Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup #426

The Week That Was: 2020-10-10 (October 10, 2020)

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

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”— Richard Feynman, Theoretical physicist, co-recipient Nobel Prize in Physics.

Number of the Week: US$3,660 billion [$3.66 Trillion]


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

Guess and Test – and Re-Test: Writing in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Matt Ridley, author of books such as How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom (2020) and The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010), had an outstanding, long essay titled:

“What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science

“The scientific method remains the best way to solve many problems, but bias, overconfidence and politics can sometimes lead scientists astray.”

The essay opens with:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has stretched the bond between the public and the scientific profession as never before. Scientists have been revealed to be neither omniscient demigods whose opinions automatically outweigh all political disagreement, nor unscrupulous fraudsters pursuing a political agenda under a cloak of impartiality. Somewhere between the two lies the truth: Science is a flawed and all too human affair, but it can generate timeless truths, and reliable practical guidance, in a way that other approaches cannot.

“In a lecture at Cornell University in 1964, the physicist Richard Feynman defined the scientific method. First, you guess, he said, to a ripple of laughter. Then you compute the consequences of your guess. Then you compare those consequences with the evidence from observations or experiments. ‘If [your guess] disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make a difference how beautiful the guess is, how smart you are, who made the guess or what his name is…it’s wrong.’

“So, when people started falling ill last winter with a respiratory illness, some scientists guessed that a novel coronavirus was responsible. The evidence proved them right. Some guessed it had come from an animal sold in the Wuhan wildlife market. The evidence proved them wrong. Some guessed vaccines could be developed that would prevent infection. The jury is still out.

“Seeing science as a game of guess-and-test clarifies what has been happening these past months. Science is not about pronouncing with certainty on the known facts of the world; it is about exploring the unknown by testing guesses, some of which prove wrong.

“In general, science is much better at telling you about the past and the present than the future.

Bad practice can corrupt all stages of the process. Some scientists fall so in love with their guesses that they fail to test them against evidence. They just compute the consequences and stop there. Mathematical models are elaborate, formal guesses, and there has been a disturbing tendency in recent years to describe their output with words like data, result, or outcome. They are nothing of the sort.”

The essay is strongly endorsed by Judith Curry who posted large sections on her web site, which has been re-posted by Charles Rotter on Watts Up With That. Since it is readily available, TWTW will not discuss it extensively. Ridley summed an important point with:

“This year has driven home as never before the message that there is no such thing as ‘the science’; there are different scientific views.”

The Right Climate Stuff Team emphasized the importance of what they learned in the Apollo Missions – the need to test and re-test assumptions (guesses) particularly as new data emerges. Unfortunately, many once rigorous scientific organizations and government agencies are so entrenched with their groupthink and so beholden to their political sponsors, that TWTW believes that the title of Ridley’s essay is too optimistic. It should read:

What the Pandemic Has Taught Us about Science, but Bureaucratic Scientists Will Not Learn.

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Groupthink and Climate Change: In discussing the new book Climate Change: The Facts 2020 which she co-edited with Peter Ridd, Australian Jennifer Marohasy gives an outstanding example of bureaucratic groupthink that prevents many government sponsored scientists from exploring new ideas and correctly employing the scientific method. [Physicist Peter Ridd was dismissed from his position at James Cook University for challenging the claims that the Great Barrier Reef was dying.] Marohasy writes in her blog:

“I met with Oscar Alves, who heads the team at the Australian Bureau that is meant to be developing methods for seasonal rainfall prediction. That was back in August 2011, when I was so excited about the potential to forecast monthly rainfall using AI. [Artificial Intelligence]

“Oscar Alves told me that accurate monthly rainfall forecasting is essentially impossible, and that he wasn’t interested in AI because it would require him to learn something new. We really are a civilization in decline in the West, and our government bureaucracies promote meteorologists based on their attachment to carbon dioxide rather than their enthusiasm for accurate and skillful weather and climate forecasts. This is not the situation at all in countries like Indonesia and China where they know that carbon dioxide is mostly irrelevant.

“Oscar Alves’s boss, Andrew Johnson, the current head of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, seems to understand very little about mathematics or meteorology. At the recent Royal Commission into bushfires where Andrew Johnson was an expert witness, he commented that parts of Australia had experienced a rapid decline in rainfall. We might assume he was referring to the south-east of Australia because vast areas of Eucalyptus forest burnt in the south-east this last summer. Yet if we consider the official statistics from his own office, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, for this region, we see that annual rainfall is variable and that while the 1950s and 1970s were wetter than recent years – there is no evidence of long-term decline in rainfall. In fact, whichever way the statistics are scrutinised, there is no evidence for a decline in rainfall – in the south-east of Australia, for the summer period, or even considering the data for all of Australia for all months since 1900. This is explained by me in chapter 15, that is about the history of bushfires in Australia since 1851.”

To many bureaucrats it is much easier to blame carbon dioxide (CO2) than to learn new methods and mathematics. In describing the review of the book (abbreviated as CCTF2020) by Graham Lloyd in The Weekend Australian, Marohasy writes:

“Graham Lloyd has read the book – all 20 chapters – and he understands the importance of the three chapters by the atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen, Henrik Svensmark and Peter Ridd. Graham understands that they provide a new perspective on established research that has been difficult for the mainstream climate change establishment to understand, let alone accept.

“Graham Lloyd, he understands that Peter Ridd’s important chapter in CCTF2020 builds on the pioneering work of Joanne Simpson, and that Richard Lindzen destroyed the hard core of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) theory twenty years ago; that was in Lindzen’s seminal paper on the relationship between high altitude cirrus cloud cover and carbon dioxide. There is no role for carbon dioxide in Henrick Svensmark’s theory of how the climate changes (chapter 10), and Svensmark, like Lindzen, is obsessed with clouds.

“In CCTF2020 Richard Lindzen writes about cirrus clouds, Henrik Svensmark about cumulus clouds, and the chapter by Peter Ridd is all about my favourite clouds which are cumulonimbus. Peter Ridd and I are both from tropical Australia and we love the drama of watching thunderstorms. [Caption under a diagram of various types of clouds.]

“I’ve been saying for so long now that it is not good enough to just disprove CAGW theory, we need to have an alternative theory. I’m hoping that CCTF2020 is the beginning of some public discussion about this. Geoffrey Duffy’s chapter on water vapour (chapter 11) is also important in terms of understanding the basics of weather and climate on planet Earth.

“The history of science suggests that new theories are usually supported by new tools. (Galileo and Kepler, for example, were obsessed with telescopes.)”

The term “obsessed” may be a bit strong, but it is certainly clear the current climate models are failing to describe what is occurring in the atmosphere, thus are unsuitable for long-term forecasts. Marohasy emphasizes that the Chinese and Indonesian meteorologists are using artificial intelligence and mathematics to describe the concept of cycles to further advance weather and climate prediction. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


No Such Thing: According to its web site:

“The Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES) is a multi-disciplinary and independent research group. The aims of CERES are to address important issues in the fields of environmental and earth sciences.  The group strives to foster original and timely scientific understanding, in addition to re-examining old analyses with fresh insights.  We hope to illuminate, enhance, and resolve new and open issues.”

The journal Energies just published an evaluation of global climate expenditures covering 2011 to 2018 written by members of CERES and other researchers. Based on numbers supplied by CERES, from 2011 to 2018, the world spent over $2 Trillion on wind and solar power and only one-tenth that on adapting to extreme weather events, which have been occurring before the evolution of humans.

In an essay posted on its web site, CERES states there is no such thing as clean energy and the essay goes through some of the problems created by governments attempting to shift from reliable sources of electricity to unreliable solar, wind and other types. This huge effort is hurting the poor the most. These damages are largely ignored by those who calculate the misleading statistic, the social cost of carbon. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and https://www.ceres-science.com/index.html


Are US Blackouts Inevitable? Last week, TWTW discussed one of the great myths of economics: that in The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith defended capitalism. The term was not invented until 90 years later by Karl Marx. Instead, Adam Smith attacked an economic system prevailing in Western Europe. The belief that nations can become wealthy by favoring some merchants and manufacturers over others – mainly by promoting exports and taxing imports. Instead, Smith argued that such policies enrich the few at the expense of the many. Smith argued that competition, no matter how disruptive it is, benefits the general public because it continually provides more goods at lower costs.

Over 150 years later Austrian – American economist Joseph Schumpeter called this dynamic process “creative destruction,” how the new is constantly replacing the old. Economic progress is not gradual and peaceful, but sometimes disjointed and unpleasant. Schumpeter addressed the notion that competition leads to monopoly and oligopoly (a few manufacturers working together). According to Schumpeter, with creative destruction these monopolies and oligopolies are temporary, industrial firms cannot survive unless they continue to innovate. The turmoil in the Dow Jones industrials illustrates this: where is Xerox today?

With a long career in General Electric, Donn Dears has addressed many of the key issues in electric power generation, transmission, and use (consumption). As such, he understands what is needed “behind the wall” for a switch to turn on the lights – knowledge severely lacking by many who wish to change our energy future. In 2015, Dears wrote “Nothing to Fear: A Bright Future for Fossil Fuels – The story of fossil fuels and climate change.”

Now, Dears states there is something to fear – how politicians and others who misunderstand the role of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect in climate change are damaging our energy future. In his new book, “The Looming Energy Crisis: Are Blackouts Inevitable?” Dears explains how politicians and bureaucrats, either knowingly or unknowingly, are changing the electric grid in ways destructive to the reliable supply of electric power. The blackouts experienced in California and South Australia are an example of what is coming. A secondary title to the book could be: How Public Subsidies Are Increasing the Costs of Electricity to the Public.

After a review of the US electricity system, with parts under the control of Federal regulators and parts independent of them except for interstate transmission, Dears describes how regulators are altering the auction system to favor wind and solar power [the following will focus on wind]. These alterations are in addition to the mandates by some states that utilities must take wind power under the false notion it is “clean.”

The parts directly under control of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are the areas under a regional transmission organization (RTO) or independent systems operator (ISO) to coordinate regional transmission of power – the Grid. States that are not in an ISO or RTO are directly controlled by their state utility regulators. Unfortunately, FERC has politically motivated commissioners who put their ideological beliefs above the obligation to deliver safe, reliable power at lowest possible cost to the public.

As exposed by Dears, there are several major weaknesses in the system: 1) daily auctions using a market clearing price and 2) no guarantee of future delivery. The daily auctions sound competitive, but one must realize that the major costs of wind, the capital costs, are subsidized by the Federal government, the public. As long as the wind is blowing and the weather is fine, there is little cost associated with wind delivering power. Relying on daily weather forecasts, industrial wind organizations can bid extremely low to deliver power for the next day.

The rub is that industrial wind will receive the highest price the system operator (ISO or RTO) determines necessary to clear the market, the market clearing price. That price is determined by the last bidder needed to provide the electricity needed for the following day, which is usually the highest price accepted by the system operator. Thus, that price can be far more than industrial wind needs to earn a reasonable profit. Some economists would label the difference as “surplus profits” or “unfair profits.”

If the forecast is no wind or too much wind for the next day, industrial wind will not bid and the consumer is out of luck. The ISO or RTO must obtain what electrical power may be available for the day whatever the cost. The net effect is that industrial wind is low bidding when weather is favorable, and driving out reliable sources of electricity, while making major, subsidized profits. Further, industrial wind is not required to provide needed backup or storage if the wind fails. Recently, similar problems arose in California with solar power, which cannot deliver when the sun is going down. Essentially, the auction market as now executed results in reliable producers priced out when weather if favorable for wind, and much needed reliable producers must bid much higher prices to keep operating when weather is unfavorable for wind. The public does not benefit from favorable weather and is punished from poor weather.

Those versed in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations may say that the system is a type of Mercantilism, where those responsible for regulation manipulate the system in favor of certain industries. It does not meet Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction because the creative part is not there. There is no real creative innovation in wind power except bigger – more rare earths, more carbon fiber for blades, more concrete and steel for foundations, etc. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.


Greening of Africa: By ever expanding the projected increase in temperatures from increasing CO2, climate modelers and many climate “experts” have demonstrated that they do not understand the changing Greenhouse Effect, which can be described by a logarithmic function relating concentration of a greenhouse gas with temperature. One can crudely generalize and say it is self-limiting – increasing concentration results in lessening impact of the last amounts.

Similarly, it appears that many modelers who calculate the “social costs of carbon” do not understand photosynthesis and the importance of carbon dioxide in causing plant life to flourish. CO2 Science presents a new report on change in African Vegetation since 1982:

“And so it is that, despite increasing in population by 850 million persons and being subjected to the many ecosystem pressures a population increase of that size can cause, and notwithstanding numerous ominous climate-related projections of ecosystem demise from global warming, across large regions of Africa vegetative productivity today has reached the highest values ever observed in the satellite record. And this great greening of Africa has largely been brought about by the very factor alarmists say should be causing a demise — rising atmospheric CO2!”

See links under Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science


Number of the Week: US $3,660 billion [$3.66 Trillion]: The above described report by The Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES) contains the statement:

“The world spent US $3,660 billion on climate change projects over the eight-year period 2011–2018. A total of 55% of this sum was spent on solar and wind energy, while only 5% was spent on adapting to the impacts of extreme weather events.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Science: Is the Sun Rising?

The dimmest state of the Sun: TSI and Global warming

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 6, 2020

Link to paper: the dimmest state of the Sun

By K.L. Yeo, et al, Geophical Research Letters, Accepted

From Watts: “This new paper raises some questions about the role of total solar irradiance (TSI) and global warming…”

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

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

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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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

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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no charge:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no charge:


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

What the pandemic has taught us about science

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 10, 2020

Asking the Non-Consensual Questions, My New Book on Climate Change

By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, Oct 4, 2020

What If Nature Itself Has The Means To Moderate Climate Change?

By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Via GWPF, Oct 3, 2020

Surprising science – There’s no such thing as clean energy

By ÓhAiseadha, C.; Quinn, G.; Connolly, R.; Connolly, M.; Soon, W. CERES-Science, Sep 16, 2020 [H/t Steven Welcenbach]


Link to paper: Energy and Climate Policy—An Evaluation of Global Climate Change Expenditure 2011–2018

By ÓhAiseadha, C.; Quinn, G.; Connolly, R.; Connolly, M.; Soon, W. Energies, Sep 16, 2020


The Looming Energy Crisis: Are Blackouts Inevitable?

By Donn Dears, Paperback, 2020

How we fool ourselves

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 4, 2020

“Fallacy of the single cause occurs when it is assumed that there is one simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.”

The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time — Part XXVII

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 5, 2020


Defending the Orthodoxy

It’s baaaaack

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020

“As we warned last week, the Trudeau Administration’s decision to drop the “Green Recovery” from the 2020 Canadian Throne Speech didn’t mean they were thinking differently, just talking differently.”

“And how much, exactly, can bureaucrats and politicians know about technology, manufacturing, changing tastes and needs? Some 30 years ago governments renounced the picking of winners and losers in order, we later discovered, to focus on the latter.”

“Thus another revealing feature of this plan-like object is that no amount of embarrassing failure seems to dent our rulers’ sublime confidence in their own excellence.”

Prince William announces new prize to incentivize climate solutions

By Zack Budryk, The Hill, Oct 8, 2020


“The Global Alliance, which includes philanthropic organizations such as the Jack Ma Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, will provide the funds for the award, according to NBC News.”

Questioning the Orthodoxy

New Study Finds Robust Statistical Probability Temperature Drives CO2 Changes, Upending ‘Scientific Perception’

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 5, 2020

Link to paper: Atmospheric Temperature and CO2: Hen-or-Egg Causality? (Version 1)

By Demetris Koutsoyiannis and Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Sci, Sep 14, 2020


From the abstract: “We examine the relationship of global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at the monthly time step, covering the time interval 1980–2019, in which reliable instrumental measurements are available.”

German Prof: Climate Science Politicized, Exaggerated, Filled With “Fantasy”, “Fairy Tales”…”Paris Accord Already Dead”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 7, 2020

“In the interview, moderator Tichy reminded that civilization began 7000 years ago, a time when it was ‘3°C warmer than today’, and Vahrenholt responded saying he expects civilization to continue for another seven thousand years. There was no tipping point back then, why would there be one today? ‘Warmth and moisture have always been good for mankind,’ said Vahrenholt. ‘Cold has been man’s worst enemy.’’’

The RCP 8.5 Cheat

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020

[SEPP Comment: Video discussing the big, exaggerated fudge factor of RCP 8.5. This all but impossible worse-case scenario has become the “business as usual” scenario. It is politically useful for scaring people. Extremely high predictions of future CO2 emissions times and extremely high claims of climate sensitivity to CO2 yields unrealistically high predictions of future temperatures. The planet will roast. For the UN IPCC, politics trumps science, reinforcing ignorance. The actual “business as usual” case is at the bottom of the four RPC scenarios. But the scenarios are meaningless, because the IPCC fails to acknowledge the physical evidence that they are based on false assumptions that the relationship are linear (or worse, exponential!)]

How Dare You!

Press Release, GWPF, Oct 8, 2020

[SEPP Comment: Collection of editorials with cartoons.]

Change in US Administrations

President Trump’s Great Environmental Progress

By Mary Neumayr, (Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality) Real Clear Energy, Oct 6, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Propaganda from the current administration.]

Biden would face hurdles undoing Trump environmental rollbacks

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Oct 7, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Assumes intensification of regulation is progress.]

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Social Costs of Carbon Dioxide?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct

Testimony by Kevin Dayaratna of The Heritage Foundation

Seeking a Common Ground

Earth’s Optimal Temperature?

By Robert Vislocky, WUWT, Oct 6, 2020

“Some planets may be better for life than Earth”

A hotfoot from Mother Earth

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020

“Debate ideas not motives. And do it with humility. Is it so much to ask?”

Critical Thinking – First Requires an Understanding of the Basics

By Jennifer Marohasy, Oct 4, 2020

[SEPP Comment: How to read a graph or chart is a first step.]

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Bushfires, Concepts of Wilderness, and a New Book

By Jennifer Marohasy, He Blog, Oct 9, 2020

“Much of Australia was open woodland at the time of European settlement and actively managed by the First Australians (Aborigines) to keep it that way. Excluding fire can help such forests transition to rainforest, but in the process the forests are more vulnerable to incineration at least until there is a proper closed-overcanopy.”

Having Bipartisan Support, U.S. Energy & Environmental Security Depends On Mining

By Jude Clemente, Forbes, Oct 6, 2020


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Exploring African Vegetation Change Since 1982

Higginbottom, T.P. and Symeonakis, E. 2020. Identifying ecosystem function shifts in Africa using breakpoint analysis of long-term NDVI and RUE data. Remote Sensing 12: 1894, doi:10.3390/rs12111894. Oct 9, 2020


Eurasian Snowfall Trends of the Past Two Decades

Sun, Y., Zhang, T., Liu, Y., Zhao, W. and Huang, X. 2020. Assessing snow phenology over the large part of Eurasia using satellite observations from 2000 to 2016. Remote Sensing 12: 2060, doi:10.3390/rs12122060. Oct 7, 2020


A CO2-induced Amelioration of Drought Stress in Coffee Plants

Avila, R.T., de Almeida, W.L., Costa, L.C., Machado, K.L.G., Barbosa, M.L., de Souza, R.P.B., Martino, P.B., Juáárez, M.A.T., Marcal, D.M.S., Martins, S.C.V., Ramalho, J.D.C. and DaMatta, F.M. 2020. Elevated air [CO2] improves photosynthetic performance and alters biomass accumulation and partitioning in drought-stressed coffee plants. Environmental and Experimental Botany 177: 104137. Oct 5, 2020


Model Issues

2018 Update: Best Climate Model INMCM5

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Feb 4, 2020

Link to paper: Simulation of observed climate changes in 1850–2014 with climate model INM-CM5

By Evgeny Volodin and Andrey Gritsun, Earth System Dynamics, Oct 25, 2018

[SEPP Comment: The model of the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences is tested against Global Mean Surface Temperature compiled by the Hadley Center and the Climatic Research Unit of East Anglia University covering the period 1850 to 2014. TWTW considers these tests interesting, but they do not reflect how well the model reflects the influence of changing concentrations of greenhouse gases.]

Measurement Issues — Surface

A new thermometer for studying our past climate

News Release by Russell Drysdale, University of Melbourne, Oct 6, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Link to paper: Magnesium in subaqueous speleothems as a potential palaeotemperature proxy

By Russell Drysdale, Nature Communications, Oct 6, 2020


Magically correcting Australia’s thermometers from 1,500 kilometers away

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 8, 2020


“If you got a million dollars a day to study Australia’s climate, and you cared about it, you might think that getting all the historical documents in order would be your first priority. Others, however, prefer to use statistical analysis and search for teleconnections in the data.”

GHCN Unadjusted Data Show [an island off] Zanzibar Has Seen A Cooling Trend Since 1880!

By Kirye, Tony Heller’s Blog, Oct 8, 2020


Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

Global Temperature Report, September 2020

By Staff, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Map: https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/climate/2020/september/202009_map.png

Graph: https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/climate/2020/september/202009_bar.png

Changing Weather

After nearly running out of water in 2018, Cape Town dams are now overflowing

By Derek Van Dam, CNN Meteorologist, Oct 5, 2020


[SEPP Comment: More human-caused climate change?]

Grass Fires Not Forest Fires Dominated Washington State in 2020: What Does That Imply Regarding Global Warming?

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Oct 6, 2020


Is Wildfire Smoke Making Our Fog More Persistent?

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Oct 4, 2020


Changing Seas

Closing the Loop on Sea Level Rise

By Patrick J. Michaels, CEI, Oct 11, 2020


The causes of sea-level rise since 1900

By Thomas Frederikse, Nature, Aug 19, 2020


Rising Seas Aren’t Swamping Small Island Nations

By H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute, Oct 9, 2020


Scientists Assert Relative Sea Levels Were 32 Meters Higher Than Today In South Greenland 13,800 Years Ago

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 8, 2020

Early Holocene Greenland-ice mass loss likely triggered earthquakes and tsunami

By Rebekka Steffen, et al. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Sep 15, 2020


[SEPP Comment: A more correct statement may be that land surfaces have rebounded 32 meters from melting, thereby removing the weight of massive glaciers (isostatic rebound).. West of Hudson Bay it may be as great as 250 meters.]

Adaptation Works, Problem Solved: Floodgates Protect Venice From Flooding

By Staff, New York Times, Via GWPF, Oct 4, 2020

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

S. Beaufort polar bear population stable since 2010 not declining new report reveals

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Oct 4, 2020

“For the last five years, the Southern Beaufort subpopulation has been the jewel in the crown of those who promote the notion that polar bears are threatened with extinction due to man-made global warming. With an estimated decline of 25-50% between 2001 and 2010 (often ‘simplified’ as “40%”, see quote above), it has been the most dramatic example of a population decline blamed on lack of summer sea ice – even though it is known that the decline was actually the result of thick spring ice conditions in the period 2004-2006 and that Inuit in the Canadian portion of the Southern Beaufort disagree with this assessment (Crockford 2019, 2020).”

Acidic Waters

Federal officials continue to raise concerns about proposed mine near Georgia swamp, documents show

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Oct 9, 2020


[SEPP Comment: The report does not state that the southern blackwater swamp has acidic waters with average pH ranging from 3.5 to 3.9. https://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/handle/1853/44153/BergstedtA-97.pdf]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

India starves as India feasts

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020

“Which makes us wonder why on Earth, or under it, CNN thought that an economic collapse spelled green opportunity.”

Un-Science or Non-Science?

New climate model helps researchers better predict water needs

News Release by Trisha Radulovich, Florida State University, Oct 6, 2020


Link to paper: Evaluating Water Balance Variables under Land Use and Climate Projections in the Upper Choctawhatchee River Watershed, in Southeast US

By Yashar Makhtoumi, et al, Water, Aug 5, 2020


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Sentinels of ocean acidification survived Earth’s last mass extinction

Tiny, delicate marine organisms are surprisingly resilient

Press Release, NSF, Oct 5, 2020


Link to paper: The origin and diversification of pteropods precede past perturbations in the Earth’s carbon cycle

By Katja T. C. A. Peijnenburg, et al. PNAS, Sep 24, 2020


From write up: “Although this suggests that pelagic aragonitic calcifiers have been more resilient to past ocean acidification than currently thought, it is unlikely that pteropods have experienced global change of the current magnitude and speed during their evolutionary history.”

[SEPP Comment: Bunk!]

Two’s a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don’t mix

Press Release by University of Sussex, Tech Xplore, Oct 5, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


Link to paper: Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewable electricity versus nuclear power

By Benjamin K. Sovacool, Nature Energy, Oct 5, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Statistical nonsense: The article makes the false assumption that renewables are interchangeable with nuclear and ignores the issue of reliability. Why make a grid unreliable and electricity more expensive by adding undependable wind and solar?]

Carbon Tracker Fantasy: “Cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells could cost Texans $117 billion”

By David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 5, 2020

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

China’s Leninist Climate Pledge

By Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Politics, Oct 8, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Gives examples of effective use of propaganda in the past.]

New Video: Statistics of Fear

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Oct 4, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Giving a realistic basis for statistics.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Forget The Russians! NATO To Combat Climate Change!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 5, 2020


“No. NATO only has one responsibility, and that is to guard the freedom and security of its members. And it has a duty to do this in the most effective manner possible, unencumbered by conflicting objectives.

“Meanwhile, I don’t think those troops will be too pleased when those solar panels go to sleep at night!”

[SEPP Comment: Or being on a secret patrol but having to erect a wind turbine to communicate with headquarters.]

Questioning European Green

Tens Of Thousands Of Automotive Jobs On The Brink, Climate Policy Hammers Once Mighty German Auto Industry

The future for the backbone of the German economy is looking bleak. A look at the impacts of climate policy on the German car industry.

By AR Göhring at EIKE, (Text translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Oct 3, 2020


Wooden headed

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020


“As Gosselin notes, greenwoke Europeans like to deliver culturally imperialist lectures about deforestation in Third World countries while mowing down their own to save the planet.”

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Your life under the Green New Deal

By Paul Driessen, ICECAP, Oct 4, 2020


A new abnormal of rolling blackouts under Biden energy plan

By Larry Bell, CFACT, Oct 7, 2020


The Biden Energy Plan Is Like California’s—But Worse

Editorial by Institute for Energy Research, Oct 6, 2020


Jeff Bezos and Amazon Join the Religion of Green

By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Oct 8, 2020


“Renewable energy is a scheme to displace $15 electricity with $80 electricity.”

Idaho Project a Flashpoint of Environmentalists’ Drag on Economic Progress

By Gerard Scimeca, Real Clear Energy, Oct 7, 2020


We Don’t Need to Be Forced to Care About the Planet

By Jason Reed, Real Clear Energy, Oct 8, 2020


Funding Issues

Feds sued over no longer allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Oct 8, 2020


[SEPP Comment: If fines go to the US Treasury special interest groups lose a big source of revenue.]

Worlds “Largest Shadow Bank” wants Australia to shut coal plants faster

Because Big Bankers really want to save the Earth, right?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 9, 2020


Litigation Issues

Local Wind Farm Affecting Your Health? An Irish Family Just Received a €225K Payout

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 7, 2020

Supreme Court to Take Up Baltimore Climate Case

By William Allison, Energy in Depth, Oct 5, 2020


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

New Greenhouse Gas Bill – A Hidden Value-Added Tax on Carbon

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 9, 2020


[SEPP Comment: How about a direct tax on breathing?]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

The Renewable Fuel Mandate is a Failed Policy

By Andrew Quinlan, Inside Sources, Oct 8, 2020 [H/t Cooler Heads]


Energy Issues – Non-US

Boris Johnson Announces 200% Rise in Electricity Prices

Press Release, GWPF, Oct 6, 2020


“Ignoring clear evidence that the underlying economics of renewables are disastrous, the Prime Minister has today committed the UK to a further expansion of offshore wind power by 2030, with frightening implications for electricity prices, which would have to treble to pay the real costs.”

German Electricity Prices Soar, Now Most Expensive In Europe …Taxes, Green Surcharges Make Up 53.6% Of Price!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 6, 2020


[SEPP Comment: The race between Germany and Denmark on which country can charge the most for electricity before the public revolts.]

UK Government Blocks Coal Mine Plan After Approval

By Staff, The Times, Via GWPF, Oct 3, 2020


Energy Issues – Australia

Aussie Government: “we don’t need a [carbon] price because renewables are too cheap”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 5, 20202

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Court strikes down Obama-era rule targeting methane leaks from public lands drilling

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Oct 10, 2020


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Amazon Commercial Illustrates the Environmental Devastation of Wind Turbines

By James Taylor, Real Clear Energy, Oct 2, 2020


Powering all UK homes via offshore wind by 2030 ‘will need £50bn’

Aurora Energy Research calculates investment would have to quadruple capacity

By Jillian Ambrose and Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, oct 6, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]


[SEPP Comment: And what provides the needed back-up when wind fails?]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

ABC Tests an Electric Vehicle in the Australian Countryside

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 6, 2020

“Works great, providing you can afford the expense, don’t hit a strong headwind, and enjoy the adventure of exploring country towns while waiting for a recharge.”

Carbon Schemes

Oxburgh On Decarbonising Heat

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 3, 2020


Link to report: Lowest Cost Decarbonisation for the UK: The Critical Role of CCS

Report to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from the Parliamentary Advisory Group on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), September 2016


[SEPP Comment: The only proven project of carbon capture and storage is pumping CO2 into oil and gas fields, highly specialized instances.]

California Dreaming

California’s Misguided Electric Vehicle Policies

By Brendan Flanagan, Real Clear Energy, Oct 05, 2020


“First, it allows big utility companies to increase the monthly bills on their current ratepayers in order to fund the chargers.”

[SEPP Comment: Regulated utilities are always happy to increase regulator- approved costs. These increase profits.]

Extreme Rain and Drought Trends in California.

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


NOAA Confirm Heatwaves Are Declining In California

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 8, 2020


Health, Energy, and Climate

RCP8.5 fever

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020


[SEPP Comment: More on malaria spreading using poor assumptions and unrealistic IPCC scenarios which ignore the experimentally established relationship between CO2 and temperatures. Finland has good mortality records and had an outbreak of malaria north of the Arctic Circle.]

Oh Mann!

Michael Mann Appeals to, Then Ignores Scientific Consensus on 60 Minutes

By James Taylor, Climate Realism, Oct 5, 2020


Out from his coffin

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Oct 7, 2020


In a video, “He [Michael Mann] said two years ago the Greenland ice was melting so fast ‘you would be able to see the rise in global sea level from that, the human eye would have been able to see the rise in global sea level’.”

Other News that May Be of Interest

Forest margins may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought

Variability in resilience of forests to disturbances

News Release, NSF, Oct 5, 2020


Link to paper: Rain‐shadow forest margins resilient to low‐severity fire and climate change but not high‐severity fire

By Lucas B. Harris and Alan H. Taylor, Ecosphere, Sep 21, 2020


Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Chapter VII: The Process of Creative Destruction

By Joseph A. Schumpeter, 3rd Edition 1950, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1962.



New Video: Supercomputer Mathematics

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Oct 6, 2020


[SEPP Comment: Calculating what it takes to bring the death rate down from 0.00%]

Three Months To Save The Earth!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 7, 2020

“Climate scientists said it, so it must be right!”

Spreading Asbestos Fibres and Running Fans Might Help Combat Climate Change

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 6, 2020

[SEPP Comment: Feeding the personal injury lawyers?]


Why Won’t the Media Listen to These Scientists?

Prize-winning biologists vs. compelling narratives

By James Freeman, WSJ, Oct 6, 2020


TWTW Summary: The author begins:

“This week dozens of esteemed medical experts with blue-chip academic credentials published a warning about the destructive policies adopted to address Covid-19. Since the Sunday publication of this “Great Barrington Declaration” more than a thousand biological scientists and more than 1,500 medical practitioners have added their names to the petition. Yet it’s been almost entirely ignored by the media outlets that spend much of their days presenting themselves as obedient to science.

“Maybe this is because the accomplished group of scientists behind the declaration is refusing to obey political narratives. According to the petition:

“Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

“The scientists go on to note that the poor are ‘disproportionately harmed’ by current policies and that for children, ‘COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.’ They add that the best approach ‘is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.’

“This means that those ‘who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,’ including attending schools, going to restaurants, participating in sports and even gathering at public events. Meanwhile attention should be focused on protecting those most at risk. According to the scientists:

“…nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent [polymerase chain reaction] testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.

“Imagine if places like New York and New Jersey had followed this plan, instead of squandering vast resources locking down low-risk populations while failing to prioritize the protection of the elderly. Somehow Gov. Phil Murphy (D., N.J.) has largely avoided media censure even though, adjusting for population, the residents of his state have suffered more Covid deaths than anywhere else in the country. Yes, New York has suffered the most Covid deaths overall. But on a per capita basis, New Jersey has been even worse.”

The author discusses specific failures in nursing homes in New Jersey, then concludes

“Can we please listen to the scientists now? Media pundits were appalled when President Trump said in a Monday video, ‘I learned so much about Coronavirus. And one thing that’s for certain, don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines all developed recently. And you’re going to beat it.’

“Epidemiologist Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School and declaration co-author, appeared on Fox News Monday and offered this critique of the president’s remarks:

“‘Can I say about the overall message? That’s exactly what I learned about public health, what you’re supposed to do. You’re not supposed to sow panic. You’re supposed to reassure, give accurate information about risks, trust people to make good judgments on their own behalf. The president did that, I think, tonight, don’t you think?

“‘… It is accurate and consistent with the data that COVID is not a death sentence. And I think we’ve created this idea in the public mind that it is something so unique and so deadly that we should utterly end all normal existence as a result of it. That’s not right.

“‘We can have a much better way, protect the vulnerable, shield them for a short period of time until we reach a level where there’s population immunity and then for the rest of the world, let us live our lives. And for folks who are vulnerable, who, you know, if your life is meaningless without hugging your grandchildren, you have to balance risk and everything we do in our lives.’”

To TWTW the above is a clear example that when data (evidence) changes, scientific and bureaucratic thinking must change accordingly. See the section on Guess and Test – and Re-Test under This Week, above.

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October 12, 2020 4:12 am

One month after the minimum, arctic sea ice hits lowest extent and area for the date, beating out 2012. Huge area not refreezing…

comment image

Kevin kilty
Reply to  griff
October 12, 2020 7:25 am

“…Huge area not refreezing…”, well, if something that can’t possibly last for long aids your argument, then by all means, claim it.

Reply to  griff
October 12, 2020 8:45 am

Yet nothing happened and none cared 🙂

Reply to  griff
October 12, 2020 9:23 am

Are you a polar bear missing ice you don’t need for surviving ?

Reply to  griff
October 12, 2020 3:31 pm

Perhaps you could explain why the Arctic is not ice-free, griff. “Science” told us that was supposed to happen by 2013. Or 2014. Or 2015. Or 2016. See https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions

Or 2018: https://realclimatescience.com/2018/04/countdown-to-the-ice-free-arctic/

Carl Friis-Hansen
October 12, 2020 4:37 am

Adding to the essay “What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science” there was an interesting last half of CroosTalk on RT today.
CrossTalk Bullhorns, QUARANTINE EDITION: War on populism?

Germany’s Angela Merkel to plea the 16 states to fine people without veil (face mask – a tradition for Muslim women when in public and also used by doctors and nurses during operations to avoid spreading bacteria during surgery) with up to $2,000.

In the 1920s-1930s a certain little man was much more elegant, he burned down the government building instead of spreading excessive COVID and Climate fear, media censorship and endless propaganda for eons.
But the little man lost in the end, so maybe this “slowly but surely” will let the global dictatorship prevail, mature and last as long as USSR. /Slightly sarcastic

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 12, 2020 7:50 am

It is fascinating to have observed how the preoccupation with masks has come to dominate everything in the public debate over COVID19. The declining death rate, declining rate of hospitalization, ruination of parts of the world economy, all take back seat to stories about rates of infection which climb in some places (often with a hard mask mandate in place), but decline over all. Yet the media can always find one day each week or someplace to point to a “spike”.

The downside of obsessing over masks, I think, has had the effect of convincing many young people that the mask is a guarantee against infection. Thus, they ignore the uderlying effort to avoid “high risk of infection” but wear their mask. The result was an epidemic on college campuses. There is worse. Students tend to view most adults with suspicion anyway, and their personal encounters with COVID19, which consist of the following symptoms, in order of occurence:

1. no symptoms
2. sniffles
3. loss of a part of sense of smell or taste
4. Cold-like symptoms

Has made them contemptuous of adults. School administrators are like the most interfering parents of all time. Students ignore all advice. Socialize in large groups. Travel back home against advice. And are even exploring “hacks” to fool the PCR tests. God bless ’em. They may push us toward immunity despite all efforts of adults to stretch the panic out over a decade.

Kevin kilty
October 12, 2020 7:36 am

People are said to not understand much of what goes on behind the wall outlet. Yet, they understand almost none of what goes on this side of the outlet, and the outlet itself is a mystery and treated like a piece of magic.

Donn Dears’s book (Looming Energy Crisis) is not so technical that most people cannot understand it, and reading it would demistify how electric power is marketed. Unfortuntely Donn spends too much of the book tilting at the windmill of climate change, trying to explain why an abundance of renewables is not even needed in the mix of power sources. This will unravel the good work he does elsewhere for nearly everyone has been dipped in the vat of climate change so often, they will immediately reject his entire book by seeing him not genuflect at this altar. It is more effective, I think, to attack the vulnerable topics where people’s views have not yet hardened.

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