Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #409

Quote of the Week: “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.” – William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin

Number of the Week: ZERO – $0

THIS WEEK:

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

Red Team Vs Blue Team: Various organizations, such as the military, cybersecurity, etc. use a red team vs blue team conflict where the blue team uses the conventional thinking and tactics of the organization and the red team tries to break and / or exploit weaknesses in the conventional approach. Over the past several years there has been an effort to establish such a mental conflict to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the approach used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers. Thus far the effort has failed, and Washington is geared to the election cycle, making it unlikely such an approach will be used until after the elections, if ever.

In discussing COVID-19 for the Global Warming Policy Forum, Benny Peiser states:

“The evident divisions and contradictory results published in thousands of new studies in recent weeks (and the conflicting scientific advice provided to governments) is causing growing confusion, anger and disarray both within the scientific community and the general public.

“Scientific models and predictions based on widely differing assumptions are exposed as fatally flawed as never before. As a result, institutional science is hemorrhaging trust around the world while the way research is conducted and published is facing an existential crisis. In many ways, the coronavirus crisis has triggered the biggest crisis of science in modern history.

“In light of this evident disarray, calls for a radical reform of quality control of scientific methods and claims and the introduction of institutional Red Teaming are gaining ground. In a compelling article in the journal Nature, Professor Daniël Lakens sets out the arguments for a radically new way to conduct quality-control of scientific research and its methods.”

In the opening of the article published by Nature, Lakens states:

“As researchers rush to find the best ways to quell the COVID-19 crisis, they want to get results out ultra-fast. Preprints — public but unvetted studies — are getting lots of attention. But even their advocates are seeing a problem. To keep up the speed of research and reduce sloppiness, scientists must find ways to build criticism into the process.

Finding ways to prove ourselves wrong is a scientific ideal, but it is rarely scientific practice. Openness to critiques is nowhere near as widespread as researchers like to think. Scientists rarely implement procedures to receive and incorporate pushback. Most formal mechanisms are tied to the peer-review and publishing system. With preprints, the boldest peers will still criticize the work, but only after mistakes are made and often, widely disseminated. [Boldface added]

After giving specific examples of demonstrated flaws in estimates, Lakens states:

“It is time to adopt a ‘red team’ approach in science that integrates criticism into each step of the research process. A red team is a designated ‘devil’s advocate’ charged to find holes and errors in ongoing work and to challenge dominant assumptions, with the goal of improving project quality. The team has a role similar to that of ‘white-hat hackers’ hired in the software industry to identify security flaws before they can be discovered and exploited by malefactors. Similarly, teams of scientists should engage with red teams at each phase of a research project and incorporate their criticism. The logic is similar to the Registered Report publication system — in which protocols are reviewed before the results are known — except that criticism is not organized by journals. Ideally, there is a larger amount of speedier communication between researchers and their red team than peer review allows, resulting in higher-quality preprints and submissions for publication.

“Even scientists who invite criticism from a red team acknowledge that it is difficult not to become defensive. The best time for scrutiny is before you have fallen in love with your results. And the more important the claims, the more scrutiny they deserve. The scientific process needs to incorporate methods to include ‘severe’ tests that will prove us wrong when we really are wrong. [Boldface added.]

After giving an example of researchers ignoring red team criticisms, Lakens goes on to state:

“This shows that assembling a red team isn’t enough: research teams need to commit to addressing criticism from the outset. Sometimes, this is straightforward — items on checklists are absent from a proposal, or an independent statistical analysis yields different results, for example. Usually, it will be less clear whether criticism merits changing a protocol or including a caveat. The key is that, when results are presented, the team transparently communicates the criticism that the red team raised. (Perhaps incorporated criticism could be listed in the methods section of a paper, and unincorporated criticism in the limitations.) This will show how severely a claim has been tested.

“Pushback on each step of a research project should be recognized as valuable quality control and adherence to scientific values. Ideally, a research team could recruit their own red team from group members not immediately involved in the project.”

This entire approach is very useful not only for the current health crisis, but to help prevent government funded research organizations from becoming ossified – management failing to respond to reported problems until they result in a disaster, such as the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Personal Attacks: Contrary to the views expressed above that scientists need to recognize, indeed invite, criticism, in a video, electrical engineer Terry Gannon reviews the extensive accusations or insinuations made against Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysicist Willie Soon who published a paper disputing the IPCC claim that human carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of global warming, now called climate change. Soon asserted that solar variation is the principal cause.

The main accusations began in February 2015 with articles in the New York Times and other papers repeating assertions by Kert Davies, a former Greenpeace Research Director, claiming Soon had received direct funding from Exxon of over a million dollars to deny that CO2 emissions are the primary cause of climate change. Harvard-Smithsonian investigated and found no documented evidence that such direct payments were made. If those engineering the attacks had some, they should have provided it.

Such is the plight of those challenging the accepted dogma of climate science. As a professor Haapala had in graduate school said: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; those who can’t teach, teach the teachers.” To which one can add an additional level: Those who cannot do anything, smear those who can. Willie Soon is a recipient of the Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award for exceptional courage in the quest for knowledge and a member of SEPP’s board of directors. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

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A Natural Experiment: The sun may be conducting a natural experiment. Physicist Nicola Scafetta has postulated that variations in the orbits and alignment of the heavy planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune can cause changes in the sun, in 2019 Stefani, et al, postulated that the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter influence the solar magnetic field, thus governing the solar cycle. Professor Fritz Vahrenholt’s Monthly Solar Report explains the concept more simply:

“’The agreement is amazingly accurate: we see a complete parallelism with the planets over 90 cycles,’ explains Frank Stefani, one of the authors of the publication published in Solar Physics. Just as the gravitational pull of the Moon causes the tides on Earth, planets could move the hot plasma on the surface of the Sun. But the effect of a simple gravitational force is too weak to significantly disturb the flow in the Sun’s interior, so the temporal coincidence has long been ignored.”

“Now the researchers assume that the layers of the plasma are subject to a Taylor instability. The Taylor instability is known from the behavior of liquids of different densities at their interface (we know the turbulence that occurs when milk is poured into a cup of tea).  Taylor instability is sensitive to even very small forces. A small burst of energy is enough for the polarity of the solar magnetic field to swing back and forth every 11 years. The necessary impulse for this could be provided by the tidal action of the planets – and thus ultimately determine the rhythm in which the sun’s magnetic field reverses its polarity.

“The tidal forces of the planets could have other effects on the Sun in addition to their role as pace-setter for the 11-year cycle. For example, it would be conceivable that they could change the stratification of the plasma in the boundary area between the inner radiation zone and the outer convection zone of the Sun, the tachocline, in such a way that the magnetic flux could be more easily dissipated.

“Under these conditions, the strength of the activity cycles could also change, just as the ‘Maunder Minimum’ once caused a significant decrease in solar activity over a longer period, the researchers write on the Helmholtz Center website. It is an unusual idea that the activity of the sun is controlled by the planets, including the earth itself. This sounds like astrology – but it is the latest in solar research.”

To this we add the Svensmark hypothesis that a dormant sun will allow more high-energy cosmic rays to hit the atmosphere, thus increase cloudiness. Now we have the possibility that the earth may be entering a cooling phase, though it will take several solar cycles before any conclusions can be drawn. It will be interesting to see the effects on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and other natural variability occurring in the oceans. See links under Science: Is the Sun Rising? and Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

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Confusion: In recent weeks, many environmental commentators have confused falling human CO2 emissions with falling levels of CO2. In addition, they have confused falling levels of visible pollutants such as nitrous oxide (NO2) with falling levels of CO2, which is invisible. Roy Spencer has a post explaining why what is claimed to be happening is not happening. His summary states:

“Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase with no sign of the global economic slowdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. This is because the estimated reductions in CO2 emissions (around -11% globally during 2020) is too small a reduction to be noticed against a background of large natural variability. The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.”

He then goes into a clear explanation of his findings and concludes:

“That relatively small 11% reduction also illustrates how dependent humanity is on energy, since the economic disruption is leading to U.S. unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Everything that humans do requires access to abundant and affordable energy, and even the current economic downturn is not enough to substantially reduce global CO2 emissions.”

To its credit, NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory answers the question: “Can we see a change in the CO2 record because of COVID-19?” in a similar fashion. The variation in CO2 from stopping a great deal of human activity is too small when compared with natural variation to be able to “see” it. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/covid2.html

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Solid Model and Solid Data: As those who follow the COVID-19 controversy may realize, to create models that give realistic results requires both a solid, well tested model and solid, realistic data fitting the issue. No matter how good the model, if the data are inappropriate, the results are poor. Contrary to what is implied in the Quote-of-the-Week, expressing issues in numbers does not necessarily mean expressing understanding. The critical question is: How good are the numbers (measurements) in defining the issue?

According to Worldometers, the current (May 16, 2020, midnight GMT) world-wide death rate from COVID-19 is 40.1 per million, the USA rate is 272 per million; yet the rate for China is 3, for India 2, Bangladesh 2; Indonesia 4; Philippines 7; Malaysia 3; Thailand 0.8, and so on. While in Spain it is 590; UK 508; Italy 525; France 423; Belgium 777; Netherlands 331; and so on. Using such numbers, the unscrupulous researcher could argue that it is clear that the virus was engineered to infect those of European descent, leaving Asians largely unharmed.

No matter how good the infection model may be, using data from China would not be appropriate for the US. Yet, all too frequently modelers use inappropriate data and produce inappropriate results they claim to be meaningful. This is an all too common problem in climate modeling. Surface data are used in most models cited by the IPCC, including US models, to claim that warming is from atmospheric CO2. Yet, the most appropriate data, atmospheric temperature trends are ignored. Such errors in use of data should not be tolerated in climate science any more than in medical research. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, Health, Energy, and Climate, and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

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Age – The Hidden Problem: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports “Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State.” TWTW accessed the tables on May 13, and the reports covered the period February 1 to May 9, 2020.

The total deaths from COVID-19 were 54,861. Of the total 17,478 (32%) were 85 or older; 14,930 (27%) were 75 to 84; 11, 524 (21%) were 65 to 74; 6,725 (12%) were 55 to 64; 2.772 (5%) were 45 to 54, and subsequent groups were 2%; 1% and 0%. It is clear from the best data available that for COVID-19, 80% of those who have died were 65 or older; 92% 55 or older.

Generally, those who are dying in large numbers are past the prime income years and employment advancement years. Those who are in their prime income and advancement years have low risk. A proper policy question should be: are economic lockdowns, which penalize wage earners in their high earning and advancement years, justified; when so few are threatened? TWTW has not seen this policy issue discussed. See links under Science, Policy, and Evidence, Articles # 2 & #3, and https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku

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SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD

THE JACKSON

Since 2012, SEPP conducted an annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

  • The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
  • The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
  • The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
  • The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

The eight past recipients, Lisa Jackson (12), Barrack Obama (13), John Kerry (14), Ernest Moniz (15), Michael Mann (16), Christiana Figueres (17), Jerry Brown (18), and AOC (19) are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on June 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you.

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Number of the Week: ZERO – $0: According to press accounts and tweets, when asked by columnist Jonah Goldberg about the cost of the Green New Deal (GND), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded: “’Totally get it if you’ve never bothered to read the legislation you’re commenting so authoritatively on,” She continued by noting that the GND is a “non-binding resolution of values” and “costs us $0 if passed.

Regardless of the accuracy of the report: given that the proponents of the Green New Deal fail to distinguish between electricity generation that is dispatchable (reliable) and nondispatchable (unreliable) and promote unreliable generation, one can respond that Zero is the value of the critical thinking that has gone into the Green New Deal. See links under The Political Games Continue and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Storage

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

The Sun Has Entered ‘Very Deep’ Solar Minimum

By Niamh Shackleton, UNILAD, May 14, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.unilad.co.uk/science/the-sun-has-entered-very-deep-solar-minimum/

Earth’s Mean Temperature Falling, Planetary Alignment Suspected As Driver Of The 11-Year Solar Cycle

Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt’s Monthly Solar Report, Translated by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 9, 2020

Link to press release: The Sun follows the rhythm of the planets

New study corroborates the influence of planetary tidal forces on solar activity

By Staff, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), an independent German research institute, May 27, 2019

https://www.hzdr.de/db/Cms?pNid=99&pOid=58444

Link to paper: A Model of a Tidally Synchronized Solar Dynamo

By Stefani, Giesecke & Weier, Solar Physics, May 22, 2020

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11207-019-1447-1

Link to second paper: Solar Oscillations and the Orbital Invariant Inequalities of the Solar System

By Nicola Scafetta, Solar Physics, Feb 26, 2020

https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s11207-020-01599-y?author_access_token=L-s0bgPea2pLm1b6tsdOMfe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY55v9m3MM54tpj-CQPyVsAzzf6opG9W4gdgr8oVT4GOrzfpdh9XXEd-wc7RCZ_GqoBlUMf7XrmvDqvSdnxCjBRITA0FH-rHD__udFgR1gFZDw%3D%3D

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

New Study: Solar Forcing Estimates Since 1750 Could Be Much Larger Than Estimates Of Anthropogenic Forcing

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, May 11, 2020

Link to paper: Sun-like Stars Shed Light on Solar Climate Forcing

By Judge, Egeland, and Henry, The Astrophysical Journal, March 9, 2020

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ab72a9/meta

[SEPP Comment: According to the abstract, the new study does not contest the IPCC version of solar influence on the climate since 1750 but it does suggest that it may be double of that estimated.]

On 99-year anniversary of huge disruptive solar storm, we are about to enter the deepest period of solar “recession” ever recorded

By Tony Phillips, WUWT, May 15, 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

https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-II/CCR-II-Full.pdf

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:

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Climate-Change-Reconsidered-II-Fossil-Fuels-FULL-Volume-with-covers.pdf

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:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

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

https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/SeaLevelRiseCCRII.pdf

Challenging the Orthodoxy

It Is Time To Adopt A ‘Red Team’ Approach In Science

By Benny Peiser, GWPF, May 13, 2020

Link to paper: Pandemic researchers — recruit your own best critics

To guard against rushed and sloppy science, build pressure testing into your research.

By Daniël Lakens, Nature, May 11, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01392-8

The Fatal Attraction Of A Post-Covid Green Deal

Press Release, GWPF, May 15, 2020

Link to paper: The Fatal Attraction Of A Post-Covid Green Deal

By John Constable, GWPF, May 2020

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/05/Constable-Covid-GreenDeal.pdf

GWPF TV: The Net Zero Threat to Economic Recovery

Webinar by GWPF, May 15, 2020

[SEPP Comment: The webinar giving the basis for the above paper.]

Why the Current Economic Slowdown Won’t Show Up in the Atmospheric CO2 Record

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 15, 2020

Coronavirus And Climate Change: A Tale Of Two Hysterias

By Tilak Doshi, Forbes, May 14, 2020

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tilakdoshi/2020/05/14/coronavirus-and-climate-change-a-tale-of-two-hysterias/#73e1d20eb53b

“Unlike climate change models that predict outcomes over a period of decades, however, its takes only days and weeks for epidemiological model forecasts to be falsified by data.”

We know everything – and nothing – about Covid

It is data, not modelling, that we need now

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, May 9, 2020

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/we-know-everything-and-nothing/

The Coronavirus Lockdown Has Not Made the Air Cleaner

By Todd Myers, National Review, May 14, 2020

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/coronavirus-lockdowns-have-not-made-air-cleaner/?itm_campaign=headline-testing-coronavirus-lockdowns-have-not-made-air-cleaner&itm_medium=headline&itm_source=nationalreview&itm_content=Cleaner%20COVID%20Air%3F%20Au%20Contraire&itm_term=Cleaner%20COVID%20Air%3F%20Au%20Contraire

Global “weirding” or nature being nature?

By Joe Bastardi, CFACT, May 9, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

Opinion/Letter: ‘Clean’ power plan just shifts pollution

By Charles Battig, The Daily Progress, VA, May 13, 2020

https://www.dailyprogress.com/opinion/opinion-letter-clean-power-plan-just-shifts-pollution/article_9b506be3-c15a-598d-a5b0-33fe9e3ba64c.html

Defending the Orthodoxy

Tying celestial mechanics to Earth’s ice ages

Gradual falls and sharp rises in temperature for millions of years have profoundly affected living conditions on the planet and, consequently, our own evolution.

By Mark Maslin, Physics Today, May 1, 2020 [H/t Edwin Berry]

https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.4474

Link to key reference: Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation

By Jeremy D. Shakun, et al. Nature, Apr 4, 2012

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10915

Later paper: Critical insolation–CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future glacial inception

By Ganopolski, Winkelmannn, and Schellnhuber, Nature, Jan 13, 2016

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature16494

“Using an ensemble of simulations generated by an Earth system model of intermediate complexity constrained by palaeoclimatic data, we suggest that glacial inception was narrowly missed before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Additionally, our analysis suggests that even in the absence of human perturbations no substantial build-up of ice sheets would occur within the next several thousand years and that the current interglacial would probably last for another 50,000 years. However, moderate anthropogenic cumulative CO2 emissions of 1,000 to 1,500 gigatonnes of carbon will postpone the next glacial inception by at least 100,000 years.”

COVID-19 is a practice run for climate change

By Kate Kressmann-Kehoe, Rochester Beacon, May 12, 2020 [H/t Climate Depot]

Global Warming: Seeing the Negative Side of Longer Growing Seasons

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 12, 2020

“In addition, in many northern ecosystems, the benefits of warmer springs on increased CO2 absorption is offset by the accumulation of seasonal water deficits. New evidence shows that the increased spring plant growth and earlier start of the growing season actually deplete summer soil moisture and decrease the overall summer time plant growth in boreal and tundra ecosystems.”

[SEPP Comment: Mysterious new evidence!]

New Ashurst Study Shows Growing Investor Awareness to Speed the Energy Transition

By Editors, Real Clear Energy, May 15, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/05/15/new_ashurst_study_shows_growing_investor_awareness_to_speed_the_energy_transition_491643.html

Link to study: Powering Change: Energy in Transition

By Staff, Ashurst, Accessed May 15, 2020

https://www.ashurst.com/en/news-and-insights/hubs/energy-transition/

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Covid-19 is a frightening dress rehearsal of the climate agenda

Freedom, democracy and the economy have all been sacrificed to the precautionary principle.

By Ben Pile, Spiked, May 12, 2020

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/12/covid-19-is-a-frightening-dress-rehearsal-of-the-climate-agenda/

The Real Climate Science Deniers

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, May 16, 2020

https://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2020/05/16/the-real-climate-science-deniers-n2568909?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=05/16/2020&bcid=600713400c5e414103c69dc935baaf47&recip=4143601

Germany Seeing Little Improvement In Air Pollution, Despite Lockdown

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 12, 2020

After Paris!

The UK will spend trillions to reduce CO2 emissions while the real offenders do little

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 9, 2020

[The late] “Booker ‘celebrates’ the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act!”

“…What makes this truly terrifying is not just that Perry is now running our energy policy, but that the rest of our MPs are so equally lost in the same make-believe that not one will point out she is away with the fairies.”

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Greening the planet and slouching towards Paris?

By Patrick J. Michaels, Climate Etc. May 14, 2020

Link to paper: Higher than expected CO2 fertilization inferred from leaf to global observations

By Vanessa Haverd, Global Change Biology, Feb 4, 2020

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.14950

Bad news if you hate vegetables

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 13, 2020

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Germany’s Course Could Signal End Of Clamor Over Climate Change

By Conrad Black, The New York Sun, May 8, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.nysun.com/foreign/germanys-course-could-signal-end-of-clamor-over/91124/

Germany on course to widely miss EU emission targets – think tank

By Sören Amelang, Clean Energy Wire, May 15, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/germany-course-widely-miss-eu-emission-targets-think-tank

Are “Earth-Friendly” New Refrigerants Toxic?

By Ben Lieberman, CEI, May 15, 2020

https://cei.org/blog/are-earth-friendly-new-refrigerants-toxic

Angela Merkel’s MPs Rebel Against EU Climate Plans

By Staff, Deutschland Today, Via GWPF, May 10, 2020

Seeking a Common Ground

No climate alarmists, rolling back draconian EPA air standards to reasonable levels won’t make COVID-19 worse.

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 11, 2020

Papers on Use and Misuse of Climate Scenarios

By Roger Pielke Jr. His Blog, May 14, 2020

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Many countries tracking to zero Coronavirus — the world could divide into the infected or the free

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 11, 2020

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/05/many-countries-tracking-to-zero-coronavirus-the-world-could-divide-into-the-infected-or-the-free/

[SEPP Comment: Using worldometer data on new cases.]

An influenza test for whether lockdowns work

By Chris Gillham, WUWT, May 11, 2020

Quarantine coming in three weeks: UK effectively advises infected people overseas to rush to UK now

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 11, 2020

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/05/quarantine-coming-in-three-weeks-uk-advises-infected-people-overseas-to-come-to-uk-pronto/

Seattle Parks without Parking, Washington Beaches without Beachcombers

By Cliff Mass Weather Blog, May 12, 2020

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2020/05/seattle-parks-without-parking.html

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Using Compost to Raise the CO2 Concentration and Increase Tomato Growth in a Greenhouse Setting

Karim, M.F., Hao, P., Nordin, N.H.B., Qui, C., Zeeshan, M., Khan, A.A., Wu, F. and Shamsi, I.H. 2020. CO2 enrichment using CRAM fermentation improves growth, physiological traits and yield of cherry tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 27: 1041-1048. May 15, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/may/a7.php

“According to Karim et al. (2020), approximately 14.6% of the 17.8 million hectares of farmland in China is occupied by greenhouses, making greenhouse farming an important segment of the food-producing economy.”

Impacts of Elevated CO2 on the Competition Between Invasive and Native Grasses

Hager, H.A., Ryan, G.D. and Newman, J.A. 2020. Effects of elevated CO2 on competition between native and invasive grasses. Oecologia 192: 1099-1110. May 13, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/may/a6.php

Three Centuries of Hurricane Trends in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Lindner, B.L. 2019. Climatology and variability of tropical cyclones affecting Charleston, South Carolina, from 1670-1850. Journal of Coastal Research 35: 397-409. May 11, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/may/a5.php

Models v. Observations

Climate Alarmist Rahmstorf Quietly Concedes Models Are Crap, Running Way Too Hot

Stefan Rahmstorf on the IPCC modelling breakdown: Reason to breathe a sigh of relief, new climate models are far too sensitive.

By Die kalte Sonne (Translated by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, May 15, 2020

Model Issues

Is the chilling truth that the decision to impose lockdown was based on crude mathematical guesswork?

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, May 10, 2020

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/lockdown-and-mathematical-guesswork/

Computer modelled scaremongering ain’t going to cut it any more

By Craig Kelly, Spectator Australia, May 12, 2020 [H/t Paul Homewood]

Measurement Issues — Surface

Modest Or No Warming Western US Stations Altered By NASA, Now Show Stronger Warming

By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 13, 2020

“Why do the new, adjusted data plots always end up warmer and never cooler? This seems to be Deep State science, and not real science which the public expects to get and is owed.”

1919 or 2019? Ranfurly Edition

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 13, 2020

Sydney Temperatures The Same As 230 Years Ago

By Tony Heller, His Blog, May 12, 2020

https://realclimatescience.com/2020/05/sydney-temperatures-the-same-as-220-years-ago/

Changing Weather

How Global Cooling Led To Widespread Droughts In The 1970s

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 13, 2020

Snowpack, Streamflow and Water Resources This Summer

By Cliff Mass Weather Blog, May 13, 2020

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2020/05/snowpack-streamflow-and-water-resources.html

“At this point, the situation seems nominal:  relatively close to normal.”

Weather v climate

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 13, 2020

Why did the temperatures stay so warm last night?

By Cliff Mass Weather Blog, May 10, 2020

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2020-05-12T07:47:00-07:00&max-results=2

Changing Climate

Soon-To-Be-Published Study Finds Oceanic, Atmospheric And Solar Cycles Drive Europe Climate Variability

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 12, 2020

Link to paper: Decadal and multidecadal natural variability in European temperature

By Lüdeckea, Cina, Dammschneider and Lüning, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, May 11, 2020 (on line)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364682620301115

Changing Seas

CSIRO Scientists Accidentally Prove Coral Rapidly Adapts to Global Warming

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 14, 2020

Link to news release: Scientists successfully develop heat resistant coral to fight bleaching

By Nick Kachel, CSIRO, May 14, 2020

https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2020/Scientists-successfully-develop-heat-resistant-coral-to-fight-bleaching

“The team made the coral more tolerant to temperature-induced bleaching by bolstering the heat tolerance of its microalgal symbionts – tiny cells of algae that live inside the coral tissue.”

[SEPP Comment: To lessen coral bleaching, which has been happening for hundreds of millions of years, should reefs be seeded with more heat tolerant algae when water temperatures rise?]

Several New Papers Indicate Sea Levels Were 1 – 3 Meters Higher Than Today A Few Thousand Years Ago

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, May 14, 2020

[SEPP Comment: There is little question that during the last interglacial, sea levels were higher than today. There is some question regarding influence of land movement and / or weather patterns in the Pacific.]

Modern sea-level rise linked to human activities, Rutgers research reaffirms

Surprising glacial and nearly ice-free periods in last 66 million years

News Release, Rutgers University, May 15, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/ru-msr051120.php

Link to paper: Cenozoic sea-level and cryospheric evolution from deep-sea geochemical and continental margin records

By Kenneth G. Miller, et al. Science Advances, May 15, 2020

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/20/eaaz1346

[SEPP Comment: Nothing surprising about high sea levels 120,000 years ago. Curious about human activities 66 million years ago, since humans arrived about 200,000 years ago, though the ability of earlier ancestors to walk on two legs began about 4 million years ago.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

New report: Harp seal population critical to Davis Strait polar bears is still increasing

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, May 14, 2020

“The longer-term decline in reproductive rates is a reflection of density-dependent processes associated with increased population size. The large inter-annual variability is due to varying rates of [spontaneous] abortions which appear to be related to changes in capelin [smelt] abundance, and mid-winter ice coverage (which reflects environmental conditions that influence a variety of species).”

Changing Earth

The Magnetic North Pole Is Rapidly Moving Because of Some Blobs

It started in Canada and now it’s inching closer to Siberia. Thanks a lot, blobs.

By Jennifer Leyman, Popular Mechanics, May 15, 2020 [H/t Bill Balgord]

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a32496561/why-magnetic-north-pole-moving/

A billion years is missing from the geologic record

By Staff Writers, Santa Barbara CA (SPX), May 11, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/A_billion_years_is_missing_from_the_geologic_record_999.html

Scientists “Discover” Largest Shield Volcano on Earth

By David Middleton, WUWT, May 15, 2020

Link to paper: Pūhāhonu: Earth’s biggest and hottest shield volcano

By Michael O.Garci, et al. Earth an Planetary Science Letters, July 15, 2020

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0012821X20302399?via%3Dihub

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

UN vs UN: “COVID-19 is disrupting a food industry already thrown into turmoil by climate change”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 14, 2020

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

China’s Recovery May Boost Carbon Emissions

By Michael Lelyveld, Radio Free Asia, May 8, 2020

https://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/energy_watch/carbon-emissions-05082020104428.html

“Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that worldwide carbon emissions linked to global warming will plunge nearly 8 percent this year in the wake of the pandemic and production shutdowns.”

COVID-19 lockdowns significantly impacting global air quality

By Charles, Rotter, WUWT, May 13, 2020

“Two new studies in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters find nitrogen dioxide pollution over northern China, Western Europe and the U.S. decreased by as much as 60 percent in early 2020 as compared to the same time last year.”

[SEPP Comment: It is misleading for AGU to lump the three regions together. The entire US meets the EPA NO2 attainment standards, but due to diesel autos, Europe does not. Similar disparities between China and the US can be found in ground-level ozone and PM2.5]

Emissions drop during pandemic creates unexpected challenge

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, May 14, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/497688-emissions-drop-during-pandemic-creates-unexpected-challenge

“’The changes we need must be year on year. An 8 percent decline in emissions would be a huge decrease,’ said Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Stanford University and head of the Global Carbon Project.”

Potentially fatal combinations of humidity and heat are emerging across the globe

By Staff Writers, New York NY (SPX), May 11, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Potentially_fatal_combinations_of_humidity_and_heat_are_emerging_across_the_globe_999.html

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Oceans may rise over a metre by 2100, five metres by 2300

By Marlowe Hood, Paris (AFP) May 8, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Oceans_may_rise_over_a_metre_by_2100_five_metres_by_2300_999.html

“’The IPCC tends to be very cautious and conservative, which is why it had to correct itself upwards already several times,’ Rahmstorf said.”

[SEPP Comment: See additional comments by Rahmstorf under Models v. Observations above.]

Not the right month to tell us warming is bad

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 13, 2020

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Harris Poll reveals few Americans believe the U.S. economy will be impacted by climate change

By Staff, Power Engineering, May 11, 2020

https://www.power-eng.com/2020/05/11/harris-poll-reveals-few-americans-believe-the-u-s-economy-will-be-impacted-by-climate-change/

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Scientist Falsely Accused

By Russell Cook. GelbspanFiles.com, May 12, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

Michael Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’ documentary peddles dangerous climate denial

The YouTube film offers outdated and wildly misleading information on renewable energy, sacrificing progress in pursuit of unachievable perfection.

By Dana Nuccitelli, Yale Climate Connections, May 1, 2020

https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/05/michael-moores-planet-of-the-humans-documentary-peddles-dangerous-climate-denial/

[SEPP Comment: One of the creators of a false 97% poll.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

EU asks national governments to take the lead on ‘green’ state aid

By Kate Abnett, Reuters, May 11, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-eu-climate-idUKKBN22N2T4

99% of Barclay’s Shareholders Vote for Permanent COVID-19 Economy

By David Middleton, WUWT, May 13, 2020

Climate Change Experts Explain to Insurers They Don’t Understand Risk

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 14, 2020

Questioning European Green

Solar farms receive more cash from green subsidies than selling the energy they produce

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 9, 2020

Green Energy Crime: Endangered Red Kite Blocking Wind Park Found Shot Dead!

Nesting red kite shot dead because of wind energy?

By Die kalte Sonne (Text translated by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, May 10, 2020

“In an earlier trial, a judge even gave the controversial wind projects approval – precisely where the shot bird was found – under the condition that no protected species be proven to exist there…”

Windfarms To Power Economic Recovery, Claims Guardian

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 15, 2020

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Remarkable Truths about Renewables

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 12, 2020

Green Energy Push Would Wreck Post-Coronavirus Economic Recovery

By H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute, May 14, 2020

https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/green-energy-push-would-wreck-post-coronavirus-economic-recovery

Climate Scientists Try to Rescue Renewable Energies from ‘Planet of the Humans’

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, May 14, 2020

Moore Mann

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 13, 2020

“American writer David Horowitz, a New Left Marxist from the 1950s into the 1970s, later wrote sorrowfully that ‘What motivates radicals is not compassion for the lost soul of mankind, but the hatred of human beings as they are.’”

Funding Issues

£800k study to look at link between fire and climate change

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 12, 2020

[SEPP Comment: There is a big difference between climate change and the cause of climate change. Hopefully, the study will not jump to conclusions on cause.]

The Political Games Continue

Ocasio-Cortez Hits Critic For Not Reading Green New Deal Bill, Says It ‘Costs $0 If Passed’

By Chris White, Daily Caller, May 14, 2020

https://dailycaller.com/2020/05/14/green-new-deal-ocasio-cortez-costs/

Link to report: What the Green New Deal Could Cost a Typical Household

A Framework to Estimate the Minimum Costs to Restructure American Society According to the Green New Deal for 11 States and More than a Quarter of Americans

By Kent Lassman and Daniel Turner, CEI. Feb 26, 2020

https://cei.org/content/what-green-new-deal-could-cost-typical-household-0

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Serve on Joe Biden’s Climate Policy Team

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 13, 2020

Democrats Shouldn’t Be Cheering On Energy Industry Demise

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, May 12, 2020

https://www.newsmax.com/larrybell/domestic-netflix-exxon-petroleum/2020/05/12/id/967095/

House coronavirus stimulus bill to include effort to limit political influence over science

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, May 14, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/497837-house-stimulus-to-include-effort-to-limit-political-influence-over

“The principles are that scientists have the right to speak out about their science and political officials can’t stop them from doing so,” he said.” Andrew Rosenberg with the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has backed the concept.

[SEPP Comment: Agreed, even when the Union of Concerned Scientists distorts concepts such as hypothesis testing!]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Inferior, Subsidized Energy Feels the Pain

By Bill Peacock, Master Resource, May 11, 2020

“Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad Energy, a utility-scale wind and solar developer, recently said, ‘Pre-pandemic, there were great dreams and aspirations for a record-setting year.’ Indeed, the renewable industry was well on its way this year to a new record: the $9 billion subsidy mark. Mr. Gaynor’s dreams and those of the industry are a burden to the rest of us.”

Subsidies Keeping Iowa Wind Turbines Turning

By Janna Swanson, Master Resource, May 13, 2020

Senate Bill Introduced to Extend Alternative Fuels Tax Credit

By Ben Lieberman, CEI, May 15, 2020

https://cei.org/blog/senate-bill-introduced-extend-alternative-fuels-tax-credit

UK Subsidises Fossil Fuels By £10bn A Year–Claims EU

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 11, 2020

“Their intention is to persuade the public that their taxes are being used to fund fossil fuel production, thus diverting attention away from the truly massive scale of subsidy for renewable energy.”

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA Announces Extended Comment Period on Supplement to Science Transparency Proposed Rule – May 18

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-extended-comment-period-supplement-science-transparency-proposed-rule

Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259-9322

EPA’s independent science board, critics push for stronger lead rule

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, May 11, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/497194-epas-independent-science-board-critics-push-for-stronger-lead-rule

SAFE Rule Examined Part 4 Consumer Choice

By Marlow Lewis, CEI, May 14, 2020

https://cei.org/blog/safe-rule-examined-part-4-consumer-choice

Energy Issues – Non-US

New Film ‘SwitchOn’ Spotlights Transformative Power of Energy

By Robert Bryce, Real Clear Energy, May 15, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/05/15/new_film_switchon_spotlights_transformative_power_of_energy_491664.html

[SEPP Comment: Powering the undeveloped world.]

Energy Issues – Australia

Climate Champion Queensland State Government Bidding to Save Virgin Australia

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 13, 2020

Energy Issues — US

U.S. Coal-Fired Generation at Lowest Level Since 1976

By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, May 11, 2020

[SEPP Comment: As the graph in the article shows, what really replaced coal over the past 10 – 15 years is natural gas – not solar, not wind. About 90% of US electricity generation is from fossil fuels, nuclear, or hydro.]

Despite COVID-19, ERCOT Expects Record Summer Demand; Retired Coal Plant May Resume Service

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, May 14, 2020

“How the coal plant built in 1984 will compete in the cutthroat market remains unclear. In 2019, about 15.9% of the region’s generation capacity was coal-fired, producing about 20% of total generation. Since the end of 2014, more than 5.6 GW of coal capacity has retired while wind generation has almost doubled.”

[SEPP Comment: See comment above.]

Energy regulator declines states’ request for moratorium on pipeline approvals

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, May 13, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/497648-energy-regulator-declines-states-request-for-moratorium-on-pipeline

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Shale Drillers Are Already Reopening Oil Wells, Pipe Giant Says

By Rachel Adams-Heard, Bloomberg News, May 11, 2020

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/shale-drillers-are-already-reopening-oil-wells-pipe-giant-says-1.1434786

Oil price boom expected following pandemic crash

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, May 10, 2020

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/oil-price-boom-expected-following-pandemic-crash

Permian Highway Pipeline continues to progress toward Gulf Coast

By Mella McEwen, MRT.com/Midland Reporter-Telegram, May 9, 2020

https://www.mrt.com/business/oil/article/Permian-Highway-Pipeline-continues-to-progress-15259449.php

[SEPP Comment: The article erroneously stated the estimated cost is $2 million, it is $2 billion.]

Return of King Coal?

China fires up coal power plant construction

Surge in first-quarter approvals possibly related to COVID-19 outbreak

By Chen Xuewan and Yang Ge, Caixian Nikkei Asian Review, May 5, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Caixin/China-fires-up-coal-power-plant-construction

India Announces Record Coal Production

By Staff, Deccan Herald, May 110, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.deccanherald.com/business/indias-coal-production-to-clock-record-700-mn-tonnes-in-fy21-coal-secretary-835857.html

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear Power Plants Set Performance Records in Spite of Pandemic

By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, May 10, 2020

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Dept. of Interior approves plans for 690-MW Gemini solar project with 1,400-MWh battery

By Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power, May 11, 2020

The project also includes a 380 MW solar-powered battery system able to store and deploy over 1,400 MWh which can be used when the power is needed most.

Solar Panel Trial Save Homes Hundreds Of Pounds A Year–At A Cost Of £55K!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 13, 2020

65 Low Wind Days Since March 17

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 9, 2020

“For 341 days in the year, solar output was below 10% of installed capacity for more than half of the day.” [Not including nighttime.]

“’If we are to address the reality of climate change – whilst keeping our country’s lights turned on, our homes heated and our economy working – then we have to face up to the fact that we need a mix of energy which combines renewable sources, like wind and solar, with the reliable base load electricity capacity that comes from gas and zero carbon nuclear, to see us through all those times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.’”

[SEPP Comment: Between March 17, 2017 and March 16, 2018]

Germany’s solar industry could implode this summer

By Florence Schulz, Euractiv, May 11, 2020

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Can renewable energy really replace fossil fuels?

By Grace Niewijk for Purdue News

West Lafayette IN (SPX) May 13, 2020

https://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Can_renewable_energy_really_replace_fossil_fuels_999.html

Laos to press ahead with ‘destructive’ new dam on Mekong

By Staff Writers, Bangkok (AFP), May 12, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Laos_to_press_ahead_with_destructive_new_dam_on_Mekong_999.html

Sudan rejects Ethiopia’s proposal to fill mega-dam

By Staff Writers, Khartoum (AFP), May 12, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Sudan_rejects_Ethiopias_proposal_to_fill_mega-dam_999.html

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

El Hierro fourth quarter 2018 performance update

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Jan 6, 2019

What Michael Moore’s new film gets wrong about renewable energy

Planet of the Humans relies too much on outdated information

By Carolyn Gramling, Science News, May 11, 2020

“…an optimized mix of different renewable technologies (and some storage) can work together to keep the lights on.”

[SEPP Comment: TWTW has been unable find any such mix existing in the modern world. El Hierro was designed to be one and failed. See link immediately above.]

Health, Energy, and Climate

China smog returns after pandemic cleared the air

By Staff Writers, Beijing (AFP), May 8, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/China_smog_returns_after_pandemic_cleared_the_air_999.html

Environmental Industry

RSPB flooded with reports of birds of prey being killed

Strange how they have never been bothered about all of the birds of prey killed by wind turbines!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 15, 2020

[SEPP Comment: RSPB is The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.]

Other Scientific News

Early humans in China innovated technology to adapt to climate change 1-million years ago

News Release, Science China Press, May 13, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/scp-ehi051220.php

Link to paper: Technological innovations at the onset of the Mid-Pleistocene Climate Transition in high-latitude East Asia

By Shi-Xia Yang, National Science Review, Mar 29, 2020

https://academic.oup.com/nsr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nsr/nwaa053/5813450?guestAccessKey=e35ead21-6ce4-486c-a4ba-f7db8264b7fe

Other News that May Be of Interest

The mysterious debilitating Coronavirus convalescence

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 15, 2020

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/05/the-mysterious-debilitating-coronavirus-convalescence/

[SEPP Comment: Why assume that convalescence will be complete for all?]

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Beyond parody: CNN taps Greta Thunberg for expert coronavirus panel

By Brad Polumbo, Washington Examiner, May 13, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/beyond-parody-cnn-taps-greta-thunberg-for-expert-coronavirus-panel

[SEPP Comment: A “deep thinking” addition?]

Attack of the cannibal wolf spiders

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 13, 2020

ARTICLES

1. How WHO Lost Its Way

The U.N. agency was more effective when its mandate was limited.

Editorial, WSJ, May 15, 2020

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-who-lost-its-way-11589583282?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

TWTW Summary: The editorial states:

“Some change inevitably will come to the World Health Organization (WHO) after its deadly failures during the Covid-19 pandemic. But real reform will require more than technocratic tweaks, and member states should focus on fundamental questions about the agency’s purpose.

“In 1948 the first World Health Assembly declared WHO’s mission as ‘the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.’ Despite the lofty rhetoric, donor countries initially envisioned a more limited role for WHO, which focused on controlling and preventing the spread of epidemic disease. It made sense for a global body to coordinate the response to germs that don’t recognize borders. Working through WHO, wealthy countries funded and implemented health campaigns in poorer countries to fight diseases like smallpox and river blindness.

“This ‘vertical’ focus on discrete diseases led to some success. Malaria was relatively well-understood and treatable, with methods to reduce spread, when WHO launched the Global Malaria Eradication Programme in 1955. The initiative helped eliminate the disease in 15 countries over the next 15 years. In India cases fell to fewer than a million in 1968 from 110 million in 1955. By 1970 the number of people living in malaria-infested regions shrunk by one billion.

[SEPP Comment: Then, in 1972 without strong physical evidence, the US EPA banned the most effective way of reducing malaria, using DDT.]

“The agency’s vertical approach slowly gave way to a horizontal one, as WHO began dealing with all aspects of health. In 1979 the United Nations General Assembly endorsed ‘health for all’ and ‘primary health care’ as WHO’s new goals. This expanded the organization’s mandate, and the mission creep has continued.

‘WHO would no longer focus primarily on disease-specific programs, but would now promote health ‘development’ more broadly by improving health systems, building infrastructure, and fighting chronic diseases,’ according to a 2009 article by Roger Bate and Karen Porter of the American Enterprise Institute. ‘WHO expanded into many highly politicized areas where it had less technical ability, managerial competence, or experience, duplicating the efforts of other organizations.’

“The agency developed a clear preference for top-down, statist solutions. Officials often showed disdain for the private economy, especially large pharmaceutical firms. And Donald Trump isn’t the first American leader irked by WHO. As the organization encouraged countries to create their own domestic pharmaceutical industries—an unrealistic, even dangerous proposal for many developing countries—the U.S. withheld funding in 1985.

“Today, amid a once-in-a-century pandemic, the agency finds time to tweet about mental health, domestic violence, obesity and the need for government-run health care. WHO officials defend their expansive goals by arguing that infectious diseases like Covid-19 can’t be defeated if countries lack adequate health-care systems. That’s true, but this is a job for national health departments—not an international organization.

“WHO mandarins naturally try to expand their writ, but ultimately member states are responsible for the organization’s direction. Only about 17% of WHO’s 2018-19 funding came from assessed contributions. About 77% of the agency’s budget was voluntary donations for specific programs. Rather than pour money and effort into preparing for a pandemic—an unpredictable event—countries and private donors funded a dizzying range of other projects. Only about 15% of WHO funding is dedicated to pandemic response, says the Heritage Foundation’s Brett Schaefer.

“Covid-19 is the most serious challenge WHO has faced, and this should prompt a review of its purpose. The Trump Administration could find sympathetic ears in the World Health Assembly that meets Monday if it pushes to remove programs like ‘integrated people-centered health services’ from WHO’s agenda. The organization should return to its roots and focus on preventing and countering outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The editorial concludes that if changes are not made, the US should restrict its funding of WHO.

*****************

2. Notable & Quotable: Nate Silver

‘Not providing context on the increase in testing is such a basic error.’

WSJ, May 10, 2020

https://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-nate-silver-11589139737?mod=itp_wsj&ru=yahoo

“Not providing context on the increase in [coronavirus] testing is such a basic error, and has been so widespread, that it’s revealing about the media’s goals. It’s more interested in telling plausibly-true stories (“narratives”) that sound smart to its audience than in accuracy/truth per se. That doesn’t mean it’s just making stuff up or engaging in fake news. On the contrary, the facts it relays are generally accurate in isolation. But the problems are in how facts are strung together and emphasized. . . . BTW, Trump has figured this out! By focusing on case counts, the media creates disincentives to do more testing because it makes the numbers look superficially worse.”

*****************

3. The Numerical Language of Covid-19: A Primer

Understanding terms like R0, R and herd immunity is vital to understanding spread of pandemic

By Jo Craven McGinty, WSJ, May 15, 2020

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-numerical-language-of-covid-19-a-primer-11589535004?mod=hp_lead_pos10

TWTW Summary:

The article goes through details on the lack of information for key statistics used in the models. Key comments include:

R is the number infected, or R0 minus the percentage immune. Which can not be estimated ahead of time and calculated afterwards.

“Understanding the difference helps policy makers appreciate how to calculate risk and allocate resources as a pandemic unfolds. Mixing them up distorts reality.”

“R0 (pronounced “R naught”) is a pathogen’s basic reproduction number and represents the number of new infections caused, on average, by a single contagious person. It anticipates a worst-case scenario that assumes the entire population is susceptible, well-mixed and taking no precautions to mitigate the spread of the disease.”

“‘We focus on R0 at the beginning to tell us how bad this could possibly be,’ said Matthew Ferrari, an associate professor of biology who specializes in quantitative epidemiology at Pennsylvania State University. ‘It’s a really powerful number for planning and preparedness.’”

“The R0 of the new coronavirus, according to estimates by epidemiologists at Imperial College London, is 1.5 to 3.5.

“If a pathogen’s basic reproduction number is less than one, a pandemic won’t take off. If the number is greater than one, an outbreak has the potential to grow exponentially until it reaches pandemic proportions.

“But in reality, once people become aware that a deadly pathogen is spreading, their behavior changes, and so does the disease’s rate of transmission.”

10 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #409

  1. … when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.

    The mere fact that you can express something in numbers is no guarantee that you are right either. Exhibit ‘A’ would be Dr. Michael Mann. He is far from alone.

    In many/most business management schools there is an obsession with numbers. Numbers are easy to deal with. “If you can’t count it, you can’t manage it”, etc. Henry Mintzberg points out that such an approach is counterproductive. He points out that of 19 of Harvard’s star MBA graduates he studied, the vast majority were either abject failures or questionable as CEOs.

    Data may be part of the path to wisdom but, on its own, it just provides the illusion of wisdom.

  2. What a pith more scientists are not like prof. Antonio Ereditato of the Opera experiment. When he got a result that conflicted with established physics he said:

    Speaking at the time, Professor Ereditato added “words of caution” because of the “potentially great impact on physics” of the result.

    “We tried to find all possible explanations for this,” he said.

    “We wanted to find a mistake – trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects – and we didn’t.

    “When you don’t find anything, then you say ‘well, now I’m forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this’.”

  3. This quote from Roy Spenser confuses me:

    Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase with no sign of the global economic slowdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. This is because the estimated reductions in CO2 emissions (around -11% globally during 2020) is too small a reduction to be noticed against a background of large natural variability. The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.

    When Spenser talks about 44% reduction in human CO₂ contribution will halt the steady increase in absolute CO₂ level, then why is 11% not visible?

    • Perhaps because human emissions are just 5% of the total emissions. 11% of 5% really is down in the noise.

      • Hivemind, not sure that is what Spenser is saying,
        As I understand it, he is saying that if our emission reductions were 44%, there would no longer be a rise in CO₂.
        If that is the case, Spenser must assume that the CO₂ concentration would be falling in case we went for the AOC “net zero” suicide.

        I miss Mini-AOC, she were so much better to explain this for slow brains like mine 🙂

  4. About Professor Nicola Scafetta and that “variations in the orbits and alignment of the heavy planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune can cause changes in the sun”. This is not a new idea, but hopefully Professor Scafetta can develop it further:
    http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/325
    What modulates our Sun? The majority of science work on the principle that the Sun is self modulating and each solar cycle is a product of a random number generator. There are others that suspect the Sun is modulated by the planets with a special emphasis on Uranus & Neptune.
    [..]McCracken et al Publish New Planetary Paper in Solar Physics that Backs up my Previous Papers.
    “.
    (Dated Mar 2014)

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