity? In the face of runaway climate change and massive species extinction, some say that we already know all we need to know to fix these problems: Further research is a distraction and what we need now is action. Others anticipate a feat of technical ingenuity that will catapult us out of our current crisis. Into this fray comes Jürgen Renn, a polymath historian of science, whose research has careened from ancient Chinese mechanics to Einstein’s theory of gravitation to contemporary energy systems. What links these projects is Renn’s fascination with the dynamics by which science changes and changes hands. His new tour de force, The Evolution of Knowledge, addresses all those concerned with science’s fate.” [Boldface added]
Green Weenie of the Week: Climate Crime Wave?
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Jan 29, 2020
“The boldface section means that the best thing a poor country can do to reduce climate risk of any kind is to get rich as fast as possible.”
Another sure-to-fail green idea: Power your home for 24 hours with a bicycle
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 29, 2020
Building timber cities to protect the climate
Buildings made of wood can be powerful tools to reduce CO2.
By Stephen Leahy, Changing America, The Hill, Jan 27, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Apparently the author has no clue why DC prohibited tall wooden buildings – major fires in the 1800s!]
1. The Davos Crowd Embraces Big Global Government
‘Stakeholder capitalism’ empowers unaccountable elites at the expense of free-market nationalism.
By Richard Shinder, WSJ, Jan 26, 2020
TWTW Summary: The financial services executive begins with:
“These are difficult days for the elites caricatured as ‘Davos men.’ But one might not know it reading the strident remarks coming out of the World Economic Forum last week. Perhaps the globe-trotters in Switzerland ought to ponder what has run amok with today’s version of ‘globalism,’ and there are lessons from history that may help them.
“Salesforce chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff said on Tuesday that ‘capitalism as we have known it is dead, and this obsession that we have with maximizing profits for shareholders alone has led to incredible inequality and a planetary emergency.’ This is in keeping with the Business Roundtable’s recent advocacy for ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ which aims to make customers, suppliers, vendors, and so on equal with shareholders. Stakeholder capitalism is supposed to be the natural successor to the model of maximizing shareholder value.
“The call for corporate advocacy comes as nationalism and populism are emerging across the West, with events such as Brexit and Donald Trump’s 2016 triumph. This dichotomy suggests that citizens of Western democracies face a choice between a globalist economic and political order—of which stakeholder advocacy is a part—and a retreat into mercantilism, nativism and cultural stasis.
“This is a false choice. The advent of stakeholder capitalism as a replacement for shareholder value is in many ways a microcosm of the current globalist project, and its flaws illustrate the tension between today’s globalism and nationalism. But it also shows how to resolve them.
“Globalism touts the supremacy of supranational bodies and accords—the United Nations, the Paris climate agreement and the like. The officials who enter into these pacts often aren’t accountable to those who are governed by such arrangements. This amounts to a technocratic and anti-democratic rule by elites who think they know better, such as the global political, commercial, NGO and investor class so richly pilloried as ‘Davos man.’
“This in turn fosters paternalistic tendencies among large commercial organizations, whose great size, cross-border reach and profile allow them to act as independent entities on the world stage. Traditionally, only governments play so large a role, and this new phenomenon further erodes democratic accountability. [Boldface added.]
The irony is that many aspects of today’s globalism—or at least its promotion of market economies, capital mobility, and mostly free trade—aren’t in conflict with nationalism. In one sense of the word, the greatest ‘globalist’ age in history was the period before World War I. Trade among western European countries increased to 10% of the region’s GDP in 1900 from 1% in 1830. Supply chains extended across the globe, and capital and labor flowed freely across borders.”
After a further discussion of history of economic development the author concludes:
Nationalism as a response to a collectivist and unaccountable globalism—whether in dealing with a ‘climate crisis,’ ‘inequality,’ or something else—need not be nativist or protectionist. Our own recent economic history demonstrates this. While nationalism may be a dirty word among elites in Switzerland, the nation-state remains the most successful vehicle for advancing liberty, economic advancement and individual achievement in the history of the world.
2. Microsoft Strives for a Carbon-Free Future. A Setback in Fargo Shows the Hard Reality.
Software giant ran diesel generators to power its North Dakota campus due to forces it couldn’t control on the day of its bold climate pledge
By Russell Gold, WSJ, Jan 30, 2020
TWTW Summary: The article discusses how Microsoft needed diesel generators to provide power when power from the grid was cut off. This reliable power was needed to keep the Microsoft facility running for about five hours to keep the lights and heat on for 1,600 employees. The disruption in power is due to privileged rates from the local power company gives Microsoft, also given to other big companies in the Fargo region. Then the author discusses the core issue:
“Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental officer, said he is confident the company can meet its goals but understands it will be difficult. He expects stumbles along the way.
“‘The power situation means Microsoft is far from its goal in Fargo,’ Mr. Joppa said. ‘The company hopes to sign long-term deals to purchase wind or solar energy, but greening the grid can be difficult when the company doesn’t own the power grid or the electric generation, he acknowledged.
“’What we want is to just plug into the grid and have 100% of the electrons that enter our facilities be 100% from renewable sources, 100% of the time,’ he said. ‘We are trying to operate within the constraints or the parameters the system has dealt us,’ he added.”
TWTW Comment: Microsoft chose where it built its facility. It can build its own grid. There is no reason for the general consumers to subsidize Microsoft. The key issue is Microsoft wants indirect subsidies from general consumers to provide reliable power when it needs it from the grid.