Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #419

The Week That Was: 2020-08-01 (August 1, 2020)

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

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: The right to search for the truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” – Albert Einstein. [H/t Michael Dourson]

Number of the Week: 33 to 1

THIS WEEK:

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

July Summary Part IV; Changing Ocean Chemistry and Sea Levels: Three weeks ago TWTW reviewed Richard Lindzen’s new paper summarizing what we know with reasonable certainty, what we suspect, and what we know is incorrect about climate change, the greenhouse effect, temperature trends, climate modeling, ocean chemistry, and sea level rise. Key parts included:

1) The climate system is never in equilibrium.

2) The core of the system consists of two turbulent fluids interacting with each other and unevenly heated by the sun, which results in transport of heat from the equator towards the poles (meridional) creating ocean cycles that may take 1,000 years to complete.

3) The two most important substances in the greenhouse effect are water vapor and clouds, which are not fully understood and are not stable.

4) A vital component of the atmosphere is water in its liquid, solid, and vapor phases and the changes in phases have immense dynamic consequences.

5) Doubling carbon dioxide, (CO2), creates a 2% disturbance to the normal flow of energy into the system and out of the system, which is similar to the disturbance created by changes in clouds and other natural features.

6) Temperatures in the tropics have been extremely stable. It is the temperature differences between the tropics and polar regions that are extremely important. Calculations such as global average temperature largely ignore this important difference.

Two weeks ago, TWTW used the work of William van Wijngaarden and William Happer (W & H) to summarize what we know with reasonable certainty, what we suspect, and what we know is incorrect about the greenhouse effect. Both the gentlemen are experts in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical physics (AMO), which is far from simple physics, but is necessary to understand how greenhouse gases interfere with (delay) the radiation of energy from the surface into space – that is, to understand the mechanisms by which the earth loses heat every night.

1) There is no general understanding of the greenhouse effect sufficient to develop elegant equations.

2) The optical depth or optical thickness of the atmosphere (transparency) changes as altitude changes. The depth is measured in terms of a natural logarithm and, in this instance, relates to distance a photon of a particular frequency can travel before it is absorbed by an appropriate molecule (one that absorbs and re-emits photons of that frequency).

3) Unlike other natural greenhouse gases, water vapor, the dominant greenhouse gas, is not evenly distributed in the atmosphere. [SEPP Comment: The variability of water vapor during the daytime and the formation of clouds from H2O, etc., combine to make impossible theoretical computations of “climate” dynamics with any value. Because H2O is known to be “all over the map” the Charney Report recognized a decent calculation was impossible. So, it went down the erroneous path of ignoring H2O, and assumed a CO2 value; and then came back in later with a “feedback” argument to try to account for H2O. It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now, and won’t work in the future.]

4) There is a logarithmic relationship between greenhouse gases and temperature.

5) “Saturation” means that adding more molecules causes little change in Earth’s radiation to space. The very narrow range in which methane (CH4) can absorb and emit photons is already saturated by water vapor (H2O), the dominant greenhouse gas, below the tropopause, where the atmosphere is thick. Thus, adding methane has little effect on temperatures.

6) Their (W & H) calculations show that a doubling of CO2 will increase temperatures by no more than 1.5 ⁰ C – an upper bound.

Last week, TWTW reviewed the problems with models as discussed by established Japanese climate modeler Mototaka Nakamura and as demonstrated in a new paper by Ross McKitrick and John Christy. Previously, Tony Thomas summarized some of the main problems identified by Nakamura:

  • Ignorance about large and small-scale ocean dynamics.
  • A complete lack of meaningful representations of aerosol changes that generate clouds.
  • Lack of understanding of drivers of ice-albedo (reflectivity) feedbacks: “Without a reasonably accurate representation, it is impossible to make any meaningful predictions of climate variations and changes in the middle and high latitudes and thus the entire planet.”
  • Inability to deal with water vapor elements.
  • Arbitrary “tunings” (fudges) of key parameters that are not understood.

Further, Nakamura rejects the IPCC concept that the influence of humans adding CO2 can be predicted by models. He states:

“I want to point out a simple fact that it is impossible to correctly predict even the sense or direction of the change of a system when the prediction tool lacks and/ or grossly distorts important nonlinear processes, feedbacks in particular, that are present in the actual system.” [Boldface added.]

Nakamura further states that two major problems in the models are ocean flows (ocean circulation) and water in the atmosphere. Both problems are stated by Lindzen.

McKitrick and Christy tested the values calculated from 38 new CMIP6 models for the time period 1979 to 2014 with datasets from three different types of observations. 1) Four different sets of Radiosonde (or sonde) data obtained from weather balloons. 2) Four different sets of data obtained by microwave sensors onboard polar orbiting satellites which measure intensity of microwave emissions from atmospheric oxygen which are directly proportional to temperature. 3) Four different datasets known as Reanalyses, two from Europe, one from Japan and one from the US, NASA.

The 12 datasets cover 35 years and have been available for at least 5 years. The three different types of datasets from observations are grouped tightly both for global and the tropics. For most of the models, the mean for satellite observations is below the lower part of the 95% confidence interval, for that model, indicating that the model cannot estimate atmospheric temperature trends. As Nakamura has written, the global climate models have no predictive value. The UN IPCC and its followers have clearly departed from the scientific method into the world of wild speculation.

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Changing Ocean Chemistry: As discussed in the July 14, TWTW, environmentalist Jim Steele has directly taken on the claims of ocean acidification, a lowering of the alkaline level (pH) of the oceans. The concept of pH was not created until the early 1900s and refined in the 1920s. Yet climate modelers routinely claim it has been declining since the 1850s. There is no way of knowing.

In general, the pH of the oceans is, and will remain, above 7, alkaline. The general range is 7.8 to 8.5. The term ocean acidification is a deliberate effort by some scientists to shock the public. Thus, they are deliberately engaged in propaganda, not science, a far too common practice in persons and organizations claiming to embrace science.

Steele discusses recent alarm:

“For example, for nearly a decade the media has hyped the 2006-2008 die-off of larval oysters in hatcheries along Washington and Oregon. They called it a crisis caused by rising atmospheric CO2 and the only solution was to stop burning fossil fuels. But it was an understanding of natural pH changes that provided the correct solutions. Subsurface waters at a few hundred meters depth naturally contain greater concentrations CO2 and nutrients and a lower pH than surface waters. Changes in the winds and currents periodically bring those waters to the surface in a process called upwelling. Upwelling promotes a burst of life but also lowers the surface water pH. Not fully aware of all the CO2 dynamics, the hatcheries had made 3 mistakes.

“First, they failed to recognize not all oyster species are well adapted to the low pH of upwelled water. The larvae of native Olympia oysters naturally survive intense upwelling events along the Washington coast because that species “broods” its larvae. The larvae initiate their shells protected inside their parents’ shells where pH is more controlled. However, the Olympia oysters were over-harvested into near extinction in the 1800’s.

“So, fishermen imported the Japanese oyster, which is now the mainstay of the Washington and Oregon fisheries. Japanese oysters did not evolve within an intense upwelling environment similar to Washington’s coast. Each Japanese oyster simply releases over 50 million eggs into the water expecting their larvae to survive any mild changes in pH during initial shell formation. Hatcheries didn’t realize the Japanese oyster’s larvae had a 6-hour window during which the larvae’s initial shell development and survival was vulnerable to low pH.

“Second, because cooler waters inhibit premature spawning, hatcheries pumped cool water from the estuary in the early morning. As measured in coral reefs, photosynthesis raises pH during the day, but nighttime respiration drops pH significantly. By pumping early morning water into their tanks, they imported estuary water at its lowest daily pH. Finally, they failed to recognize natural upwelling events transport deeper waters with naturally low pH into the estuary, further lowering the pH of water pumped into their tanks.

“Now, hatcheries simply pump water from the estuary later in the day after photosynthesis has raised pH. Scientists also developed a metering device that detects intrusions of low pH waters, so hatcheries avoid pumping water during upwelling events. As for most shellfish, once the shell is initiated, a protective layer prevents any shell corrosion from low pH conditions. Problem easily solved and crisis averted!

“The simplistic idea that burning fossil fuels is causing the surface ocean to become more acidic is based on the fact that when CO2 interacts with water a series of chemical changes results in the production of more hydrogen ions which lowers pH. Unfortunately, all catastrophic analyses stop there. But living organisms then reverse those reactions. Whether CO2 enters the surface waters via the atmosphere or from upwelling, it is quickly utilized by photosynthesizing plankton which counteracts any “acidification”. A percentage of the organic matter created in the sunlit waters sinks or is actively transported to depths, further counteracting any surface “acidification’. Some organic matter sinks so rapidly, CO2 is trapped at depths for hundreds and thousands of years. The dynamics that carry carbon to ocean depths largely explains why the oceans hold 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere.

“To maintain marine food webs, it is essential that upwelling bring sunken nutrients back into the sunlight to enable photosynthesis. Upwelling also brings stored CO2 and low pH water to the surface. Wherever upwelling recycles nutrients and lowers surface pH, the greatest abundance and diversity of marine life is generated.”

Thus, the public has been led to worry about non-existent “ocean acidification,” rather than informed about natural upwelling processes that make certain waters, including the US West Coast, very rich in marine life. Interestingly, field-based research just reviewed by CO2 Science reports that the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) native to Japan can adapt to the waters of the Northwest, but it may be only during normal upwelling periods, not extreme upwelling periods, such as what occurred in 2006-2008. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science.

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Sea Level Change: Prevailing winds over long stretches of ocean push the water surface so as to affect sea level.When dominant winds change, measured sea levels change, particularly in the Western Pacific, along Asia. Further, all too frequently, changes in instruments and how they are calibrated are not reported in papers wishing to cause alarm. Many journals, which claim to be peer-reviewed, readily report such alarming results. Using a century of sea level measurements at geologically stable Newlyn, Cornwall, England, the April 25 TWTW discussed how the failure to accurately report trends can mislead the public.

The Newlyn study scrupulously discusses how different instruments and different time frames give totally different trends. Figure 8 in the study link below shows these trends and the text states:

“The record of monthly MSL [Mean Sea Level] at Newlyn during the past century. The average rates of change of MSL for the complete record and for the recent period 1993–2014 are 1.8 [tidal gauge] and 3.8 mm/year [satellites] respectively and are shown by the black lines.

“However, the observed rate of sea level change at Newlyn over 1993–2014 has been much larger at 3.8 mm/year (we use 1993 somewhat arbitrarily for the start of the modern era in sea level monitoring as that was when precise altimeter information from space became available). This highest rate in the record may represent the start of a long-term acceleration in sea level due to climate change (Church et al. 2014), or simply be a feature of the decadal variability in MSL that has been evident throughout the Newlyn record (and indeed in all tide gauge records). Figure 8 shows that high rates were observed in previous 22-year periods, including those centered on approximately 1926, 1950, and 1980 (with rates of approximately 3 mm/year), with the lowest rates centered on 1934 and 1968 (approximately 0 mm/year), with such accelerations and decelerations in the record similar to those seen in other parts of the world (Woodworth et al. 2009b). The variability and long-term trend in the Newlyn MSL record are similar to those at Brest (Wöppelmann et al. 2006), although some differences become apparent in a detailed comparison (Douglas 2008), and at other stations in the North Sea area (Wahl et al. 2013)”

Note that 1.8 mm per year works out to be about 7 inches per century, which NIPCC 2008 reported.

All too frequently, “scientists” wishing to alarm the public create a graph superimposing one dataset onto another dataset and truncate any divergence in the datasets. A paper published in Nature took sea level rise even further, claiming “sea level rise is a well-accepted consequence of climate change.” Cooling is climate change, but a new ice age will cause sea levels to drop.

The Nature paper then uses statistical techniques to claim a relationship between sea levels and carbon dioxide emissions and projects extreme sea level rise in many parts of the world. Paul Homewood compares the claims with what is actually occurring in the UK to demonstrate how absurd this paper is. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, Changing Seas, and Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

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Hydrogen Maybe? The President of MIT presented, “MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change,” claiming there is a climate crisis and a need for breakthrough innovations. Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of the Department of Energy co-authored an article on steps to secure the US electricity. “We also need to address the long-term electricity storage imperative, including support for building a hydrogen infrastructure and expanding agricultural production of renewable natural gas.”

Thanks to the Climate Change Act 2008, the UK is further along the path of changing its sources of electricity than the US. Nature Energy published a study by Malte Jansen, et al. of the Imperial College London. [Some readers may recognize that the same school produced the highly influential Covid-19 report but there is no reason the two are related.] News release of the study claimed that offshore wind power is now so cheap it could pay money back to consumers.

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) issued a report on the wind power study which addressed a major problem in the paper in Nature Energy – namely that auction prices do not necessarily reflect actual eventual costs. The GWPF cites other studies stating:

“Taken together these studies and the data sources they presented raised important and troubling questions about the effectiveness of the Contracts for Difference auctions in reducing decarbonisation costs, and indicate, as Hughes et al. have observed, that the system was being gamed.

“It is therefore as surprising as it is disappointing that Nature Energy has chosen to publish a study, (M Jansen et al, “Offshore wind competitiveness in mature markets without subsidy”, Nature Energy, 27 July 2020), that attempts to take the discussion back to a more primitive and inadequate level of analysis, in which the bid prices at various auctions in Northern Europe are taken as a reliable indicator of underlying cost.”

Gaming is a common trick for contractors, bid low to get the deal then hope to re-coup the real costs with cost overruns, changes, etc. The GWPF report goes on to state:

“Anyone who wants to make claims about costs – whether of renewable energy or any other infrastructure service – must first collect and analyse data on actual costs, as Hughes et al (2017) and Hughes (2019) and Aldersey-Williams et al. (2019) did. The fact that Jansen et al. (2020) actually cite this work but ignore its implications is extraordinary and raises questions about the quality of peer-review at Nature Energy.

“The topic of wind power costs and particularly offshore wind costs is a live and important area of serious concern. Jansen et al’s paper is a retrograde step both methodologically and, in its conclusions, and government cannot take comfort from its optimistic assertions. On the contrary, government should note that if enthusiasts for the offshore wind industry can do no better than Jansen et al. (2020) then there is clearly a serious problem with the underlying cost trends of this sector.”

The National Grid, a UK energy company also in New York, issued a report entitled “Future Energy Scenarios 2020 (FES).” As discussed by Paul Homewood, this report has a number of problems and appears to say only what the government wants to hear. It does not include realistic estimates of costs, or even whether excess wind power, from overbuilding, is saleable. This is a major problem occurring in Germany and Denmark: other countries do not want excess wind power which may destabilize their grid.

What is particularly interesting is the part in the FES on hydrogen storage. “Hydrogen and carbon capture and storage must be deployed for net zero. Industrial scale demonstration projects need to be operational this decade.” There is no proof of concept on the cost of hydrogen storage. As Homewood writes about Natural Gas Reforming/Gasification, “Converting gas to hydrogen is an extremely energy inefficient process. Natural gas input of 654 TWh only produces 527 TWh of hydrogen, a loss of 20%. In my view, that is extremely optimistic, given that carbon capture would also have to be added” [to capture the carbon dioxide given off in the process.]

As the green-new world is opening, it appears to include a great deal of speculation, similar to the speculation that accompanied President Carter’s claim that the US would run out of oil and natural gas around the year 2000. Some profited from what was economic misery for many. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, Energy Issues – Non-US, Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

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Vote for Aprils Fools Award: The voting for the SEPP’s April Fools Award will be continued until August 10. Due to changes in schedules, there are no conferences held before then to announce the results. So, get your votes in now.

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Number of the Week: 33 to 1. John Robson emphasizes a slide in the extensive ‘deck’ of slides posted by Michael Shellenberger.

It “compares the annual revenue of two major American alarmist entities, the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Resources Defense Council, and two of these lavishly funded skeptical outfits, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute. And guess what? The alarmists outspend the skeptics 33:1.”

See links under Funding Issues

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Censorship

I Was Invited to Testify on Energy Policy. Then Democrats Didn’t Let Me Speak

By Michael Shellenberger, Quillette, July 20, 2020

Censorship Universities Should No Longer Receive Funding By Taxpayers

By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, Via GWPF, July 26, 2020

Dr Stella Immanuel V Dr. Fauci-TKO. HCQ Championed.

Charles Rotter, WUWT, July 28, 2020

“This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Getting to the Truth: Who Cares? Perhaps the High Court [Australia]

By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, July 29, 2020

Peter Ridd Seeks High Court Appeal: Universities Face Govt Review Of Threat To Academic Freedom

By Staff, The Australian, Via GWPF, July 28, 2020

UK Academics Advocate Silencing Dissent on Climate Change and Covid-19

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 29, 2020

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

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

Unlikely Ocean Acidification and Oyster Shells

By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, July 14, 2020

http://landscapesandcycles.net/unlikely-ocean-acidification.html

A Century of Sea Level Measurements at Newlyn, Southwest England

By E. Bradshaw, Journal of Marine Geodesy, Mar 18, 2020

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01490419.2015.1121175

The 97% Consensus Fraud

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP, July 25, 2020

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/the_97_consensus_fraud1/

Hydrogen strategy to nowhere

By Samuel Furfari, European Scientist, July 30, 2020

Link to: EU Hydrogen Strategy

By Staff, European Commission, July 8, 2020

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/FS_20_1296

Critics Rebut Computer Modelling Exercise On Offshore Wind Costs

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum, July 31, 2020

Link to report: Offshore Wind Costs and Auction Price Bids: A Comment

By Gordon Hughes, Capell Aris, and John Constable, GWPF, July 31, 2020

Link to paper: Offshore wind competitiveness in mature markets without subsidy

By Malte Jansen, et al. Nature Energy, July 27, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0661-2

Six good years in a row for the polar bear subpopulation used to predict species demise

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, July 27, 2020

The Guardian: “The Four Types of Climate Denier…”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 30, 2020

“The shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool: each distorts the urgent global debate in their own way.”

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below: Worrall lists some of the “shills, grifters, egomaniacs and ideological fools” who demand evidence.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all

The shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool: each distorts the urgent global debate in their own way

By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, July 30, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/30/climate-denier-shill-global-debate

“In the US, coal is dying, because green energy is cheaper and cleaner, however great Trump claims he will make the miners.”

[SEPP Comment: No, coal is being replaced by natural gas, the US production of which President Carter proclaimed would be exhausted by 20 years ago.]

Tackling the grand challenges of climate change

By L. Rafael Reif, President, MIT, July 23, 2020 [H/t Ronald Sundelin]

https://president.mit.edu/speeches-writing/tackling-grand-challenges-climate-change

5 Key Steps to Secure the US Electricity Supply

By Ernest J. Moniz & Lonnie R. Stephenson, Real Clear Energy, July 26, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/07/26/5_key_steps_to_secure_the_us_electricity_supply_500152.html

A Market-Based Approach Can Unite Both Sides on Climate

By Jake Manning & Robert Borden, Stone Cox, Real Clear Energy, July 28, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/07/28/a_market-based_approach_can_unite_both_sides_on_climate_500375.html

[SEPP Comment: Taxing a gas critical for photosynthesis based on speculation, with no solid evidence, is a market approach?]

Renewable energy transition makes dollars and sense

By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia (SPX), Jul 20, 2020

https://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Renewable_energy_transition_makes_dollars_and_sense_999.html

Link to paper: Implications of Trends in Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) for Transitioning to Renewable Electricity

By Diesendorf and Wiedmann, Ecological Economics, October 2020

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921800919320543?via%3Dihub

“EROIs of wind and solar photovoltaics, which can provide the vast majority of electricity and indeed of all energy in the future, are generally high (≥ 10) and increasing.”

[SEPP Comment: Another misleading concept. What is the EROI on the Hoover Dam?]

Offshore wind power now so cheap it could pay money back to consumers

News Release, by Imperial College London, July 27, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://techxplore.com/news/2020-07-offshore-power-cheap-money-consumers.html

Link to paper: Offshore wind competitiveness in mature markets without subsidy

By Malte Jansen, et al. Nature Energy, July 27, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0661-2

“The biggest wind turbines under construction have rotor diameters of 220 meters—twice the diameter of the London Eye. At the same time, wind farms are getting larger;”

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Data From 2 Independent Studies Show No Correlation Between CO2 And Temperature

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 29, 2020

The Phony War Against Fossil Fuels

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, July 28, 2020

Warmth-Demanding Species, Glacier Melt Measurements Affirm Early Holocene Svalbard Was 7°C Warmer Than Now

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, July 27, 2020

Link to latest paper: Holocene glacial history of Svalbard: Status, perspectives and challenges

By Wesley R.Farnsworth, et al. Earth-Science Reviews, September 2020

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825220302956

New Climate Summary: Heatwaves Are LESS Frequent and Severe

By James Taylor, Climate Realism, July 31, 2020

The IPCC Claimed Earth Warmed 0.6°C From 1861-2014. Now It’s Claimed Earth Warmed 1.72°C From 1850-2015

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, July 30, 2020

ALERT: Warmist Eric Holthaus admits it: ‘The climate emergency isn’t about science, it’s about justice’

News Release, Climate Depot, Via WUWT, July 30, 2020

Unbearable

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

“As for climate-driven migration, it’s nothing new. But on the whole it involves people moving to warmer climes. Mind you they did not move to Florida in large numbers until they could crank up the AC when they got there. As many people in Guatemala would doubtless be more than happy to do if only the World Bank and other green imperialists were not working tirelessly to ensure that poor countries remain energy-poor so rich countries can feel smug about misery they don’t have to see.”

Shellenberger’s Apostasies Episode 4: Global CO2 Emissions

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

Again, some turned the corner later than others. But all the rich countries are on a downward path. Note the World average at the bottom: It continues trending upward, because of economic progress in developing countries, which we wholeheartedly support.

Change in US Administrations

NEPA Reform Gives More Power to the People, Less to Environmental Lawyers

By Ben Lieberman, CEI, July 31, 2020

https://cei.org/blog/nepa-reform-gives-more-power-people-less-environmental-lawyers

EPA looks to other statutes to expand scope of coming ‘secret science’ rule

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, July 29, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/509663-epa-looks-to-other-statutes-to-expand-scope-of-coming-secret

“Andrew Rosenberg with the Union for Concerned Scientists, which has opposed the science transparency proposal, said the agency is ‘playing a legal strategy game,’ by working to imbed it in a number of statutes.

“‘The problem is they are still applying non scientific criteria to deciding what the best available science is and that’s never going to work no matter how many ways you slice it. It just doesn’t make sense,’ he said.”

[SEPP Comment: In a democratic republic, the public should not have access to the science claimed to determine public policy?]

Trump administration says proposed Alaska mine is not a threat to fisheries

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, July 24, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/508878-trump-administration-says-proposed-alaska-mine-is-not-a-threat-to

Seeking a Common Ground

Turtle-paced Recoveries

By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, July 28, 2020

http://landscapesandcycles.net/sea-turtle-recovery-and-climate.html

“Many humans are working hard to prevent any further extinctions of our plants and animals and with growing success. Pelicans are increasing and no longer endangered. Humpback whales are increasing at a rate of 12% per year. Mountain lions and bald eagles are increasingly abundant. In 1982 the California Condor had dwindled to just 25 individuals. A captive breeding program began and today there are about 325 individuals and condors are expanding back into their historical range.”

We Need Free and Honest Debate on Climate Change Policy

By Bjorn Lomborg, Los Angeles Daily News, July 24, 2020

Walter Russell Mead: Snooze The Climate Alarms

A new study predicts population will drop sharply as developing economies grow.

By Walter Russell Mead, The Wall Street Journal, Via GWPF, July 28, 2020

Link to study: Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: a forecasting analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study

By Stein Emil Vollset, The Lancet, July 14, 2020

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30677-2/fulltext

Rising temps put desert shrub in high-efficiency mode

Brittlebush is responding well to increased temperature and aridity

News Release, NSF, July 30, 2020

https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=300980&WT.mc_id=USNSF_1

“The sites were established in the early 1980s by biologist Jim Ehleringer, who recognized the value of long-term observations. Every spring for nearly 40 years, Ehleringer and colleagues have visited the sites to survey the vegetation and collect samples of plants for later analysis.”

[SEPP Comment: Wonder what surveys starting in 1913 with the highest temperatures recorded in Death Valley, would have produced?]

The four sins of science – and how to overcome them

By Sam Bowman, CapX, Accessed July 28, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

“The fact that behavioural economics sits on a throne of lies has not yet reached many policymakers

“Don’t blame journalists for overhyping science – it’s often the fault of scientists themselves

“We need to view scientific advice with a lot more scepticism – especially nutrition and psychology”

Science, Policy, and Evidence

New Video: Life Returning To Normal In Sweden

By Tony Heller, His Blog, July 31, 2020

https://realclimatescience.com/2020/07/new-video-life-returns-to-normal-in-sweden/

Video – Masks do not make the virus go away.

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

The Effects of CO2 on the Growth and Mineral Concentration of Three Leafy Greens

Singh, H., Poudel, M.R., Dunn, B.L., Fontanier, C. and Kakani, G. 2020. Effect of greenhouse CO2 supplementation on yield and mineral element concentrations of leafy greens grown using nutrient film technique. Agronomy 10: 323; doi: 10.3390/agronomy10030323. July 31, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/jul/a14.php

A Field-based Analysis on the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Pacific Oyster Reproduction

Ruesink, J.L., Sarich, A. and Trimble, A.C. 2018. Similar oyster reproduction across estuarine regions differing in carbonate chemistry. ICES Journal of Marine Science 75: 340-350. July 29, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/jul/a13.php

[SEPP Comment: The type of oyster was Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) native to Japan and introduced into the US Pacific Northwest.]

Elevated CO2 Improves the Growth and Nitrogen Uptake Efficiency of Cucumber

Dong, J., Gruda, N., Li, X., Tang, Y. and Duan, Z. 2020. Impacts of elevated CO2 on nitrogen uptake of cucumber plants and nitrogen cycling in a greenhouse soil. Applied Soil Ecology 145: 103342. July 27, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/jul/a12.php

Model Issues

North Atlantic climate far more predictable following major scientific breakthrough

News Release, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, July 30, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/cf-e-nac073020.php

Link to paper: North Atlantic climate far more predictable than models imply

By D.M. Smith, et al, Nature, July 29, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2525-0

Consequently, compared to perfect models, 100 times as many ensemble members are needed in current models to extract this signal, and its effects on the climate are underestimated relative to other factors. To address these limitations, we implement a two-stage post-processing technique. We first adjust the variance of the ensemble-mean North Atlantic Oscillation forecast to match the observed variance of the predictable signal. We then select and use only the ensemble members with a North Atlantic Oscillation sufficiently close to the variance-adjusted ensemble-mean forecast North Atlantic Oscillation.

[SEPP Comment: Cherry-picking anyone?]

Changing Weather

Hottest since the last one

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

Hottest Day Of Year At ………Heathrow!!

How can they say that with a straight face?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 31, 2020

“It’s marvelous what a bit of tarmac will do!”

Climate change ‘driving UK’s extreme weather’-Claims Harrabin [BBC]

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 31, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/climate-change-driving-uks-extreme-weather-claims-harrabin/

Changing Climate

New evidence that an extraterrestrial collision 12,800 years ago triggered an abrupt climate change for Earth

By Christopher Moore, WUWT, July 27, 2020

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/27/new-evidence-that-an-extraterrestrial-collision-12800-years-ago-triggered-an-abrupt-climate-change-for-earth/

Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations

Et tu, RWP?

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

https://climatediscussionnexus.com/2020/07/29/et-tu-rwp/

“’We hypothesis the potential link between this Roman Climatic Optimum and the expansion and subsequent decline of the Roman Empire.’ Warmth good for civilization, cold bad?”

Changing Seas

Unwelcome sea change: new research finds coastal flooding may cost up to 20% of global economy by 2100

By Ebru Kirezci and Ian Young, The Conversation, July 20, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://theconversation.com/unwelcome-sea-change-new-research-finds-coastal-flooding-may-cost-up-to-20-of-global-economy-by-2100-143599

Link to paper: Projections of global-scale extreme sea levels and resulting episodic coastal flooding over the 21st Century

By Ebru Kirezci, et al. Nature, Scientific Reports, July 30, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67736-6

German Officials, Media, Scientists Hiding Facts Behind Sudden North And Baltic Sea Warming

By Die kalte Sonne (German text translated by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, July 26, 2020

https://notrickszone.com/2020/07/26/german-officials-media-scientists-hiding-facts-behind-sudden-north-and-baltic-sea-warming/

Increasing Arctic freshwater is driven by climate change

News Release, University of Colorado at Boulder, July 30, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/uoca-iaf072920.php

Link to letter: Forced Changes in the Arctic Freshwater Budget Emerge in the Early 21st Century

By Alexandria Jahn and Rory Laiho, Geophysical Research Letters, July 27, 2020

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL088854

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

A snapshot of melting Arctic sea ice during the summer of 2018

News Release, Cell Press, July 29, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/cp-aso072320.php

[SEPP Comment: If only the Arctic would not freeze in the winter!]

Arctic Melt Slows To A Crawl

By Tony Heller, His Blog, July 29, 2020

https://realclimatescience.com/2020/07/arctic-melt-slows-to-a-crawl/

See link immediately above.

Alaska is getting wetter. That’s bad news for permafrost and the climate.

News Release, University of Colorado at Boulder, July 24, 2020

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/uoca-aig072420.php

“Alaska is experiencing the rainiest five years in its century-long meteorological record.”

Antarctica more widely impacted by humans than previously thought

By Staff Writers, Johannesburg, South Africa (SPX), Jul 27, 2020

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Antarctica_more_widely_impacted_by_humans_than_previously_thought_999.html

Link to paper: Antarctica’s wilderness fails to capture continent’s biodiversity

By Rachel Leihy, et al. Nature, July 15, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2506-3

From the Abstract: We show that 99.6% of the continent’s area can still be considered wilderness, but this area captures few biodiversity features. Pristine areas, free from human interference, cover a much smaller area (less than 32% of Antarctica) and are declining as human activity escalates.

[SEPP Comment: If humans visit, it is no longer pristine? Human existence in space assures that space is no longer pristine?]

Changing Earth

Insights into climate change during origin of dinosaurs

By Staff Writers, Salt Lake City UT (SPX), Jul 27, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Insights_into_climate_change_during_origin_of_dinosaurs_999.html

Link to paper: Evidence for the Carnian Pluvial Episode in Gondwana: New multiproxy climate records and their bearing on early dinosaur diversification

By Adriana C. Mancuso, et al. Gondwana Research, October 20202

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1342937X20301635?via%3Dihub

From the Abstract: “A critical time interval was the Carnian Stage (~237–227 Ma), which not only saw the first appearance of dinosaurs in the fossil record but witnessed a large igneous province eruption (Wrangellia LIP) and a sudden climate shift, the Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE). Compelling hypotheses suggest that the Wrangellia eruptions caused the CPE, which in turn set the stage for the origin and initial diversification of dinosaurs.”

[SEPP Comment: The high volume 2300 km (1500 mi) long flood of molten volcanic rock occurring from now southern British Columbia (BC) through Yukon and into Alaska no doubt disturbed the climate.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Agriculture – a climate villain? Maybe not!

By Per Frankelius, Linköping University, July 7, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://liu.se/en/news-item/lantbrukets-roll-som-klimatbov-kan-ifragasattas

Food Security in a Post-Covid World

By Paul Driessen, WUWT, July 28, 2020

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/28/food-security-in-a-post-covid-world/

Human waste could help combat global food insecurity

By Staff Writers, Saskatoon, Canada (SPX), Jun 03, 2020

https://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Human_waste_could_help_combat_global_food_insecurity_999.html

Link to paper: Sequential Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide Adsorption on Pyrolyzed Biomass to Recover Waste Stream Nutrients

By Leilah Krounbi, et al. ACS Stustainable Chemistry & Engineering, April 15, 2020

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c01427

[SEPP Comment: For thousands of years humans have used night-soil!]

Lowering Standards

BBC Climate Documentary: “How they Made Us Doubt Everything”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 28, 2020

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/28/bbc-climate-documentary-how-they-made-us-doubt-everything/

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

Latest Trump proposal on endangered species could limit future habitat, critics say

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, July 31, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/509990-latest-trump-proposal-on-endangered-species-could-limit-future

“Take the northern spotted owl, an endangered species that nests in old-growth forest. Its protected habitat includes millions of acres of new-growth forest that are not in use by the owls currently, but could be as they age.”

[SEPP Comment: An example of blatant exaggerations used to justify prevention of land use, causing significant job loss. Spotted owls were being pushed out by barred owls.]

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

Is the demise of polar bears being exaggerated?

By Ross Clark, Spectator, UK, July 23, 2020 [H/t Susan Crockford]

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/is-the-demise-of-polar-bears-being-exaggerated-

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Hull To Be Wiped Out By 9m Of Sea Level Rise-Says Telegraph

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 30, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/hull-to-be-wiped-out-by-9m-of-sea-level-rise-says-telegraph/

“It’s little wonder that confidence in Britain’s press has plummeted to record low levels, with garbage like this:”

BBC’s July Climate Check

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 31, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/bbcs-july-climate-check/

“As with every other so-called Climate Check, this one has more to do with fiction than fact.”

NYT’s Fake Climate Migration

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/26/nyts-fake-climate-migration/

“In fact, for whatever reason, cereal crop yields have not been declining in recent years. Indeed the opposite is the case, so clearly the NYT’s claims about extreme weather and climate change are not true.”

ECS shoots up, flames at 11

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

https://climatediscussionnexus.com/2020/07/29/ecs-shoots-up-flames-at-11/

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Public Opinion Moving Against Natural Gas and Fracking

Voter surveys show growing skepticism about the industry.

By Eric De Place, Sightline Institute, July 28, 2020

https://www.sightline.org/2020/07/28/public-opinion-is-moving-against-natural-gas-and-fracking/

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

What Greta missed from skipping school: Presentation by Willie Soon

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, July 29, 2020

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/29/what-greta-missed-from-skipping-school-presentation-by-willie-soon/

[SEPP Comment; Featuring SEPP director astrophysicist Willie Soon.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda

False Gods for Lost Souls

By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, July 29, 2020

https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2020/07/29/false-gods-for-lost-souls/

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Labour’s Sneaky Meat Ban

By Gaia Fawkes, His Blog, July 28, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://order-order.com/2020/07/28/exclusive-enfield-becomes-first-council-to-ban-meat/

The project to end projects

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

https://climatediscussionnexus.com/2020/07/29/the-project-to-end-projects/

“Environment and Climate Change Canada has put forward a plan to make sure the economic recovery, should it get underway, doesn’t emit CO2. The new ‘Strategic Assessment of Climate Change’ essentially requires the proponents of any new megaproject to explain how it will help the federal government reach its goal of ‘net zero’. It is of course filled with good ideas, as things tend to be when the authors grade their own work.”

Questioning European Green

UK Journo Embarrasses Green Transport Minister

A competent, knowledgeable interviewer is a pleasure to watch.

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, July 26, 2020

Video, see segment about 10 minutes in.

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Across U.S., Green Mega-Projects to Power Cities Aren’t Playing Well in Mayberry

By Vince Bielski, Real Clear Investigations, July 16, 2020

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/07/16/across_us_green_mega-projects_to_power_cities_arent_playing_in_podunk_124456.html

[SEPP Comment: Using the tricks the greens have used for years to prevent development they don’t like.]

Kenyan Biologist: Nature Conservation Is “New Colonialism”…Africa “A Place For White Elitists To Enjoy”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 28, 2020

https://notrickszone.com/2020/07/28/kenyan-biologist-nature-conservation-is-new-colonialism-africa-a-place-for-white-elitists-to-enjoy/

Funding Issues

Follow the money… dang

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, July 29, 2020

https://climatediscussionnexus.com/2020/07/29/follow-the-money-dang/

FT: Big Fund Managers are Demanding Climate Action. But the USA is Leading a Pushback

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, July 26, 2020

[SEPP Comment: Money to be made milking fear, such as building unnecessary wind and solar!]

Deutsche Bank says it will no longer invest in fracking or Arctic oil as banks turn away from fossil fuels

By Shalini Nagarajan, Markets Insider, July 27, 2020

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/deutsche-bank-announces-end-fracking-and-coal-mining-lending-2020-7-1029434204#

The Political Games Continue

Biden bets on net zero

By Rupert Darwall, The Hill, July 24, 2020

https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/508762-joe-biden-bets-on-net-zero

“’Science tells us we have nine years before the damage is irreversible,’ Joe Biden declared last week, echoing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) claim 18 months ago that the world would end in 12 years unless climate change was addressed.”

[SEPP Comment: How would Mr. Biden hold China accountable for its increasing emissions far exceeding those of the US?]

Biden’s false climate promises

By David Wojick, CFACT, July 30th, 2020

https://www.cfact.org/2020/07/30/bidens-false-climate-promises/

Biden plots $2tn green revolution but faces wind and solar backlash

Enormous overhaul will have to defeat opposition from fossil-fuel lobbyists and residents unhappy with nearby turbines

By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, July 25, 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/25/biden-clean-energy-renewable-wind-solar-backlash

Litigation Issues

Admission: Climate Litigation is Tool to Make Industry Bend a Knee

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, July 27, 2020

Court Decision: Interim Social Cost of Greenhouse Gas Metric

By Roger Caiazza, WUWT, July 28, 2020

Volkswagen has paid $9.5 bn to US drivers over ‘dieselgate’

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), July 28, 2020

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Volkswagen_has_paid_95_bn_to_US_drivers_over_dieselgate_999.html

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Fossil Fuel “Subsidies” In The UK

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/fossil-fuel-subsidies-in-the-uk/

Fossil Fuel Subsidies–The Truth

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/fossil-fuel-subsidies-the-truth-2/

Link to report: Do Government Policies Favoring Fossil Fuels Hamper the Development of Wind and Solar Power?

By Bruce Everett, CO2 Coalition, July 23, 2020

http://co2coalition.org/publications/do-government-policies-favoring-fossil-fuels-hamper-the-development-of-wind-and-solar-power/

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA Changes Closure Requirements in Coal Ash Rule

By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, July 30, 2020

https://www.powermag.com/epa-changes-closure-requirements-in-coal-ash-rule/

EPA cancels subscription to news outlet dedicated to covering it

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, July 30, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/509899-epa-cancels-subscription-to-news-outlet-dedicated-to-covering-it

Energy Issues – Non-US

Air pollution ‘greatest risk’ to global life expectancy

By Patrick Galley Paris (AFP) July 28, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Air_pollution_greatest_risk_to_global_life_expectancy_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Indoor pollution from using traditional fuels.]

Future Energy Scenarios 2020

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 29, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/28/future-energy-scenarios-2020/

GE Will Decarbonize Uniper’s Gas Power Fleet

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, July 30, 2020

https://www.powermag.com/ge-will-decarbonize-unipers-gas-power-fleet/

“GE Gas Power and Uniper have agreed to roll out a detailed decarbonization roadmap that may entail hydrogen-friendly upgrades to all GE gas turbines and compressors at the German generation giant’s gas power plants and gas storage facilities across Europe.”

“Under the agreement, GE Gas Power and Uniper will form a joint working group to explore, assess, and develop technology and service options for decarbonization of Uniper’s 4-GW GE gas turbine fleet.”

[SEPP Comment: Will this be a roadmap to nowhere?]

Energy Issues — US

Offshore wind power vast boondoggle that New York can no longer afford

By Jonathan Lesser, New York Post, July 30, 2020 [H/t Manhattan Contrarian]

https://nypost.com/2020/07/30/offshore-wind-power-vast-boondoggle-that-ny-can-no-longer-afford/

“Yet these prices, which are already high, are understated — because offshore wind projects have two dirty secrets. First, a detailed analysis of similar European projects has shown that their output decreases by an average of 4.5 percent a year (almost half after 10 years), with newer, larger turbines tending to suffer the most failures. Operation and maintenance costs also have proved to be much higher than anticipated.”

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Permian Basin drives US fracking recovery: Rystad Energy

By Staff, Kallanish Energy, July 27, 2020

Trump says export terms for liquefied natural gas extended until 2050

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, July 29, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/509674-trump-announces-extended-liquified-natural-gas-export-terms-until

“The administration had already proposed extending LNG export terms through 2050, though it finalized the policy on Wednesday. The export terms previously lasted 20 years.”

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Dangers Of Nuclear Energy ‘Much Less Than Previously Thought’

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Foundation, June 17, 2020

Link to report: A-Bombs, Bears and Corrupted Science: Reassessing Radiation Safety

By Edward Calabrese and Mikko Paunio, Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2020

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/06/Calabrese-Paunio-2020.pdf

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

First Amendment Rights of Amish Take Center Stage In Battle Over Huge New York Wind Project

By Robert Bryce, Real Clear Energy, July 30, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/07/30/first_amendment_rights_of_amish_take_center_stage_in_battle_over_huge_new_york_wind_project_500577.html

Germany’s July Wind Energy Takes A Summer Vacation, Showing Country’s Renewable Energies Remain Unreliable

By Die kalte Sonne (Translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, July 31, 2020

How do you replace 28% of electricity production when coal and nuclear power are no longer used?

Health Effects of Industrial Wind: The Debate Intensifies (update with Steven Cooper)

By Sherri Lange, Master Resource, July 30, 2020

“Master Resource has followed the work of acoustician Steven Cooper for some time. In a February 2018 interview, Sensing but not Hearing, Mr. Cooper explained how all-body hearing mattered more than acoustic isolation and reporting.”

Wind and Solar Ramp-up Problematic (mainstream recognition of grassroots environmentalism)

By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, July 28, 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

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

FES 2020–Hydrogen Scenario

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 30, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/fes-2020-hydrogen-scenario/

Link to main report: Future Energy Scenarios

By Staff, National Grid ESO, July 2020

https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/173821/download

From report: “Hydrogen and carbon capture and storage must be deployed for net zero. Industrial scale demonstration projects need to be operational this decade.”

From Homewood: “Converting gas to hydrogen is an extremely energy inefficient process. Natural gas input of 654 TWh only produces 527 TWh of hydrogen, a loss of 20%. In my view, that is extremely optimistic, given that carbon capture would also have to be added.”

PG&E, Tesla Team on Milestone Battery Storage System

By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, July 29, 2020

https://www.powermag.com/pge-tesla-team-on-milestone-battery-storage-system/

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Banning The Sale Of Petrol Cars Would Be ‘A Colossal Error’

Eminent engineer reveals major flaw in UK Govt’s electric car plans

Press Release, GWPF, July 29, 2020

https://www.thegwpf.com/banning-the-sale-of-petrol-cars-would-be-a-colossal-error/

Link to report: The Battery Car Delusion

By Gautam Kalghatgi, GWPF, 2020

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/07/The-Battery-Car-Delusion.pdf

New £19 billion ‘e-highway’ network with overhead cables for electric lorries ‘could slash carbon emissions by 5%

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 28, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/28/new-19-billion-e-highway-network-with-overhead-cables-for-electric-lorries-could-slash-carbon-emissions-by-5/

“The report comes from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, and personally I would not trust anything from any body with “Sustainable” in the name. They claim that the economics are so good that it should easily attract private finance. I’ll believe that when I see it!”

The Latest Electric Car Hurdle: What if You Can’t Resell It?

By Anjani Trivedi, Bloomberg, July 30, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.bloombergquint.com/opinion/better-batteries-drain-resale-value-from-today-s-electric-cars

2021 Renault Zoe: Plug pulled on French electric car [in Australia]

By Joshua Dowling, Car Advice, AU, July 28, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.caradvice.com.au/869447/plug-pulled-on-renault-zoe-electric-car/

California Dreaming

Green Policies Won’t Keep California Truckin’

By Joel Kotkin, Real Clear Energy, July 30, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/07/29/green_policies_wont_keep_california_truckin_500462.html

Environmental Industry

Activists Convinced Minn AG to File Climate Lawsuit

By William Allison, Energy In Depth, July 30, 2020

https://eidclimate.org/activists-convinced-minnesota-attorney-general-to-file-climate-lawsuit/

Environmentalism’s Radical Next Generation

By Ben Pile, Real Clear Energy, July 28, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/07/27/environmentalisms_radical_next_generation_500075.html

Environmentalism for the Non-Naïve

By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, July 27, 2020

https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2020/07/27/environmentalism-for-the-non-naive/

“Shellenberger reports that International Rivers, based in affluent Berkeley, California, lied about the sentiments of the local community concerning a proposed hydroelectric dam in Uganda. Rather than opposing the dam, people supported it – a phenomenon Shellenberger has witnessed firsthand in the Congo and Rwanda.”

Other Scientific News

Another nail in the LNT coffin

By Andrew Montford, GWPF, July 30, 2020

https://www.thegwpf.com/another-nail-in-the-lnt-coffin/

Deep sea microbes dormant for 100 million years are hungry and ready to multiply

Life in the deep ocean extends to the base of the seafloor

News Release, NSF, July 29, 2020

https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=300967&WT.mc_id=USNSF_1

Other News that May Be of Interest

Migratory river fish populations down 76% since 1970: study

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), July 28, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Migratory_river_fish_populations_down_76_since_1970_study_999.html

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

France to ban heated terraces in cafes and bars

By Staff, BBC News, July 27, 2020

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53552526

What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power

By Justin Rowlatt, BBC, July 27, 2020

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53450688

What Has Justin Been Smoking?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 27, 2020

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/what-has-justin-been-smoking/

See link immediately above.

ARTICLES

Trump Helps the Environment by Enraging Environmentalists

His plan to reform NEPA would speed replacement of old, dirty projects with cleaner new ones.

By Richard A. Epstein, WSJ, July 30, 2020

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-helps-the-environment-by-enraging-environmentalists-11596149444?mod=opinion_lead_pos6

TWTW Summary: The law professor at New York University, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago describes the extent to which well-intended legislation has morphed into bureaucratic nightmare benefiting lawyers and preventing environmental improvements.

The Trump administration recently published the first comprehensive revision of federal regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. Environmental groups predictably denounced the initiative. Among its many detractors, the Wilderness Society insists that these regulations will ‘essentially gut’ NEPA by putting ‘polluters in charge of environment protection.’ This objection wholly overlooks NEPA’s deeply dysfunctional features.

From its inception in 1970, NEPA had two basic objectives: first, to require all new projects to receive a thorough and transparent vetting of potential environmental risks; second, to expand democratic participation in the review process via public hearings.

Five decades later, it is clear that NEPA has achieved neither. The most obvious sign of institutional distress is the long time—4.5 years on average—to complete the elaborate environmental impact statement before work can commence. Today’s NEPA behemoth is far from its 1970 origins, which is why the Trump administration’s update is overdue.

Environmentalist critics work on the flawed assumption that the longer the review period, the greater the environmental protection. But that’s untrue for the large majority of important projects. As I detail in a report for ConservAmerica, these new projects typically replace older, more dangerous projects and use superior technologies unavailable generations ago. When NEPA review delays a state-of-the-art pipeline, for instance, that requires greater shipment of fossil fuels by rail and truck, which is far more likely to cause major spills with extensive collateral damage.

As drafted, NEPA requires the government agency in charge of a review to consider ‘every significant aspect of environmental impact,’ a clear impossibility for complex multibillion-dollar projects. Typically the truncation of that open-ended inquiry leads officials to become preoccupied with small defects and overlook the major improvements in both consumer welfare and environmental safety that new roads, bridges, airports and other projects promise.

Ostensibly, the report released in July by the Trump administration is concerned only with NEPA’s extensive procedural provisions. It contains many useful proposals on how to coordinate and streamline a cumbersome process often divided haphazardly among multiple agencies. One set of needed changes is strict timelines and page limits on environmental impact statements to speed up and focus the review process.

But by far the most important proposal is to soften the devastating consequences that flow from any asserted NEPA violation. Courts have wrongly created a strong presumption that any deviation from NEPA’s exacting requirements, however trivial, requires that the permit be denied.

The author states that the long approval process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline exemplifies the abuse typical to NEPA review. He goes on to state:

NEPA rules also deviate from sound judicial practice. An injunction is appropriate only when a plaintiff can show irreparable harm, which can’t be demonstrated solely by showing that the project developer does not yet have in place a perfect plan for containing oil spills that are unlikely to occur in the first place. Ironically, NEPA’s laborious process undercuts the statutory objective of making informed public decisions. Trying to decide everything at the initial stage of review requires speculation and invites errors in judgment. A far more sensible process would allow work to begin while these details are ironed out through project upgrades, backed by public and private inspections, strong liability protections and extensive insurance policies. These sensible precautions would sharply cut down both the frequency and severity of adverse environmental impacts.

As drafted, NEPA was intended to invite all segments of the public to submit comments to improve decision making. But in 1971, in Calvert Cliffs’ Coordinating Committee v. U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invited a flood of new litigation by holding that any disappointed party may challenge an agency approval in federal court. Even if the bulk of informed opinion supports a new project, an extreme outlier can sue to stop it. NEPA includes no provision establishing a private right of action, but the practice has become so ingrained that it can’t be undone by regulation.

Congress should act to stop the hijacking of the permit process to block the use of fossil fuels throughout the economy. Informed, democratic decision making requires consistent environmental regulation, not a patchwork of dubious judicial decisions that turn NEPA into a legal swamp that now must be drained.

8 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #419

  1. “Doubling carbon dioxide, (CO2), creates a 2% disturbance to the normal flow of energy into the system and out of the system,”

    Er, no. Mizkolski showed years ago that, as CO2 rises, absolute water vapor decreases. As water is a better radiant gas than CO2, it means that their net effect decreases. Dr. Lindzen is assuming that water vapor is constant.

    Mizkolski’s point was that the two gases are effectively a constant regarding CO2, as the amount of CO2 we are talking about being replaced, relative to water vapor, is only a small fraction of the water vapor. So, the 2% Dr. Lindzen described is probably more like 0.2–1.0%, much smaller and thus can be ignored.

  2. A fascinating article on the law of unintended consequences linked above: use of solar power to irrigate Afghan opium farms…

    and below it Paul Homewood says in his article: Solar power may have a niche use in Afghanistan, but that does not mean it will be of any use elsewhere.

    Well, the power demand for agricultural irrigation in India requires about 18% of its electricity consumption. 60% of the irrigation is dependent on groundwater. This requires 21 million electrical pumps and 9 million diesel pumps.

    So it seems to me solar is an excellent fit for Indian irrigation: doubly so when you can mount the panels over irrigation canals and reduce evaporation…

    Perhaps it might also work in California/western USA

    • Hey if it works without subsidies in California, great! Marginal gains are nice. However success in niches does not mean that renewables are going to meet the majority of the energy needs of modern societies.

      • Well they are meeting very nearly the majority of electricity demand of several European countries right now…

  3. I was reminded that I had intended to, but not yet made a new donation to the Peter Ridd Gofundme effort for his legal appeal of the recent ruling against him and in favor of James Cook University. That’s a mistake now rectified.

    To donate, go here: https://gf.me/u/yjmswi

    Warning: the gofundme site by default adds a 10% tip that goes to the web site, not to Peter Ridd. Make sure you only tip them what you want to tip them (for me, zero point zero).

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