Arches National Park, Utah 2019. Charles Rotter

Weekly Climate And Energy News Roundup #449

The Week That Was: 2021-04-03 (April 3, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “You can prove almost anything with the evidence of a small enough segment of time. How often, in any search for truth, the answer of the minute is positive, the answer of the hour qualified, the answers of the year contradictory!” — Edwin Way Teale, (1899-1980), American naturalist, photographer and writer; perhaps best known for his series ‘The American Seasons’

Number of the Week: – 5%

THIS WEEK:

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

Multi-Faced NASA? From the report of the Rogers Commission examining the explosion of the shuttle, Challenger, occurring on January 28, 1986: “Personal Observations on Reliability of Shuttle” by Richard Feynman, Appendix F (June 6, 1986)

“It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures [of probable risk] come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could properly ask ‘What is the cause of management’s fantastic faith in the machinery?’”

A brilliant mathematician, Feynman was a co-recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger “for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles.” An exceptional teacher he was asked to join what became known as the Rogers Commission investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion by the then acting Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), William Graham, who had been a student of Feynman.

In a note to the editors, physicist George Hacken criticized Physics Today for dismissing William Happer as a mere “climate skeptic.” Hacken pointed out that Feynman’s book, What Do You Care What Other People Think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character dealt with Feynman’s experience on the Rogers Commission. The book was published shortly after his death from cancer. The 120 some pages of the paperback version of the book provide a description of the turmoil and difficulty in getting administrators in Washington to realize the importance of making necessary corrections in policies as evidence is compiled that the policy is headed in the wrong direction and may become disastrous. The difficulty still applies today.

Feynman was a practical joker. For example, while on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, he would crack the combination codes of safes containing classified information and leave notes behind. Some co-workers thought he was a spy. No doubt, many administrators and bureaucrats thought he was a pain in the butt. However, some sections of the book are described below because they reflect the thinking that “climate skeptics” face today.

When he received the request to join the Challenger investigation, Feynman’s immediate reaction was to reject anything that involved Washington. But friends urged him to be involved. [What is in italics below is quoted from the book, with primary quotation marks (“)  around it. What is a quote in the book has the secondary quotation marks (‘) around it.

“My last chance was to convince my wife [Gweneth]. ‘Look,’ I said. ‘Anybody could do it. They can get somebody else.’

“‘No.’ said Gweneth ‘If you don’t do it, there will be twelve people, all in a group, going around from place to place together. But if you join the commission, there will be eleven people—all in a group, going around from place to place together—while the twelfth one runs around all over the place, checking all kinds of unusual things. There probably won’t be anything, but if there is, you’ll find it”

“Being very immodest, I believed her.” (p. 117, page numbers refer to the cited edition)

After thinking about what activities he had to give up being on the commission, Feynman continues:

“By this time, it was Sunday. I said to Gweneth, ‘I’m gonna commit suicide for six months,’ and picked up the telephone.” (p. 118)

In discussing his initial briefings by engineers with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Feynman writes:

“The engineers told me that some of the people who worked on the engines always had their fingers crossed on each flight, the moment they saw the shuttle explode, they were sure it was the engines.” (p. 122)

“It’s called a briefing, but it wasn’t brief: it was very intense, very fast, and very complete. It’s the only way I know to get technical information quickly: you don’t just sit there while they go through what they think would be interesting; instead, you ask a lot of questions, you get quick answers, and soon you begin to understand the circumstances and learn just what to ask to get the next piece of information you need. I got one hell of a good education that day, and I sucked up the information like a sponge.” [Boldface italics in original. p. 122]

Feynman contrasts this experience with the initial briefing of the commission by NASA executives in Washington:

“Most of us seemed to have done some preliminary work on our own. We kept asking questions that were much more technical than some of the big cheeses were prepared for.

“When one of them couldn’t answer a question, Mr. Rogers [an attorney and former Secretary of State] would assure him that we understood he wasn’t expecting such detailed questions, and that we were satisfied for the time being at least, by the perpetual answer, ‘We’ll get that information to you later.’”

Feynman discusses how critical rubber parts called O-rings prevent leakage of oil in engines such as automobiles, but those gaps which those gaps O-rings seal do not change dimensions in operation. Similar but very much larger O-rings were used in the solid rocket boosters in the Space Shuttle, since solid boosters consist of several sections that are assembled just before launch. The joints between the assembled sections are called field joints.

In the original solid booster design, it was expected that increasing pressure from the expansion of the burning rocket fuel would squash the O-rings, increasing their sealing ability.

“But because the joint is stronger than the wall (it’s three times thicker), the wall bows outward causing the joint to bend a little—enough to lift the rubber O-rings off the seal area. Mr. Weeks (an expert on seals) told me this phenomenon is called ‘joint rotation,’ and it was discovered very early, before they ever flew the shuttle.”

“But in the case of the shuttle, the gap expands as the pressure builds up in the rocket. And to maintain the seal, the rubber has to expand fast enough to close the gap—and during launch, the gap opens in a fraction of a second.  [Boldface italics in the original. p. 133]

“Thus, the resilience of the rubber became a very essential part of the design.

“When the Thiokol engineers were discovering these problems, they went to the Parker Seal Company, which manufactures the rubber, to ask for advice. The Parker Seal Company told Thiokol that O-rings are not meant to be used that way, so they could give no advice.” (p 134)

Feynman describes that it was known that due to the opened gaps hot, high pressure gases would leak through, called “blowby,” and would burn the O-rings. The design of the Shuttle therefore called for an additional O-ring, called a secondary seal, to be built into each solid motor joint and act as a backup effort to solve the problem. This solution worked successfully for each of the many Space Shuttles launched previously. Nonetheless, in the “flight readiness reviews” that precede each it was noted that a good secondary seal was critical and that ways to reduce joint rotation were needed. Yet it was safe to fly the existing design. Feynman wrote:

“I was struck by the contradiction: [Feynman asked the O-ring expert] ‘If it’s ‘most critical,’ how could it be ‘safe to continuing flying’? What’s the logic of this.?’” (Boldface was italics in original, p 135)

The response was:

“’Analysis of the existing data…’”

“We went back through the report and found the analysis. It was some kind of computer model with various assumptions that were not necessarily right. You know the danger of computers, it’s called GIGO: garbage in garbage out! The analysis concluded that a little unpredictable leakage here and there could be tolerated, even though it wasn’t part of the original design. [Boldface added]

“If all the seals had leaked, it would have been obvious even to NASA that the problem was serious. But only a few of the seals leaked on only some of the flights. So, NASA had developed a peculiar kind of attitude: if one of the seals leaks a little and the flight is successful. The problem isn’t so serious. Try playing Russian roulette that way: you pull the trigger, and the gun doesn’t go off, so it must be safe to pull the trigger again…” (Boldface was italics in original, p. 138)

Feynman describes how Air Force General Kutyna brought up the issue of resilience of the rubber O-rings to cold temperatures. It was 28 or 29 °F (minus 2 °C) at the Challenger launch. The coldest previous temperature during a launch was 53 °F (12 °C). The critical issue is that the rubber must be sufficiently resilient to respond to the slight opening of the solid booster joints due to increasing pressures during the launch in milliseconds. As Feynman cleverly showed in front the TV cameras by chilling the rubber in ice water, it wasn’t.

He describes other issues with the shuttle program and behind the scenes help he had from others on the committee including cautions to “check his six” (back). In the section titled “Fantastic Figures”, he discusses the great disparity of the reliability of the shuttle as presented alternatively by engineers and by NASA officials and in “An Inflamed Appendix” he goes through some of the difficulties he had to get the appendix to the report published (part of which is quoted above).

In the “Afterthoughts” chapter, Feynman suggests a possible change in attitudes experienced in NASA after the success of the moon landing. He bases his suggestion on his experience at Los Alamos:

“When somebody’s having a problem—say, with the detonator—everybody knows that’s it’s a big problem, they’re thinking of ways to beat it, they’re making suggestions, and when they hear about the solution, they’re excited, because that means their work is now useful: if the detonator didn’t work, the bomb wouldn’t work.

“I figured the same thing had gone on at NASA in the early days: if the space suit didn’t work, they couldn’t go to the moon. So, everybody’s interested in everybody else’s problems.” (p. 213)

Feynman suggests that after the success of the lunar landing NASA administrators had to keep funding the organization. They had to sell its usefulness and its reliability. The administrators did not wish to hear problems about reliability, and after a few push-backs, engineers stopped raising these issues.

“So that’s my theory: because of the exaggeration at the top being inconsistent with the reality at the bottom, communication got slowed up and ultimately jammed. That’s how it’s possible that the higher-ups didn’t know.

“The other possibility is that the higher-ups did know, and they just said they didn’t know.” (Boldface was italics in original p. 215)

In short, experience described by Feynman is a description of the difficulty that even a Nobel Laureate in Physics has in penetrating through the mire of Washington.

His appendix to the Rogers report states:

“Conclusions

“If a reasonable launch schedule is to be maintained, engineering often cannot be done fast enough to keep up with the expectations of originally conservative certification criteria designed to guarantee a very safe vehicle. In these situations, subtly, and often with apparently logical arguments, the criteria are altered so that flights may still be certified in time. They therefore fly in a relatively unsafe condition, with a chance of failure of the order of a percent (it is difficult to be more accurate).

“Official management, on the other hand, claims to believe the probability of failure is a thousand times less. One reason for this may be an attempt to assure the government of NASA perfection and success in order to ensure the supply of funds. The other may be that they sincerely believed it to be true, demonstrating an almost incredible lack of communication between themselves and their working engineers.

“In any event this has had very unfortunate consequences, the most serious of which is to encourage ordinary citizens to fly in such a dangerous machine, as if it had attained the safety of an ordinary airliner. The astronauts, like test pilots, should know their risks, and we honor them for their courage. Who can doubt that McAuliffe [teacher Sharon McAuliffe] was equally a person of great courage, who was closer to an awareness of the true risk than NASA management would have us believe?

“Let us make recommendations to ensure that NASA officials deal in a world of reality in understanding technological weaknesses and imperfections well enough to be actively trying to eliminate them. They must live in reality in comparing the costs and utility of the Shuttle to other methods of entering space. And they must be realistic in making contracts, in estimating costs, and the difficulty of the projects. Only realistic flight schedules should be proposed, schedules that have a reasonable chance of being met. If in this way the government would not support them, then so be it. NASA owes it to the citizens from whom it asks support to be frank, honest, and informative, so that these citizens can make the wisest decisions for the use of their limited resources.

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” [Boldface added]

In the Epilogue of his book, Feynman makes a few points that may be of interest to readers of TWTW. In discussing the “Value of Science,” he states that physical scientists do think about social problems but realize:

 “…we don’t have any magic formula for solving social problems, that social problems are very much harder than scientific ones, and that we usually don’t get anywhere when we do think about them. (p. 240)

In the same chapter he states:

“The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty—some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.” (Boldface added p 245)

Similarly, false claims of certainty with regard to climate change are particularly disturbing to TWTW.

TWTW Special Comment: The late Harold Doiron, a distinguished scientist and engineer of the Apollo missions, included Ken Haapala in his communications with senior NASA Headquarters administrators objecting to claims that CO2 is a primary cause of climate change. Using procedures so saucerful in the Apollo missions, Doiron was the leader of The Right Climate Stuff Team which investigated the claims of that CO2 was causing dangerous global warming. They found no evidence supporting the claim that humans adding CO2 into the atmosphere is dangerous. There is no climate crisis. The senior administrators of NASA Headquarters responded that they cannot control what other entities in NASA claim. This type of response forces one to conclude that the worst of what Feynman speculated may be true.

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, https://www.therightclimatestuff.com/, and https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1965/summary/

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Reality or Fantasy? On March 25, scientists with NASA claimed that direct observations show that humans are throwing earth’s energy budget off balance. The “energy budget” is huge and varying. According to NASA reports:

“NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project studies the flow of radiation at the top of Earth’s atmosphere. A series of CERES instruments have continuously flown on satellites since 1997.”

“The team found that human activities have caused the radiative forcing on Earth to increase by about 0.5 Watts per square meter from 2003 to 2018.”

TWTW asks: Why is 8 years of data missing? This is one-third of the data. Given the history of NASA-GISS playing with numbers, there is every reason to be suspicious. Further, NOAA has Outgoing Longwave Radiation from the Equator, 160E to 160W dating to 1975. Although these data do not cover the globe, these 55 years of data show wide variations.

Looking at the 55 years of NOAA data in Outgoing Longwave Radiation from the Equator, one sees great variance. Choosing the start and end dates carefully, one can find an increasing trend, a decreasing trend or a no trend. Pick a trend!

Writing in Climate Etc., Michel de Rougemont questions the NASA findings. Writing in WUWT, Willis Eschenbach demolishes the statistical analysis. In Climate Discussion Nexus, John Robson suggests that the issue as presented is vague at best. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy and Measurement Issues – Atmosphere.

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14th ICCC Rescheduled: The 14th International Conference on Climate Change presented by The Heartland Institute has been rescheduled to October 15 to 17, 2021, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. See https://climateconference.heartland.org/

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SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD

THE JACKSON

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

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

The past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, Michael Mann, Christiana Figueres, Jerry Brown, AOC, and Neil Ferguson are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on June 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. For a list of past recipients and their accomplishments in earning this honor see http://www.sepp.org/april-fools-award.cfm

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Number of the Week: – 5%. With great fanfare the Biden Administration announced a budget with a great “investment” in infrastructure. Generally, investment implies a specific allocation of money from which the investor will receive his investment back with interest. Now, government “investment” means government spending on political goals. As Paul Mirengoff of Powerline writes:

“Many economic experts agree that significant investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure is necessary for the country’s long-term health, and spending when interest rates are this low is a wise idea. But some were surprised to see that only about 5 percent of the bill is directed toward roads and bridges, and they question why the administration is mixing other types of policies into a bill designed to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure.”

See links under Questioning Green Elsewhere and Articles.

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Censorship

Sydney Uni wants to be able to sack “disrespectful” staff

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 28, 2021

“If an academic spots potential fraud, malpractice or corruption, they’ll have to find an inoffensive way to say it. How do you say ‘incompetent crook’ politely?”

US Senator to Facebook: Kill Free Speech Now

Intelligence Committee chairman targets private companies.

By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture New, Mar 29, 2021

“Here’s odious #9: ‘Please provide my office with Facebook’s policies for informing users that they were exposed to misinformation and how Facebook plans to remedy those harms’ (my italics).”

“’10. Combatting health misinformation amplified by large social media platforms puts an additional strain on the time, resources, and budgets of public health agencies – often requiring them to spend on online ads on the very platforms amplifying and propelling misinformation they must counter. Will you commit to provide free advertising for state and local public health authorities working to combat health misinformation?’”

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-biological-impacts/

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

http://store.heartland.org/shop/ccr-ii-fossil-fuels/

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

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

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Volume 2: Appendix F – Personal Observations on Reliability of Shuttle

By R. P. Feynman, Rogers Commission, Appendix F, June 6, 1986, Accessed Mar 25, 2021

https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/51-l/docs/rogers-commission/Appendix-F.txt

What Do You Care What Other People Think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character

By Richard P. Feynman, Norton Paperback, 2001, ISBN 0-393-32092-8 pbk.

A pertinent climate question.

By Michel de Rougemont, Climate Etc. Mar 28, 2021

“However, taking into account all potential errors, the true range of validity of this imbalance may well be of the order of hundreds of percent, thus challenging the narrative of a ticking time bomb accumulated in the ocean depths.

“One final question must be addressed to the climate science community: will the heat accumulated in the oceans ever be realized by the surface climate?”

Losing One’s Balance

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Mar 27, 2021

Arm-wrestling Mother Earth

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

Defending the Orthodoxy

Direct Observations Confirm that Humans are Throwing Earth’s Energy Budget off Balance

By Sofie Bates, NASA, Mar 25, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/direct-observations-confirm-that-humans-are-throwing-earth-s-energy-budget-off-balance

Link to paper: Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing

By Ryan J. Kramer, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, Mar 25, 2021

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL091585

Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

Benefits of ‘drastic’ climate action outweigh costs: economists

By Patrick Galey, Paris (AFP), March 30, 2021

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Benefits_of_drastic_climate_action_outweigh_costs_economists_999.html

“’People who spend their careers studying our economy are in widespread agreement that climate change will be expensive, potentially devastatingly so,’ said Peter Howard, economics director at the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law, which conducted the survey.” [Boldface added]

As the President Calls for Investment in Infrastructure, Republican Lawmakers Engaged on Climate Have Never Been More Important

By Jessica Moerman & George Gemelas , Chelsea Henderson , Joseph Majkut , Danielle Butcher, and Sarah Velasquez, Real Clear Energy, Mar 31, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/03/31/as_the_president_calls_for_investment_in_infrastructure_republican_lawmakers_engaged_on_climate_have_never_been_more_important_770731.html

“Biden needs to give Republicans a seat at the table, though, to make it a win-win for all of America, both red and blue. And Republicans, for their part, must seize the opportunity to demonstrate leadership on policy to address climate change that is already affecting American businesses and communities large and small.”

Model predicts urban development and greenhouses gasses will fuel urban floods

Scientists conduct research on twin forcing agents of environmental change

Research News, NSF, Mar 30, 2021

https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=302394&WT.mc_id=USNSF_1

Link to paper: Precipitation response to climate change and urban development over the continental United States

By M Georgescu, et al, Environmental Research Letters, Mar 15, 2021

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abd8ac/meta

“The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. ‘This research reflects the emerging field of urban climate science, which is of vital relevance now and in the future,’ said Bruce Hamilton, a program director in NSF’s Directorate for Engineering.”

“We show that dynamical downscaling of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory GCM leads to projected end-of-century changes in extreme precipitation that are consistently greater compared to dynamical downscaling of the Community Earth System Model GCM for all regions except the Southeast NCA region.”

[SEPP Comment: NSF doesn’t bother testing the models against physical data to see if they has any relevance now and in the future!]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Finally – We Got the President We All Wanted

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Apr 1, 2021

https://www.newsmax.com/larrybell/april-fools-satire/2021/04/01/id/1015993/

After Paris!

COP26 climate change summit may have to be postponed again – or radically changed – due to COVID

Two government sources suggest the Glasgow summit might have to be delayed for a second time amid signs the pandemic is worsening.

By Sam Coates, Sky News, Mar 31, 2021

https://news.sky.com/story/cop26-climate-change-summit-may-have-to-be-postponed-again-or-radically-changed-due-to-covid-12261820

[SEPP Comment: How about the lack of interest from developing countries?]

Biden Raising Expectations: Announces a Two Day Virtual Global Climate Conference

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 23, 2021

Biden’s big, global climate power play

By Andrew Freedman, Axios, Mar 30, 2021

https://www.axios.com/climate-action-infrastructure-bill-paris-agreement-54bfc4d4-4793-40f9-b71d-c2c98bd9afb4.html

Change in US Administrations

White House to probe whether Trump interfered in scientific research

By Zack Budryk, The Hill, Mar 29, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/545458-white-house-to-probe-potential-trump-administration-interference-in

Link to letter: from the Office of Science and Technology, Mar 29, 2021

Signed by Jane Lubchenco and Alondra Nelson

“This presidential memorandum affirmed that it is the policy of the Biden-Harris Administration ‘to make evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data’ that are not ‘distorted or influenced by political considerations.’”

[SEPP Comment: Should the Obama Administration be probed if Jane Lubchenco interfered in scientific research when she was Administrator of NOAA? Or if the EPA endangerment finding lacked physical evidence and was based on was based on political interference with independent scientific research?]

A live conversation with Gina McCarthy

How the Biden administration plans to tackle the climate crisis in 2021, right from the top.

Video conversation between White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and Grist CEO Brady Piñero Walkinshaw, Grist, Mar 25, 2021

https://grist.org/climate/year-ahead-american-leadership-climate-gina-mccarthy/

Biden infrastructure plan includes billions for electric vehicles, building retrofitting

By Zack Budryk and Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Mar 31, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/545732-biden-infrastructure-plan-includes-billions-for-electric-vehicles

Biden Administration Sets National 30-GW Offshore Wind Target

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Mar 29, 2021

‘Go big’: Biden to launch sweeping infrastructure plan

By Jerome Cartillier, Washington (AFP) March 30, 2021

https://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Go_big_Biden_to_launch_sweeping_infrastructure_plan_999.html

Power Infrastructure Prominent in Biden’s $2.25 Trillion Blueprint

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Apr 1, 2021

Power Infrastructure Prominent in Biden’s $2.25 Trillion Blueprint (powermag.com)

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Biden’s War on CO2 – Starving Planet Earth

By Brian C. Joondeph, American Thinker, Apr 2, 2021

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/04/bidens_war_on_co2__starving_planet_earth.html

Thicker-leaved tropical plants may flourish as CO2 rises, which could be good for climate

Press Release, University of Washington, Apr 2, 2021

“A previous study by Swann’s group showed that tropical plants leaves’ becoming thicker as CO2 climbs would worsen climate change, because thicker leaves might also be smaller. Plants would then capture less sunlight for photosynthesis, absorb less carbon dioxide from the air and emit less water vapor, all exacerbating the heating due to climate change.”

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Tell us the one about Net Zero again

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

“In 1988, China had no motorways at all. And now, 38 years later, it has 84,000 miles of them. That’s more than any other country in the world. And they’re only just getting into their stride. Since 2011, they’ve been building 6,000 miles of motorway every year.”

[SEPP Comment: There may be some issue with the definition of motorway. If one assumes it is equivalent to US Interstate Highway, the US has less than 50,000 miles.]

Climate change: China absent from key UK meeting

By Matt McGrath, BBC, Mar 30, 2021

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56584575

India Unlikely To Commit To Net-Zero Emissions Target

By Charles Kennedy, Oil Price.com, Mar 30, 2021

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/India-Unlikely-To-Commit-To-Net-Zero-Emissions-Target.html

Net Zero agenda faltering: ‘Pie in the sky’:

By Staff, GWPF & BBC News, Apr 1, 2021

Science, Policy, and Evidence

U.S. Gets Ready To Go Full Venezuela On Economic Policy

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Apr 1, 2021

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-4-1-us-to-go-full-venezuela-on-economic-policy

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Using Elevated CO2 to Enhance the Nutritive Value of Alfalfa Sprouts

Almuhayawi, M.S., Hassan, A.H.A., Al Jaouni, S.K., Alkhalifah, D.H.M., Hozzein, W.N., Selim, S., AbdElgawad, H. and Khamis, G. 2021. Influence of elevated CO2 on nutritive value and health-promoting prospective of three genotypes of Alfalfa sprouts (Medicago Sativa). Food Chemistry 340: 128147, doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128147. Apr 2, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/apr/a1.php

“Commenting on their several findings the authors welcome and recommend elevated CO2 as ‘a simple and costless way with minimal challenges of application to improve the nutritive value, functionality and heal-promoting prospective of alfalfa sprouts to be a cheap but valuable source of bioactive compounds in the daily diet or used as a functional food additive to improve the nutritive value and health-promoting effects of food products.’”

Arctic Phytoplankton Demonstrate Resilience to Ocean Acidification

Hoppe, C.J.M., Wolf, K.K.E., Schuback, N., Tortell, P.D. and Rost, B. 2018. Compensation of ocean acidification effects in Arctic phytoplankton assemblages. Nature Climate Change 8: 529-533. Mar 31, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/mar/a14.php

“Such ‘high capacity to compensate for environmental variability’ is very encouraging news for those concerned about the potential effects of ocean acidification on primary producers. Clearly, out in the real world there are compensatory factors that minimize, or in this case eliminate, the negative impacts that are typically produced in the laboratory, especially in single-strain phytoplankton studies.”

Wheat Tolerance to Low Temperature Stress is Enhanced by Elevated CO2

Li, H., Liu, S., Guo, J., Liu, F., Song, F. and Li, X. 2020. Effect of the transgenerational exposure to elevated CO2 on low temperature tolerance of winter wheat: Chloroplast ultrastructure and carbohydrate metabolism. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, DOI: 10.1111/jac.12443. Mar 29, 2021

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/mar/a13.php

Model Issues

I am not a climate scientist but…

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

“Having given an eager young [Freeman] Dyson a bit of a smackdown on his graphs, [Enrico] Fermi asked how many parameters they used and was told four. “He said, ‘I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.’” Tweaking models isn’t improving the science. It’s jiggery-pokery.”

Measurement Issues — Surface

Are U.S. Climate Temperatures Accelerating To New Highs?

By Anonymous, C3 Headlines, Accessed Mar 29, 2021 [H/t Gordon Fulks]

https://www.c3headlines.com/2021/03/are-us-climate-temps-accelerating-to-new-highs.html

Cherry Picking Real Cherries

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Mar 30, 2021

National Temperature Index

USCRN, 2005 to 2021

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&parameter=anom-tavg&time_scale=p12&begyear=2005&endyear=2021&month=12

USCRN

National Temperature Index, Staff, Accessed Mar 31, 2021

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&parameter=anom-tavg&time_scale=ann&begyear=2005&endyear=2021&month=2

Is America Burning?

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Apr 1, 2021

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH Global Temperature Update for March 2021: -0.01 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Apr 2, 2021

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2021/04/uah-global-temperature-update-for-march-2021-0-01-deg-c/

Outgoing Longwave Radiation, Equator from 160E to 160W

By Staff, NOAA, Accessed Mar 31, 2021

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/olr/

Jan 1975 to current

Changing Weather

1936: The Most Extreme Year

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Mar 31, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/03/1936-the-most-extreme-year/

Changing Climate

In the deep sea, the last ice age is not yet over

Gas hydrate deposits in the Black Sea react to post-glacial climate changes

News Release, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), Mar 30, 2021

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/hcfo-itd033021.php

Link to paper: In-situ borehole temperature measurements confirm dynamics of the gas hydrate stability zone at the upper Danube deep sea fan, Black Sea

By Michael Riedel, et al. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, June 1, 2021

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0012821X2100128X?via%3Dihub

From the abstract: “This shows that the gas hydrate system in the Danube deep sea fan is still responding to climate changes initiated at the end of the last glacial maximum.”

[SEPP Comment: What is the Greenland Ice Sheet responding to?]

Changing Seas

An 8-Century Tropical Atlantic SST Reconstruction

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 29, 2021

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Long Term Changes On The Grindelwald Glacier

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 28, 2021

“It is abundantly clear that current glacial retreat in the Alps is part of a much longer sequence of natural cycles.”

Antarctic Sea Ice Grows 2 Million Sq. Km – Area As Big As Saudi Arabia. And: Hamburg Spring Arriving Later…

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 28, 2021

Lakes on Greenland Ice Sheet can drain huge amounts of water, even in winter

Using satellite data to ‘see in the dark’, researchers have shown for the first time that lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet drain during winter, a finding with implications for the speed at which the world’s second-largest ice sheet flows to the ocean.

By Staff, University of Cambridge, Accessed Apr 1, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/lakes-on-greenland-ice-sheet-can-drain-huge-amounts-of-water-even-in-winter#:~:text=The%20results%2C%20reported%20in%20the,base%20of%20the%20ice%20sheet.

Link to paper: Winter drainage of surface lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet from Sentinel-1 SAR imagery

By Corinne L. Benedek and Ian C. Willis, The Cryosphere, Apr 1, 2021

https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/15/1587/2021/

It’s Official: Greenland Has Not Warmed Since 2001: The Recent Sharp Warming Lasted From 1981-2000

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 29, 2021

Link to one paper: Greenland surface air temperature changes from 1981 to 2019 and implications for ice-sheet melt and mass-balance change

By Edward Hanna, et al. International Journal of Climatology, Aug 17, 2020

https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1002/joc.6771

Retreat Begins At Taku

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 28, 2021

[SEPP Comment: NASA calls a phase of an oscillation a retreat? What will it call the opposite phase?]

Lowering Standards

WSJ Joins Fake Media

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 30, 2021

“The reserve margin refers to the amount of excess generating capacity that must be available at all times to ensure reliability and prevent blackouts.”

Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon

Is it really just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or to get “back to normal?”

By Sarah Jaquette Ray, Scientific American, March 21, 2021

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-unbearable-whiteness-of-climate-anxiety/

Link to: Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance

By Susan Clayton, et al, American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and EcoAmerica, March 2017

Drought Getting Worse In Scotland (As It Gets Wetter!)

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 30, 2021

Richard Betts’ Gloomy Milestone

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 29, 2021

“Most people would regard the transformation of human life, from the grinding poverty of the past to the affluence of today, as good news, something to be proud of and grateful for.

“Richard Betts thinks it’s all rather gloomy:

“Prof Richard Betts MBE is Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office”

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

AAS Climate Warning: “Delay is as Dangerous as Denial”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 31, 2021

Global warming and population change both heighten future risk of human displacement due to river floods

By Pui Man Kam, et al. Environmental Research Letters, Mar 24, 2021

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abd26c

Uses IPCC scenarios plus significant population increase in Africa

Probing wet fire smoke in clouds: Can water intensify the earth’s warming?

News Release By Charles Poling, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mar 29, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2021-03-probing-clouds-earth.html

Link to paper: Humidified single-scattering albedometer (H-CAPS-PMSSA): Design, data analysis, and validation

By Christian M. Carricoa, et al. Aerosol science and Technology, Mar 23, 2021

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02786826.2021.1895430

[SEPP Comment: No data, just description of instrumentation.]

Scientists say

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Erasing The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Mar 30, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/03/erasing-the-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation/

“So far climate experts have erased the Medieval Warm period, Little Ice Age, 1940s warmth, and global cooling scare of the 1970s – and now they are working on erasing the Holocene Optimum and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation as well.”

Research: Photovoltaics can make the world fossil-free faster than expected

Press Release by Aarhus University, Mar 29, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://techxplore.com/news/2021-03-photovoltaics-world-fossil-free-faster.html

“The article examines why the integrated assessment models and partial equilibrium models used by the IPCC to form the basis for climate reports typically underestimate the role of solar photovoltaic installations in the energy systems of the future.”

[SEPP Comment: Raw promotion! No data or proof of concept, the press release announces just what needs to occur, not how it will.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Perceptions of climate impacts at odds with scientific data

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum, Apr 1, 2021

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

DeSmog Blog Founder Opens Up About the “Bad Actors” Impeding Climate Action

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 28, 2021

The One Million-Kilometer Frequent Flier – In Just 2 Years: Director Of Environmental Activist Organization!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 30, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Another neo-puritan – demanding austerity from others but claiming to be far too busy to live austerely.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Choo choo gobble

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

“To take one trivial example, the Canadian government just established a “Net-Zero Advisory Body” to tell it how to do what it already says it knows how to do. Never mind that there’s also a federal public service containing over 300,000 souls, a surprising increase since 2017. Apparently these dedicated, skilled, highly paid public servants lack the expertise to, say, develop a carbon tax.”

Questioning European Green

The RSPB, wind farms and a change of direction

By Andrew Montford, The Conservative Woman, April 1, 2021

“The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales”

“Explosive” German Government Audit Report: ‘Energiewende’ Has Become “A Danger For All Of Germany”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 31, 2021

“Underestimating the need for reserve power plants

“The auditors also doubt that the need for reserve power plants was properly determined and that should the government continue its current course with the Energiewende, costs will not only explode, but the risks of grid instability will rise.”

Green energy transition has turned into an existential threat to German economy, Federal Audit Office warns

By Staff, Die Welt, Via GWPF, Mar 31, 2021

“The report is also explosive due to the fact that the auditors had already submitted their criticism to the responsible Federal Ministry of Economics. The answers, explanations and justifications of the ministry, led by CDU politician Peter Altmaier, were incorporated into the auditor’s report. However, these could not significantly soften the conclusions of the auditors.”

The American Petroleum Institute did what? Because climate?

By David Middleton, WUWT, Mar 29, 2021

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Biden’s Farcical Infrastructure Bill

By Paul Mirengoff, Powerline, Mar 31, 2021

Green Jobs

Biden To Use Job Creation To Sell His Green Energy Plan

By Ailsa Chang, NPR, Mar 30, 2021

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/982805719

Funding Issues

Biden Is Too Worried About the Deficit, Not Worried Enough About Climate Change

His infrastructure plan was supposed to be his big shot at climate legislation. It’s not nearly enough.

By Kate Aronoff, New Republic, Mar 31, 2021

https://newrepublic.com/article/161878/biden-worried-deficit-not-worried-enough-climate-change

To meet the emissions targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, experts estimate the United States government will need to spend at least $1 trillion annually, or between 3 to 5 percent of GDP, for a decade. President Biden’s infrastructure plan, unveiled Wednesday amid much fanfare about its climate commitments, doesn’t come close.

Climate Groups Call on Kerry to Shut Off Wall Street Funds

By Staff, Newsmax, Mar 31, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://www.newsmax.com/headline/fin-gen-industries-ins/2021/03/31/id/1015836/?ns_mail_uid=9af78cd4-7188-4875-ba2c-e930f35496ab&ns_mail_job=DM205735_03312021&s=acs&dkt_nbr=010502puoqvs

Perceptions of climate impacts at odds with scientific data

Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum, Apr 1, 2021

“John Kerry, US presidential envoy for climate change and former secretary of state, said ‘we can’t just willy-nilly ignore the next 10 years’.”

US Shouldn’t Squander Financial Leverage at United Nations

By Brett Schaefer, The Daily Signal, Mar 31, 2021

https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/03/31/us-shouldnt-squander-financial-leverage-at-united-nations/?utm_source=TDS_Email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CapitolBell&utm_content=httpswwwdailysignalcom20210331usshouldntsquanderfinancialleverageatunitednationsutmsourcerssutmmediumrssutmcampaignusshouldntsquanderfinancialleverageatunitednations&mkt_tok=ODI0LU1IVC0zMDQAAAF8LgQaF0wf-3L_TyPK-tDl_KQWmcyjtVfLXQis9qwEPK9JP_rWkUdKxCxJ9BBfNV1NnjdJ0Spyver0OCCbzmhWhZqW_U6o_fPORrTLnkkFugNQpA

“In an article Monday in Foreign Policy magazine, former U.N. Ambassadors Madeleine Albright, John Negroponte, and Thomas Pickering call for the U.S. to pay its arrears to the United Nations to ‘regain credibility and moral authority.’”

[SEPP Comment: Does the UN have any credibility and moral authority?]

Litigation Issues

Big win for common sense: New York City Loses Appeal Seeking to Hold Oil Firms Liable “Global Warming”

A big win for pro-energy groups today out of the 2nd Circuit Court

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 1, 2021

[SEPP Comment: The Arab oil embargo resulted in US energy requiring coal-fired power plants. The economic growth of Asia greatly expanding coal-fired power plants. Does the New York City attorneys consider, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell are responsible and liable for the Arab oil embargo?]

The Supreme Scientists speak

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

“The constitutional challenge to Canada’s carbon tax face-planted last Thursday, with the Supreme Court ruling 6-3 in favour of the federal government’s legislation for reasons that ranged from quite plausible to utterly wrong.”

“In short, those who lost the challenge did so partly because once again they attempted to rally round the white flag, agreeing that man-made GHGs are creating an international crisis likely to destroy civilization and then saying but surely our national government can’t do anything about them.”

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Scrap VAT On EVs–Daily Express

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 27, 2021

The public just isn’t buying the climate agenda

The Tories’ Green Homes Grant scheme is yet another failure of green policymaking.

By Ben Pile, Spiked, Mar 31, 2021

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/03/31/the-public-just-isnt-buying-the-climate-agenda/

“The public’s willingness to meet the costs and consequences of Net Zero remains untested, and there exists no evidence of support for it. Meanwhile, there exists three policy failures in a row, with each government only building on the failures of the last. Given that politicians seem to be the last to learn from their failures, the next step will likely be a much more aggressive intervention, which will fail all the more catastrophically.”

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA chief to replace Trump appointees on science advisory panels

By Zack Budryk, The Hill, Mar 31, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/545764-epa-chief-to-replace-trump-appointees-science-advisory-panels

“’Scientific integrity is one of EPA’s foundational values – and as Administrator, I am committed to ensuring that every decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards,’ Regan said in a statement Wednesday.”

Energy Dept. pushes to reverse Trump-era rule on efficiency standards

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Apr 1, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/546035-energy-department-to-propose-reversal-on-trump-hurdles-to

Energy Issues – Non-US

Only authoritarian rule can deliver Net Zero, Lord Deben admits

By Staff, GWPF, Mar 30, 2021

Link to article: Deben: We aren’t delivering on climate change

The chair of the Climate Change Committee has branded the delivery of efforts by the government to decarbonise the economy as “crap” and called for the establishment of a “powerful” body to oversee them.

Paywalled

UK government scraps green homes grant after six months

£1.5bn scheme at heart of Boris Johnson’s ‘build back better’ promise has struggled since launch

By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, Mar 27, 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/27/uk-government-scraps-green-homes-grant-after-six-months

Energy Issues – Australia

Talk green, vote brown, mate

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 31, 2021

Link to article: If 80% of Australians care about climate action, why don’t they vote like it?

By Rebecca Colvin and Frank Jotzo, The Conversation, Mar 24, 2021

https://theconversation.com/if-80-of-australians-care-about-climate-action-why-dont-they-vote-like-it-157050

Energy Issues — US

Environmental Justice campaign to replace New York City peaking power plants

By Roger Caiazza, Climate Etc. Apr 2, 2021

[SEPP Comment: And replace them with wind and solar that fail on hot, sweltering nights. Environmental justice, force the poor onto streets from the lack of air-conditioning.]

Report: New York City’s Cost to Electrify Would Be More Than $25,000 Per Home

By Menyae Christopher, Energy in Depth, Mar 24, 2021

Link to report: The Hidden Cost of New York City’s Natural Gas Ban

By Staff, Consumer Energy Alliance, Accessed Mar 31, 2021

[SEPP Comment: The city is already electrified; this is the cost of re-electrifying it.]

Washington’s Control of Energy

Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050?

By Roger Caiazza, WUWT, Mar 31, 2021

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Facts, Not Unfounded Fears, Should Drive Policy on Methane Emissions

By Tyler Corder, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mar 4, 2021

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Land-Intensive Renewables: Three TW of Wind and Solar = 228,000 sq. miles

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Apr 1, 2021

[SEPP Comment: How many thousands of tons of concrete and steel? How much land altered for the “rare earths”?]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Professor Qingwei Ma seeks to unlock the potential of marine wave energy

“The City University of London academic will lead on the development of a new generation modelling suite, combining machine learning techniques, for the survivability of wave energy converters in marine environments.”

News Release, City University, London, Mar 30, 2021

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/cul-pqm033021.php

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage

California installing 1.7 gigawatts of battery storage to avoid blackouts

By Joseph Choi, The Hill, Apr 1, 2021

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/546001-california-installing-17-gigawatts-of-battery-storage-to-avoid

California to Test Whether Big Batteries Can Stop Summer Blackouts

The state is set to become a global test case in using batteries to back up wind and solar power

By David R Baker, Bloomberg Green, Apr 1, 2021

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-01/to-avoid-blackouts-california-s-installing-more-big-batteries-than-all-of-china?srnd=premium&sref=KQPtNSUL

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Electric Vehicles: Home Charging

By Geoffrey Pohanka, Real Clear Energy, Mar 31, 2021

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/03/31/electric_vehicles_home_charging_770485.html

Oh Mann!

Update On Michael Mann v. Mark Steyn Litigation

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Mar 29, 2021

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-3-29-update-on-michael-mann-v-mark-steyn-litigation

Other News that May Be of Interest

Maths is racist because it requires a “right” answer

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 31, 2021

The Rat Island Saga

By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Mar 29, 2021

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE

Army To Roll Out Electric Tanks To Fight Climate Change!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 30, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Replace the ceramic armor with solar panels?]

The Strategist: Navies Must Go Zero Carbon

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 30, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Return of the age of sail?]

Claim: Great Barrier Reef Set to Disappear Because of Global Warming

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 1, 2021

Inequality by Way of Government

Capitalism is blamed, but ‘opportunity gaps’ are more often the fruit of state policies.

By Andy Kessler, WSJ, March 28, 2021

https://www.wsj.com/articles/inequality-by-way-of-government-11616950304?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

State of Georgia Helping Delta Airlines Reduce CO2 Emissions

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 2, 2021

ARTICLES

Biden Defines Infrastructure Down

Now it’s mostly about green-energy subsidies and payments to social workers.

Editorial, WSJ, Apr 1, 2021

https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-builds-government-back-bigger-11617231190?mod=opinion_major_pos1

TWTW Summary: The editorial sates:

“Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic presidential nomination, but you wouldn’t know from President Biden’s first two months in office. First came $1.9 trillion in social spending under the cover of Covid-19, and now comes $2.3 trillion more for climate and political spending dressed as ‘infrastructure. ‘

“Most Americans think of infrastructure as roads, highways, bridges and other traditional public works. That’s why it polls well, and every President has supported more of it.

“Yet this accounts for a mere $115 billion of Mr. Biden’s proposal. There’s another $25 billion for airports and $17 billion for ports and waterways that also fill a public purpose. The rest of the $620 billion earmarked for  ‘transportation ‘ are subsidies for green energy and payouts to unions for the jobs his climate regulation will kill. This is really a plan to build government back bigger than it has ever been.

***

“The magnitude of spending is something to behold. There’s $85 billion for mass transit plus $80 billion for Amtrak, which is on top of the $70 billion that Congress appropriated for mass transit in three Covid spending bills. The money is essentially a bailout for unions, whose generous pay and benefits have captured funds meant for subway and rail repairs.

“Mr. Biden also proposes to build  ‘broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas ‘ by subsidizing government-owned and nonprofit networks. But the Trump Federal Communications Commission unleashed private broadband investment by liberating providers from Obama net neutrality rules, streamlining regulations and limiting how much cities could extort them to install 5G sites. In 2019 providers built over 46,000 cell sites, up from a mere 708 in 2016.

“Then there’s $174 billion for electric vehicles, including money to build 500,000 charging stations and for consumer ‘incentives’ on top of the current $7,500 federal tax credit to buy an EV. Electric cars are fine with us if they can compete on their own merits. But they are still too expensive for most Americans, and their limited battery range makes them impractical outside metropolitan areas.

“No matter. Democrats believe that if government subsidizes EVs enough, Americans will buy them. If not, they will eventually be forced to, as California has signaled it will do. The United Auto Workers has warned EVs will destroy jobs, but Mr. Biden promises that cars will be made by workers with ‘good’—i.e., union—jobs. Will non-unionized auto makers not qualify for subsidies?

“Mr. Biden also wants to force-feed green energy onto the U.S. electric grid—especially after the embarrassment of the last year’s power outages in California and Texas due to their over-reliance on solar and wind. He wants $100 billion to ‘decarbonize’ the grid by 2035—e.g., banish coal and natural gas.

“This will require 20 gigawatts of ‘high-voltage capacity power lines’ to transport solar power from California to Texas and wind power in reverse. Good luck getting the permits to build those lines, as environmental groups have blocked transmission lines to transport hydropower from Canada to the Northeast.

On that point, missing from the Biden plan is any mention of easing National Environmental Policy Act reviews. These have delayed and raised costs for countless public works over the years, and Donald Trump wanted Congress to streamline permitting. Democrats refused, and Mr. Biden doesn’t seem to care how long these projects will take.

Mr. Biden is also redefining infrastructure as social-justice policy and income redistribution. He promises to target 40% of ‘climate and clean ‘investments’ to ‘disadvantaged communities’—defined in part by race—and tie federal spending to union prevailing wages.

His plan also includes $213 billion for affordable housing, $100 billion for retrofitting public schools, $25 billion for child-care facilities and $400 billion for increasing home-health care.  ‘We think that caregiving is an essential American infrastructure,’ says Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry.

***

Note the political irony of all this. Mr. Biden says ‘public investment’ has fallen as a share of the economy since the 1960s, and he has a point. But the main reason is that government spending on social welfare, entitlements and public unions have squeezed out public works. Now he’s redefining social welfare as public works to drive more social-welfare spending, which will further crowd out money for public works and government R&D to compete against China.

The editorial continues with a political conclusion.

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Joseph Zorzin
April 5, 2021 5:07 am

“New England’s solar growth is creating tension over who pays for grid upgrades”
subtitled, “National Grid’s territory in Rhode Island and Massachusetts is one of several areas where solar developers, utilities and state regulators are grappling with how to pay for the growing cost of connecting projects to the grid.”

https://energynews.us/2021/04/05/new-englands-solar-growth-is-creating-tension-over-who-pays-for-grid-upgrades/

“Solar developers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts say soaring charges to interconnect with the electric grid are threatening the viability of projects.”

duh…. I thought “clean and green” energy would is supposed to be extremely cheap!

LdB
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 5, 2021 5:47 am

Investors in Australian wind farmer AGL just took a $2 Billion loss and investment in renewables is down 70% as this is tip of iceberg.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/how-agl-lost-nearly-2-billion-from-its-early-push-into-wind-farms/

Last edited 3 months ago by LdB
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  LdB
April 5, 2021 5:59 am

Maybe, centuries from now- a few wind turbines will still be standing- not working of course- and they’ll be looked at like we look at Roman ruins. At least with the Roman ruins, we are amazed at their brilliant engineering- but those future folks will be amazed at the ignorance of the current times and its foolish fear of the “climate emergency”. Of course they’ll all be speaking in Chinese, the future “lingua franca”.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 5, 2021 8:12 am

The Left sez subsidies for green energy is justified…the end justifies the means….they are trying to save the planet…electric car subsidies are fine…it’s all good…..for the Cause….pay no attention to opposition…they are not woke. Lying cheating stealing is not immoral if for the Cause…all things are justified for the Cause.

Coach Springer
April 5, 2021 6:21 am

The buried led in the number of the week: 95% of the $2 Trillion infrastructure spending isn’t for infrastructure. Unless you’re referring to infrastructure of government.

Kevin kilty
April 5, 2021 6:53 am

We’ve made progress. We’ve gone from…

“When one of them couldn’t answer a question, Mr. Rogers [an attorney and former Secretary of State] would assure him that we understood he wasn’t expecting such detailed questions, and that we were satisfied for the time being at least, by the perpetual answer, ‘We’ll get that information to you later.’”

To…

“I’ll circle back to you…”

Kevin kilty
April 5, 2021 7:26 am

Lots of predictable bad news this week from predictable sources …

Who needs the CCP when we have the Senate?

US Senator to Facebook: Kill Free Speech Now

Intelligence Committee chairman targets private companies.

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M Courtney
April 5, 2021 10:13 am

Being suspicious of the claims that anyone was suggesting Mathematics is racist, I followed the links. 
And I’m not sure it really is claiming it’s racist. But it’s also clearly trying to destroy maths. It’s trying to turn it into one of the humanities.

The most obvious such twist is the idea that precision and accuracy are not to be prioritised in mathematics. It doesn’t explain what the point of inaccurate, imprecise mathematics would be.
From “Stride 1” we get this section. . .

April
How can I facilitate deeper understanding?
The focus is on getting the “right” answer.
Instead…
The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.
Choose problems that have complex, competing, or multiple answers.
Verbal Example: Come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem.
Classroom Activity: Challenge standardized test questions by getting the “right” answer, but justify other answers by unpacking the assumptions that are made in the problem.
Classroom Activity: Deconstructed Multiple Choice – given a set of multiple choice answers, students discuss why these answers may have been included (can also be used to highlight common mistakes).
Professional Development: Study the purpose of math education, and re-envision it. Schooling as we know it began during the industrial revolution, when precision and accuracy were highly valued. What are the myriad ways we can conceptualize mathematics in today’s world and beyond?
Engage with true problem solving.
Verbal Example: What are some strategies we can use to engage with this problem?
Classroom Activity: Using a set of data, analyze it in multiple ways to draw different conclusions.
Professional Development: Study the art of problem solving by engaging in rich, complex mathematical problems. Consider whether your own content knowledge is sufficient to allow you to problem solve through math without the strategies you typically use.

Last edited 3 months ago by M Courtney
Reply to  M Courtney
April 5, 2021 10:28 am

2 + 2 is around 3.5 to 4.5 – why not ? 😀

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