Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup # 404

The Week That Was: 2020-03-28 (March 28, 2020)

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

“I would like to add something that’s not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you’re talking as a scientist. I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to do when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. – Richard Feynman, Cargo Cult Science, Caltech commencement address, 1974

Number of the Week: 4% of GDP (about $850 billion).


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Scientific Integrity: In the Quote of the Week, Richard Feynman expresses the belief that scientists need a higher form of integrity when presenting their views to laymen. This need is extremely important as government entities seek the “best science available” when establishing policy. However, far too frequently, many scientists present their views and beliefs as established knowledge, even if they are pure speculation. Reaction to COVID-19 in the UK provides an illustration for the need of scientists to bend over backwards to show how they may be wrong. And even then, journalists may misunderstand the effort.

On March 16, a special team for the Imperial College, London, a research institution which focuses exclusively on science, technology, and medicine, presented their views of a worst-case scenario for the coronavirus, the COVID-19 Response Team. Using their epidemiological modelling, the team estimated consequences if government and individuals did nothing to respond to the virus. The model used is only one of a number of epidemiological models and the data used earlier in the month were scanty. The results were:

“In the (unlikely) absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behaviour, we would expect a peak in mortality (daily deaths) to occur after approximately 3 months (Figure 1A). In such scenarios, given an estimated R0 of 2.4, we predict 81% of the GB and US populations would be infected over the course of the epidemic. Epidemic timings are approximate given the limitations of surveillance data in both countries: The epidemic is predicted to be broader in the US than in GB and to peak slightly later. This is due to the larger geographic scale of the US, resulting in more distinct localised epidemics across states (Figure 1B) than seen across GB. The higher peak in mortality in GB is due to the smaller size of the country and its older population compared with the US. In total, in an unmitigated epidemic, we would predict approximately 510,000 deaths in GB and 2.2 million in the US, not accounting for the potential negative effects of health systems being overwhelmed on mortality.”

Immediately journalists broadcast the unlikely scenario as the prediction of what will happen, ignoring the critical opening phrase:

“In the (unlikely) absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behavior”

A critical issue in any such estimates is delaying the spread of the disease so that the demand for critical healthcare would not overwhelm existing capabilities. The interventions considered included: case isolation in the home; voluntary home quarantine; social distancing of those over 70 years of age; social distancing of entire population; and closure of schools and universities.

Rather than take the easy way out and let it ride, on March 25, Neil Ferguson, who led the study, gave evidence to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology and said:

“…that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower. [Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually. https://fullfact.org/health/coronavirus-compare-influenza/]

“The need for intensive care beds will get very close to capacity in some areas, but won’t be breached at a national level, said Ferguson. The projections are based on computer simulations of the virus spreading, which take into account the properties of the virus, the reduced transmission between people asked to stay at home and the capacity of hospitals, particularly intensive care units.”

In short, thanks to measures taken, the likely worst-case scenario is being avoided. It is important to realize that even if a vaccine were discovered tomorrow, it may take 12 to 18 months to fully test and distribute it.

Following his testimony, some journalists and others began accusing Ferguson as being an alarmist. Ferguson addressed these accusations in a series of tweets published in National Review.

“I think it would be helpful if I cleared up some confusion that has emerged in recent days. Some have interpreted my evidence to a UK parliamentary committee as indicating we have substantially revised our assessments of the potential mortality impact of COVID-19.

“This is not the case. Indeed, if anything, our latest estimates suggest that the virus is slightly more transmissible than we previously thought. Our lethality estimates remain unchanged.

“My evidence to Parliament referred to the deaths we assess might occur in the UK in the presence of the very intensive social distancing and other public health interventions now in place.

“Without those controls, our assessment remains that the UK would see the scale of deaths reported in our study (namely, up to approximately 500 thousand).”

In short, Ferguson did not change the earlier work, but recognized that the assumptions of no government action no longer applied. Thus, he adjusted the results in a manner consistent with the new assumptions and the earlier work.

This incident is an example of why it is extremely important for scientists to be utterly honest, as described by Feynman, when giving evidence influencing public policy. Further, computer models are not reality. When models are contradicted by physical observations, models must be changed. Or when the assumptions are refuted by physical observations, the results of the models must be changed to reflect corrected assumptions. Failure to do so, places the models further from reality, into an imaginary world. See links under Models v. Observations, Model Issues, and Article # 1.


A Marked Difference: We can see a remarkable difference between the statements by Ferguson who adjusted his views as the information changed and global warming promoters who are attempting to use the fear of COVID-19 to promote their views which are contradicted by the best evidence available – atmospheric temperature trends. On March 19, UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave a speech on COVID-19 which concluded:

“Third, and Finally, We Have a Responsibility to ‘Recover Better.’”

“The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated clearly that countries with robust social protection systems suffered the least and recovered most quickly from its impact.

“We must ensure that lessons are learned, and that this crisis provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and for investment in critical 21st century public services and the effective delivery of global public goods.

“We have a framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We must keep our promises for people and planet.

“The United Nations – and our global network of country offices — will support all governments to ensure that the global economy and the people we serve emerge stronger from this crisis.

“That is the logic of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“More than ever before, we need solidarity, hope and the political will to see this crisis through together.”

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change will do little to stop climate change which has been occurring for hundreds of millions of years. But the Paris Agreement will give the UN an excuse to try to collect $100 billion per year in tribute for its ineffective actions. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.


Green Non-Deal: There is little doubt that the curtailment in activity caused by government mandates closing many businesses will cause significant economic harm. Rightly or wrongly, the federal government passed legislation intended to lessen the economic harm to many. There probably is no ideal legislation of this type, and contrary to its title, it may not stimulate the economy. Nevertheless, harm reduction is an appropriate goal.

Certain politicians thought that such legislation was a perfect opportunity to financially assist certain special interest groups, such as solar and wind power organizations. Largely, such special interests were shut out in the current bill. Unlike the 2009 stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), much money of which went to state governments and non-existing “shovel-ready” jobs, much of the current money is going directly to employers and taxpayers. Of course, some politicians are calling money to employers a slush fund to corporations, ignoring that employers and corporations include medical centers, museums, etc.

Prior to the 2008 recession, the December 2007 civilian unemployment rate was 5%. It went much higher and did not stay below 5% until October 2016. The period after December 2007 is called the Great Recession. Only time will tell if the current stimulus bill will work better than the past one. See links under Questioning Green Elsewhere, Green Jobs, Subsidies and Mandates Forever and https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-unemployment-rate.htm.


Life Expectancy: Carbon Brief published a report stating, “Fossil fuel use not closely linked to longer life expectancy, study suggests.” Then went on to state: “The analysis finds that increased access to electricity in the home was much more closely associated with a longer life expectancy over the 40-year study period.” The study covered the period of 1971 to 2014. By 1971, the benefits of electrification were already in place in most industrialized countries. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.


Changing Fish? NOAA Fisheries published a study claiming that it is becoming more difficult to predict salmon runs along the West Coast because “The Pacific Decadal Oscillation [PDO] and North Pacific Gyre Oscillation are not as effective at helping us predict regional environmental and ecological change as in the past.” Apparently, the authors do not have a clue about the history of the PDO. In discussing the PDO, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean states:

“Fisheries scientist Steven Hare coined the term ‘Pacific Decadal Oscillation’ (PDO) in 1996 while researching connections between Alaska salmon production cycles and Pacific climate. [Boldface added.]

“Two main characteristics distinguish PDO from El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO): first, 20th century PDO “events” persisted for 20-to-30 years, while typical ENSO events persisted for 6 to 18 months; second, the climatic fingerprints of the PDO are most visible in the North Pacific/North American sector, while secondary signatures exist in the tropics – the opposite is true for ENSO. Several independent studies find evidence for just two full PDO cycles in the past century: “cool” PDO regimes prevailed from 1890-1924 and again from 1947-1976, while “warm” PDO regimes dominated from 1925-1946 and from 1977 through (at least) the mid-1990’s. Shoshiro Minobe has shown that 20th century PDO fluctuations were most energetic in two general periodicities, one from 15-to-25 years, and the other from 50-to-70 years.”

When such PDO work appeared, many experts were claiming changing salmon runs were due to global warming. Now it appears NOAA is trying to re-establish the claim.

Thanks to the Marine Mammals Protection Act (1972 and amended several times), seal, sea lion, and killer whale populations are booming. They must eat something. The fact that they gather around the mouths of rivers when salmon are running indicates what. See links under Changing Seas.


Number of the Week: 4% of GDP (about $850 billion). In failed efforts to extend subsidies in the form of tax credits to wind and solar, there was an interesting sentence in “An Open Letter and Call to Action to Members of Congress:”

“This stimulus should be automatically renewed annually at 4% of GDP per year (roughly $850 billion) until the economy is fully decarbonized and the unemployment rate is below 3.5%. A Green Stimulus would make short-term interventions, restructure political and economic power towards workers and communities, and build toward deep long-term change.” (about p.2) [Boldface added.]

Tax credits for wind and solar have existed since the Energy Tax Act of 1978. Industries that grew around these tax subsidies insist that the subsidies are not dependable. Yet, after forty years, the subsidies are more dependable than the electricity wind and solar industries generate.

The annual US unemployment rate has not been at 3.5% since 1969, during the Vietnam War with about 3.5 million active duty military personnel. See links under Questioning Green Elsewhere, Green Jobs, and https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNU04000000?periods=Annual+Data&periods_option=specific_periods&years_option=all_years, and https://historyinpieces.com/research/us-military-personnel-1954-2014


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


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

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:


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

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

Open Letter from CLINTEL to World Leaders:

“Fight virus not carbon”

By Professor Guus Berkhout, President of CLINTEL, Mar 23, 2020


From the web site: “Climate Intelligence (CLINTEL) is an independent foundation that operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy.”

“Lesson in Humility – Unpredictable Natural Forces Change the World”

Solid Reasons To Push Back On The Dangerous Globalist Radical Environmental Plans

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP, Mar 24, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Is the Northeast Petri-Dish an example of things to come for Virginia and some other states?]

Heartland Appoints New President and Vice President

Press Release, The Heartland Institute, Mar 21, 2020


Just like today except for all the differences

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 25, 2020


[SEPP Comment: The time link between Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 60 million years ago and today?]

The real reasons Africa has another locust plague

By Paul Driessen, WUWT, Mar 22, 2020


Defending the Orthodoxy

UN: Embrace the Paris Agreement to Solve the Covid-19 Crisis

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 23, 2020


Secretary-General’s opening remarks at virtual press encounter on COVID-19 Crisis

By António Guterres, Secretary-General, UN, Mar 19, 2020


The Analogy Between Covid-19 and Climate Change Is Eerily Precise

First deny the problem, then say the solution is too expensive? The playbook here is all too familiar.

By Giland Edelman, Wired, Mar 25, 2020


“Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science who has studied the origins of climate disinformation, spelled out the pattern in an email: ‘First, one denies the problem, then one denies its severity, and then one says it is too difficult or expensive to fix, and/or that the proposed solution threatens our freedom.’”

“Whether it’s driven by self-interest (corporate profits, a president’s hopes of reelection) or by small government ideology, the approach sends a powerful signal to the party’s voters. If you take this problem seriously, you must be one of them, not us.”

[SEPP Comment: Are climate modelers (who refuse to acknowledge that the atmosphere is not warming dangerously as they predict) driven by self-interest? See link immediately below.]

Wired: Climate Denial is like Covid-19 Denial

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 25, 2020


EU sticks to carbon deadlines despite coronavirus delay calls

By Kate Abnett and Susanna Twidale, Reuters, Mar 26, 2020


“Industry, utilities and airlines running flights in Europe must report their ETS emissions for the previous calendar year by 31 March and surrender enough carbon permits to cover these emissions by 30 April under the bloc’s ETS rules.” [emissions trading system (ETS)]

Analysis: Coronavirus has temporarily reduced China’s CO2 emissions by a quarter

By Lauri Myllyvirta, Carbon Brief, Feb 19, 2020 updated Mar 4, 2020


EU Green Leader Explains Climate Change and Democracy, and Why Chinese People should Accept Their Place

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 23, 2020


How to waste over half a trillion dollars: The economic implications of deflationary renewable energy for coal power investments

By Staff, Carbon Tracker, Mar 12, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Does not consider unreliability as a cost.]

Sorry, but the Virus Shows Why There Won’t Be Global Action on Climate Change

Extreme measures to fight the coronavirus have raised activists’ hopes for similarly drastic action on global warming. Here’s why they’re wrong.

By Jason Bordoff, Foreign Policy, Marc 27, 2020 [H/t WUWT]


“Yet any climate benefits from the COVID-19 crisis are likely to be fleeting and negligible. Rather, the pandemic is a reminder of just how wicked a problem climate change is because it requires collective action, public understanding and buy-in, and decarbonizing the energy mix while supporting economic growth and energy use around the world.”

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Logic, the first casualty

By Aynsley Kellow, Quadrant, Mar 27, 2020


Drought Factcheck

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 25, 2020


Link to questionable UN report: UN Climate Change Conference (COP25)

By Staff, World Meteorological Organization, 2019


Climate at a Glance: Drought

By Staff, Heartland Institute, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Using Feynman’s concept of integrity in science, the UN is lacking.]

GOLDSTEIN: We gambled on the wrong threat — climate change

By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun, Mar 21, 2020


“Indeed, if you want to see what the world would be like if we prematurely abandon fossil fuels, all you have to do is look around, right now, in the age of COVID-19.”

Global Warming? “There’s some indication in the data that the pause is leaning toward a small reversal of the 20th-century trends.”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 26, 2020


Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Warming Improves Our Health – part 1

By Jim Steele, WUWT, Mar 22, 2020


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Poland says virus fallout makes it tough to hit EU climate goal

By Kate Abnett, The Star, Mar 25, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


“Poland is the only EU nation that has yet to commit to the bloc’s target of driving down net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050, the centrepiece of the European Commission’s Green Deal.”

Seeking a Common Ground

CoV discussion thread

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Mar 23, 2020


Science, Policy, and Evidence

10 Days That Changed Britain: “Heated” Debate Between Scientists Forced Boris Johnson To Act On Coronavirus

“This is going to get much, much worse, very quickly, both in terms of deaths and the economy,” a cabinet minister told BuzzFeed News. “It will not be long before we are getting numbers like Italy. I don’t think people realise that yet.”

By Alex Wickham, Buzz Feed News, UK, Mar 21, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Medicinal Constituents of Brazilian Ginseng are Enhanced Under Elevated CO2

Ferreira, P.R.B., da Cruz, A.C.F., Batista, D.S., Nery, L.A., Andrade, I.G., Rocha, D.I., Felipe, S.H.S., Koehler, A.D., Nunes-Nesi, A. and Otoni, W.C. 2019. CO2 enrichment and supporting material impact the primary metabolism and 20-hydroxyecdysone levels in Brazilian ginseng grown under photoautotrophy. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 139: 77-89. Mar 27, 2020


Historic iWUE Trends in Far Northeastern China

Liu, X., Zhao, L., Voelker, S., Xu, G., Zeng, X., Zhang, X., Zhang, L., Sun, W., Zhang, Q., Wu, G. and Li, X. 2019. Warming and CO2 enrichment modified the ecophysiological responses of Dahurian larch and Mongolia pine during the past century in the permafrost of northeastern China. Tree Physiology 39: 88-103. Mar 25, 2020


[SEPP Comment: According to the review, intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) “of larch and pines increased by 22.7% and 31.8% over the 110-year period, during which time the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere rose some 30%.”]

A Limited Response of a Deep-sea Coral to Ocean Acidification

Gammon, M.J., Tracey, D.M., Marriott, P.M., Cummings, V.J. and Davy, S.K. 2018. The physiological response of the deep-sea coral Solenosmilia variabilis to ocean acidification. PeerJ 6: e5236, doi: 10.7717/peerj.5236. Mar 23, 2020


[SEPP Comment: The researches were able to maintain the deep-sea corals in a health state for 12 months in aquaria, an unusual accomplishment. The only response they observed to a lower pH was a slight color loss.]

Models v. Observations

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand

By Neil Ferguson, et al., Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, Mar 16, 2020


COVID-19: Updated data implies that UK modelling hugely overestimates the expected death rates from infection

By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Mar 25, 2020


Updated Mar 27, 2020

Perspective On The Coronavirus: Sanity Check

By William Briggs, His Blog, Mar 27, 2020


UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts

By David Adam, New Scientist, Mar 25, 2020


No, a COVID Scientist Didn’t Walk Back His Prediction

By Robert Verbruggen, National Review, Mar 26, 2020


Model Issues

Why the COVID-19 Response Is No Model for Climate Action

By Alex Trembath and Seaver Wang, Breakthrough Institute, Mar 20, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


Measurement Issues — Surface

1919 or 2019? Banff Edition

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 25, 2020


Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

Is the COVID-19 Economic Downturn Affecting Atmospheric CO2? Mauna Loa Data Say, Not Yet

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 22, 2020


Satellite Animation Shows Air Pollution in China and Italy Clearing Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns

By Staff, Asian Surveying & Mapping (ASM), Mar 24, 2020 [H/t Mark Liebe]


Changing Weather

This Week In 1913

By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Mar 24, 2020


Changing Seas

Understanding Ocean Changes and Climate Just Got Harder

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation and North Pacific Gyre Oscillation are not as effective at helping us predict regional environmental and ecological change as in the past.

By Staff, NOAA Fisheries, Mar 23, 2020 [H/t Jim Buell]


Link to paper: The changing physical and ecological meanings of North Pacific Ocean climate indices

By Michael Litzow, et al., PNAS, Mar 23, 2020


The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

By Staff, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, U. Washington, Feb 2017


New Study: Sea Level Changes Since 1993 Are ‘Dominated’ And ‘Heavily Influenced’ By Internal Variability

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 23, 2020


Link to one paper: Investigating the Acceleration of Regional Sea Level Rise During the Satellite Altimeter Era

By Benjamin D. Hamlington, et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Feb 13, 2020


From abstract: “While the dominant features in the acceleration pattern can be attributed to internal variability, there is an indication that the forced acceleration pattern may emerge as the record continues to lengthen.”

From post: “From 1993 to 2018, the satellite altimetry sea level changes reveal both positive and negative accelerations, align with oscillatory patterns, and are dominated by internal variability (e.g., PDO, ENSO). The ‘forced acceleration pattern’ assumed to be associated with anthropogenic global warming ‘has not emerged’.”

Drowning in numbers

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 25, 2020


HKU marine biologist and international team unveil impacts of heatwave on reef fishes

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Mar 23, 2020


Link to paper: Species-specific molecular responses of wild coral reef fishes during a marine heatwave

By Moisés A. Bernal, et al., Science Advances, Mar 18, 2020


Remote Tierra del Fuego kelp forests surveyed for the first time in 45 years

By Brooks Hays, Washington DC (UPI), Mar 12, 2020


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Absence of evidence for greenhouse warming over the Arctic Ocean-Mark Serreze 1990

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 23, 2020


Link to 1993 paper: Absence of evidence for greenhouse warming over the Arctic Ocean in the past 40 years

By Jonathan D. Kahl, et al., Nature, Jan 28, 1993


“We are familiar with the incessant claims that the Arctic is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, and that this is due to the polar amplification effect of greenhouse gases.

“But scientists back in the 1990s found that this theory did not stack up then:”

“Ironically one of the authors, Mark Serreze, is now one of the leading cheerleaders for Arctic death spirals and the like.”

Polar Push and Pull

By Renee Hannon, WUWT, Mar 26, 2020


Winter sea ice maximum extent on March 5 was the highest since 2013

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Mar 24, 2020


Huge East Antarctic Glacier Especially Susceptible to Climate Impacts

By Jane Lee, Ian J. O’Neill and Brian Bell, JPL & UC-I, Mar 25, 2020 [H/t WUWT]


Link to paper: Grounding line retreat of Denman Glacier, East Antarctica, measured with COSMO‐SkyMed radar interferometry data

By V. Brancato, et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Mar 23, 2020


Denman Glacier–Latest Antarctic Meltdown Scare

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 24, 2020


From the ‘We’re all going to drown department’”:

“It’s hard to know where to start with this nonsense.”

“In reality the scientists who wrote this study do not have a clue whether the retreat of the Denman is anything new or not, or whether the deep ocean temperatures are any warmer than before 1979. Or whether what they are observing is just a natural process.”

Lowering Standards

England could face droughts in 20 years due to climate breakdown – report

Auditor general predicts drought in 20 years as demand rises and climate crisis reduces supply

PA Media, The Guardian, Mar 25, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


“The National Audit Office (NAO), in a report published on Wednesday, says some parts of England, especially the south-east, are at risk of running out of water owing to decreased rainfall and a need to cut the amount taken from natural waterways.”

See link immediately below.

Droughts? Climate Breakdown? Even the NAO Have Lost The Plot Now.

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 26, 2020


“We are used to dissembling from the likes of the Met Office and Environment Agency.

“It comes to something though when the National Audit Office is economical with the truth:”

[SEPP Comment: What is left out is often more important than what is stated.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?

Journalist Peter Fairley Cites Anti-Vaxx Website, Spreads Misinformation On Flu, COVID-19

By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Mar 24, 2020


“Peter Fairley, an environmental journalist and contributing editor for MIT Technology Review, cited an anti-vaccine website, DeSmogBlog, in a smear directed at our organization.”

Prominent U.S. climate denial group fires president amid financial crisis

By Scott Waldman, E&E News, Via Science Mag. org, Mar 17, 2020


“Heartland has received millions of dollars in funding from the energy industry over the years, but many of those contributions have dried up as major players in the oil and gas industry, like Exxon Mobil Corp., backed away from denying climate change. Other funders, such as Murray Energy Corp., have gone bankrupt.”

[SEPP Comment: As now too typical for ScienceMag.org, the claims are not substantiated by credible evidence such as IRS 990s. Access to the 990s can be found in the press release by Heartland under Challenging the Orthodoxy.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Global efforts on ozone help reverse southern jet stream damage

Jet stream appears to have stopped moving south and may be moving back towards normal

By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, Mar 25, 2020 [H/t Dennis Ambler]


Link to paper: A pause in Southern Hemisphere circulation trends due to the Montreal Protocol

By Antara Banerjee, et al., Nature, Mar 25, 2020


From the abstract: “Here we show that these widely reported circulation trends paused, or slightly reversed, around the year 2000. Using a pattern-based detection and attribution analysis of atmospheric zonal wind, we show that the pause in circulation trends is forced by human activities, and has not occurred owing only to internal or natural variability of the climate system.”

[SEPP Comment: Definitive speculation?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Fossil fuel use not closely linked to longer life expectancy, study suggests

By Daisy Dunne, Carbon Brief, Mar 27, 2020


Link to apparent paper not given: Your money or your life? The carbon-development paradox

By Julia K Steinberger, et al. Environmental Research Letters, Mar 27, 2020


How to lie with pictures

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 25, 2020


Link to essay: Graphing The Icy Reality

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Mar 22, 2020


Or your coral gets it

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 25, 2020


The $638 Billion Cost Of Keeping Coal Alive

By Staff, City A.M. Via Oil Price.com, Mar 19, 2020


No link provided: Possible report: Here’s why China’s post-COVID-19 stimulus must reject costly coal power

By Matt Gray, Carbon Tracker, Mar 18, 2020


“An estimated $638bn (£489bn) could be wasted worldwide on using coal to generate electricity.”

[SEPP Comment: For those who expect reliable electricity!]

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Climate slides on Germans’ list of concerns, Merkel’s party reaps credit for corona response – poll

By Rachel Waldholz, Clean Energy Wire, Mar 26, 2020


Expanding the Orthodoxy

Former UK PM Gordon Brown: Time for ‘Global Government’ to Tackle Coronavirus

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 26, 2020


“Don’t let a good crisis go to waste!”

“One thing is certain. If this supra-government was ever set up, it would not be dismantled once the coronavirus crisis was sorted out. Bureaucracies never do volunteer to be disbanded.

“And gradually its tentacles and power would be extended to cover more and more of our life. No prizes for guessing what the next ‘crisis’ would be to justify greater powers!”

Questioning European Green

British Climate Activists: “Corona is the cure. Humans are the disease”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 26, 2020


BBC Climate change: Green energy plant threat to wilderness areas

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 25, 2020


Covid-19: a glimpse of the dystopia greens want us to live in

This pandemic has shown us what life would be like if environmentalists got their way.

By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, Mar 25, 2020


Questioning Green Elsewhere

United States must fight against any internationally mandated “coronavirus economy’

Why the America must pay attention to developments in Europe in the name of climate change

By Chris Horner and Benny Peiser, The Washington Times, Mar 22, 2020


A critique of the House Republican climate policy proposals

Adopting net-zero proponents’ assumptions will not prove salutary

By Benjamin Zycher, American Enterprise Institute, Mar 24, 2020


Little of Pelosi’s Wish List Made It Into COVID-19 Relief Bill. That’s a Relief in Itself.

By GianCarlo Canaparo, Daily Signal, Mar 27, 2020


Green New Deal 2: “A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy” (the intellectual virus continues)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Mar 26, 2020


Green Jobs

A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy

An Open Letter and Call to Action to Members of Congress

By Staff, Green Stimulus Proposal, Mar 22, 2020


‘It’s about COVID’: Nancy Pelosi retreats on stimulus ‘wish list’

By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times, Mar 24, 2020


Sens. Bernie Sanders, Liz Warren’s Former Advisers Helped Author A $2 Trillion Green Energy Stimulus Deal

By Chris White, Daily Caller, Mar 24, 2020


“The stimulus would be renewed “annually at 4% of GDP per year until the economy is fully decarbonized and the unemployment rate is below 3.5%,” a slew of environmentalists wrote in an open letter to Congress.”

Cohen added: “We need to create jobs, and we know that a dollar in green spending is worth more jobs than a dollar in fossil fuels.”

[SEPP Comment: WHY?]

Litigation Issues

PG&E to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in California wildfires

By John Bowden, The Hill, Mar 23, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Will policymakers who narrowed the roads used as escape routes, creating traffic jams of those fleeing, face similar charges?]

Steve Milloy wins against Exxon with SEC

By Andy May, WUWT, Mar 21, 2020


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Trump administration walks away from ethanol court battle, angering oil refiners

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Mar 25, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Bowing to Senator Grassley (Iowa)?]

Democrats Block COVID-19 Rescue Package Over Renewable Subsidies

By Mike Palicz, Real Clear Energy, Mar 24, 2020


“Fatih Birol, a climate activist and head of the International Energy Agency, claimed he has been telling world governments ‘we can use the current situation to step up our ambition to tackle climate change.’ House Majority Whip James Clyburn reportedly echoed the sentiment by stating, ‘This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.’”

Renewable Energy Advocates Decry Lack of Help in Stimulus Bill

By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Mar 26, 2020


“Clean-energy industry groups said the bill does not contain extensions of the federal wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).”

[SEPP Comment: If wind power is so cheap why does it need subsidies? Could it be that it is very expensive when it does not work – over 60% of the time?]

How Many Ventilators Would That Have Bought?

By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Mar 27, 2020


EPA and other Regulators on the March

Court sides with scientists on EPA policy barring grantees from serving on agency boards

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Mar 23, 2020


“’When you get rid of the very scientists that EPA has decided do the most promising and relevant research, you’re going to skew those committees markedly, and that’s what’s happened,’ said Michael Halpern, with the Union of Concerned Scientists, which sued over the policy.”

[SEPP Comment: Does the Union of Concerned Scientists have an issue with Feynman’s definition of scientific integrity?]

EPA sued over reapproval of key Roundup chemical

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Mar 20, 2020


Energy Issues – Non-US

We mustn’t let green lobbyists use coronavirus to turn us back into the ‘sick man of Europe’

By Harry Wilkinson, Global Vision, Mar 23, 2020 [H/t GWPF]


Vital Electricity: Just A 12% Drop In Power Consumption Leads To A Very Painful Economic Downturn

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 27, 2020


Delays and shattered hopes: Uganda still waiting for oil riches

By Cyril Belaud, Buliisa, Uganda (AFP) March 27, 2020


Give Britain A Break: Suspend £15 Billion A Year Energy Policy Costs To Help Households and Businesses

Press Release, GWPF, Mar 24, 2020


Energy Issues — US

First U.S. West Coast LNG Project Gets The Greenlight

By Irina Slav, Oil Price.com, Mar 20, 2020


“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Jordan Cove LNG project in Oregon but set one condition: Pembina, the company behind the project, must obtain all necessary permits for the construction from the state authorities, the AP reports.”

The SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve]: Consumer ‘Insurance’ or Producer Cronyism? (time to privatize)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Mar 25, 2020


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Smooth Sailing? – Gulf Of Mexico Crude Oil Producers Braced For Price/Coronavirus Storm

By Bob Tippee, RBN Energy, Mar 24, 2020


“Gulf [of Mexico] producers significantly reduced the average breakeven prices needed to justify their most promising new investments — from more than $55/bbl back in 2015 to less than $35/bbl today.”

[SEPP Comment: Gaining knowledge and being able to use it to reduce costs can be amazing – efficiency. The link may not work for many.]

Oil Majors Are Preparing For $10 Oil

By Nick Cunningham, Oilprice.com, Mar 23, 2020


“Goldman Sachs estimates that Chevron needs $50 per barrel in order to cover spending and its dividend. ExxonMobil, on the other hand, needs something like $70.”

Trump administration continues to sell oil rights amid industry slump

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Mar 24, 2020


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Easter Season Cold, Frost Ends Onset Of European Spring… And Italy Air Quality WORSENS After Curfew!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 21, 2020


“On another note, one would think that with the Corona curfews in northern Italy reducing traffic to almost zero, we’d see improved air quality. But in fact the opposite has occurred.

“’More people at home means more frequent wood/pellet heating, which in this country is encouraged by the most stupid energy and environmental policies,’ says Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann, citing the Italian online Gazzetta here.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

Energy Storage Industry Already Experiencing Coronavirus Delays

By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Mar 24, 2020


“The storage industry, like others in the renewable energy community, is looking for relief from Congress as lawmakers work on an economic stimulus bill. The storage industry wants a standalone investment tax credit (ITC) for energy storage.”

[SEPP Comment: Coal storage does not need subsidies, only electricity storage does.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Coronavirus Spooks European Auto Industry And May Spur Revision Of EU CO2 Rules

By Neil Winton, Forbes, Mar 22, 2020


Comment by Paul Homewood: “It appears that the European car industry is being hit by a perfect storm. The ludicrous CO2 emission targets were always going to be damaging to the industry, going against what customers were demanding.

“Added to that is the soon to come phasing out of all conventional engine cars, which will only benefit Asian manufacturers, while costing European companies a fortune in developing EVs.

“And now Coronavirus could leave the European car industry on its knees even sooner than expected.”

Green cars stall

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 25, 2020


California Dreaming

EPA watchdog to review pollution plans after threat to withhold California highway funding

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Mar 26, 2020


Other Scientific News

Ancient fish fossil reveals evolutionary origin of the human hand

By Staff Writers, Adelaide, Australia (SPX), Mar 19, 2020


Link to paper: Elpistostege and the origin of the vertebrate hand

By Richard Cloutier, et al., Nature, Mar 18, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Part of the pathway?]

Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

By Staff Writers, Riverside CA (SPX), Mar 25, 2020


Link to paper: Discovery of the oldest bilaterian from the Ediacaran of South Australia

By Scott D. Evans, et al., PNAS, Mar 23, 2020


Half billion-year-old ‘social network’ observed in early animals

By Staff Writers, Cambridge UK (SPX), Mar 23, 2020


Link to paper: Filamentous Connections between Ediacaran Fronds

By Alexander Liu and Frances Dunn, Current Biology, Mar 5, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Did animal life come from fern like structures?]

Other News that May Be of Interest

Don’ts and Dos on Coronavirus

By Jane Orient, MD, The Heartland Institute, Mar 17, 2020


A vaccine for coronavirus isn’t going to ride rapidly to our rescue

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Mar 22, 2020


A COVID-19 Timeline

By Chuck Dinerstein, ACSH, Mar 20, 2020


“But there is a more crucial preliminary finding; the current data suggests that ‘approximately one-third of transmission occurs in the household, one third in schools and workplaces and the remaining third in the community.’”

Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Affect Weather Forecasting?

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Mar 26, 2020


The curious age discrimination of coronavirus

Why does it affect the generations differently?

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Mar 26, 2020


Coronavirus And Tetraphase

By Dr David Shlaes, ACSH, Mar 20, 2020


Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus death rate like very bad flu

‘Considerably less than 1%,’ he writes in New England Journal of Medicine

By Art Moore, World Net Daily, Mar 27, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Matthew Paris: Crashing The Economy Will Also Cost Lives

By Matthew Paris, The Times, Via GWPF, Mar 21, 2020


Oregon’s Virtual Charter Schools Are the Definition of Social Distancing. The State Shut Them Down Anyway.

Students who already learned from home are now deprived of their education because brick-and-mortar schools are closed.

By Rachel Monahan and Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week, Mar 26, 2020 [H/t Lars Larson]


[SEPP Comment: Can’t give an unfair advantage to those being schooled in virtual charter schools?]

Ships’ emissions create measurable regional change in clouds

Press Release, University of Washington, Mar 24, 2020 [H/t WUWT]



Astronaut urine to build moon bases

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Mar 28, 2020



1. Worst-Case Coronavirus Science

Neil Ferguson clarified his Covid-19 projections. Good for him.

Editorial, WSJ, Mar 27, 2020


After stating that Neil Ferguson deserves a break, the editorial continues:

“The report was one reason that led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to change policy and lock Britain down. Under the Imperial College model, the projection was that the steps Mr. Johnson had been taking would cut the number of projected deaths in half but still leave about a quarter million British dead.

“Now Mr. Ferguson has clarified his estimates. He told Parliament this week that he now reckons the number of deaths in the U.K. ‘would be unlikely to exceed 20,000’—and that many would be older people who would have died from other maladies this year. With the measures now in place, he believes Britain’s health service won’t be overwhelmed.

“Critics are bashing him for the revisions, but not so fast. Mr. Ferguson didn’t change his model so much as adjust for new circumstances. In particular he believes that Covid-19 is more transmissible than he previously had thought—but because strong measures had been implemented, deaths would be far lower than his worst-case scenario.

“There’s a warning here about science and journalism. Surely if we hope to neutralize a pandemic we don’t fully understand, we need to encourage a culture in which scientists feel able to adapt and clarify with new evidence. Scientists would also help themselves if, in explaining their findings, they would be more candid about the assumptions and variables.

“This goes double for the press. It’s no secret that the press’s reputation has taken a credibility hit in this crisis. Nor is it any secret why: Instead of a presentation of what we know and don’t, too often the focus has been political scapegoating or sensationalizing.

“This week on ‘CBS This Morning,’ U.S. Surgeon-General Jerome Adams complained about a press that runs with projections ‘based on worst-case scenarios.’ He was talking about ventilators, but his point applies across the board. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the same regarding apocalyptic forecasts not backed by data about hospitals having to issue Do Not Resuscitate orders.

“In the battle to save lives and address the scourge of Covid-19, good information is paramount. Credit to Neil Ferguson for clarifying his projections when the situation changed.”

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March 30, 2020 3:05 am

We can see a remarkable difference between the statements by Ferguson who adjusted his views as the information changed

I don’t see Ferguson “adjusting” his views. He stuck to the same analysis but different parts of that analysis were taken out of context by irresponsible journalists. He is now emphasising which scenarios were should be looking at.

Data collection and reporting in UK seems to be unstructured, uncoordinated and total anarchy. What local bodies do or don’t do seems undefined probably changing from week to week or day to day. I do not even bother looking UK case data because to plot it implies that it may have some meaning, and I don’t think it does.

Reply to  Greg
March 30, 2020 4:27 am

“In short, Ferguson did not change the earlier work, but recognized that the assumptions of no government action no longer applied. Thus, he adjusted the results in a manner consistent with the new assumptions and the earlier work.”

No, not really. Half the people admitted into ICU are dying anyway, so I fail to see how “flattening the curve” via social distancing would result in a 25-fold difference (500k vs 20k) in the number of people who will die, unless the measures will also result in far fewer people being exposed to the virus over the entire course of the epidemic. Or that we can flatten the curve until the virulence of the virus diminishes, and/or a very effective vaccine is developed, tested, manufactured, distributed and administered to millions of people.

So, yes, I think this is another example of scientists flying-off “half cocked” on the basis of bad data being fed into computer models. ie, this is another example of scientists making useless and counter-productive predictions…. just like climate change.

Reply to  Tim.
March 30, 2020 7:48 am
March 30, 2020 4:45 am

Ferguson might not have walked back projections of 510,000 UK deaths, but ICL has a new study – with caveats re lockdown – but nonetheless with drastically lower figure:

28 Mar: UK Mirror: Coronavirus death toll could be ‘just’ 5,700 – but only if lockdown rules obeyed
Coronavirus could kill as few as 5,700 people in Britain with the peak of the outbreak as early as next Sunday if people stringently follow the government’s social distancing advice
by Nicola Bartless & Jeremy Culley
The paper from Imperial College, London, says that 5,700 people will die in Britain if the disease follows the same pattern as China now lockdown measures are in place.
This follows the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance’s grim assertion that 20,000 deaths in the UK would represent a “good outcome”.
Hundreds of thousands are feared to be at risk of death if no intervention is made…
The 5,700 lives lost in Britain as a result of the pandemic would amount to fewer annual deaths than seasonal flu…
Explaining his findings on Twitter (LINK), Professor Tom Pike, one of the study’s author’s, said: “Social distancing is working against Covid-19 as an effective parachute across multiple countries.
“That’s no reason for us to cut away our parachutes when we’re still way above the ground.”…READ ON

30 Nov 2018: UK Independent: Ineffective flu vaccine added to 50,000 extra deaths last winter, ONS says
Human suffering and lost lives over winter ‘predictable, preventable and shameful’, fuel poverty campaigners say
by Alex Matthews-King
The flu vaccine’s failure to protect against some of the key strains of the infection contributed to more than 50,000 “extra” deaths in England and Wales last winter, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
It was the worst winter on record for more than 40 years, with the 1975-76 season being the last time deaths climbed so high above the expected levels.
The NHS was rocked by a record winter crisis in early 2018, with a massive rise in flu cases and sub-zero temperatures triggered by the Beast from the East storm, which added further to death rates…

reminder of a bad flu season which was barely noted by MSM, except when, like this one, it’s more about “fuel poverty” with no acknowledgement CAGW policies might have played a part:

30 Nov 2018: UK Independent: Ineffective flu vaccine added to 50,000 extra deaths last winter, ONS says
Human suffering and lost lives over winter ‘predictable, preventable and shameful’, fuel poverty campaigners say
by Alex Matthews-King
The flu vaccine’s failure to protect against some of the key strains of the infection contributed to more than 50,000 “extra” deaths in England and Wales last winter, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
It was the worst winter on record for more than 40 years, with the 1975-76 season being the last time deaths climbed so high above the expected levels.
The NHS was rocked by a record winter crisis in early 2018, with a massive rise in flu cases and sub-zero temperatures triggered by the Beast from the East storm, which added further to death rates…

Tim Gorman
March 30, 2020 5:14 am

” Carbon Brief published a report stating, “Fossil fuel use not closely linked to longer life expectancy, study suggests.” Then went on to state: “The analysis finds that increased access to electricity in the home was much more closely associated with a longer life expectancy over the 40-year study period.” ”

Where in blue blazes did the authors of this report think the increased access to electricity came from? Generation plants using fossil fuels!

March 30, 2020 6:02 am

“We must keep our promises for people and planet”

They made promises to the planet?


March 30, 2020 9:27 am

The truth comes out in The Open Letter:

“A Green Stimulus would make short-term interventions, restructure political and economic power towards workers and communities, …”

“[r]estructure political and economic power …” – it has nothing to do with “Green”.

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