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    Editor’s Comment: The following Articles and Links are for those of you who are serious about hearing from true science. There is a lot of information here so scroll down and click on a link you might be interested in.


    The Week That Was: 2017-05-06 (May 6, 2017)
    Brought to You by SEPP
    The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by deductions from the smallest possible number of hypotheses.” – Albert Einstein

    Number of the Week: 79 to 1

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

    Hard Center? Writing in the “Hard Center” publication Merion West, Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Emeritus, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presents a clear explanation of the major problems involved with blaming climate change on carbon dioxide emissions. He explores some of the memes used by the climate establishment, and its supporters. These are concepts frequently used and accepted by many people without logic or evidence. To Lindzen, these memes are evidence of the dishonesty of the alarmist position that carbon dioxide emissions are causing a climate catastrophe such as dangerous global warming.

    Lindzen starts with the meme: 97% of scientists agree, which was exposed as a myth by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer in the Wall Street Journal. Another mime is “warmest years on record,” which covers many misconceptions. The prior warmest year, since about 1850 in the surface record, was 1998. A slight increase above that is immediately seized as evidence of dire global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, even though it cannot be felt by humans, given the enormous temperature range existing on the globe each day.

    As Lindzen shows, from 1850 the “Globally Averaged Deviations from Average Temperatures Plotted on a Scale Relevant to the Individual Station Deviations” are remarkably stable over time. It is only by manipulating scales for visual impact, called “chartsmanship’, that the change appears significant. When Lindzen adds the range of uncertainty in the measurements, the record is far from clear. The same applies to the influence of carbon dioxide (CO2).

    Similarly, Lindzen demolishes other memes; including extreme weather, sea level rise, Arctic sea ice, polar bear endangerment, ocean acidification, and death of coral reefs. These memes lead those who are not sceptics to accept that CO2 causes global warming and that global warming is the cause of everything.

    Lindzen demonstrates the foolishness of using Venus as the model for run-away CO2 warming. Venus is close to the sun and has dense sulfuric acid clouds. [He does not mention that the atmospheric pressure at the surface is over 90 times that of the earth, and that it has lapse rate, showing that temperature is related to atmospheric pressure.]

    Lindzen’s concluding paragraph bears quoting:

    “I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So, do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.” [Boldface added.]

    See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

    Paris Agreement: It appears that the Trump Administration may decide what to do about the Paris Agreement in the coming week or two.
    As discussed in prior TWTWs, at the last minute the Obama administration revised the Paris Agreement to make it appear it was an executive agreement, not a treaty. To have US participation, all other participating nations signed the revised agreement, many after signing the original. There is an extensive history of US executive agreements with foreign powers. But, not one so binding onto the general population and the economy as is the Paris Agreement.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Darwall presents a lucid argument why the Paris Agreement should be submitted to the Senate as a treaty, with a recommendation for disapproval. Then, it would be voted upon by the legislators, requiring a two-thirds approval. Based on many arguments for alternative approaches, this appears to be the most straight-forward and conclusive procedure – and may be the most politically astute. The Constitution treats treaties seriously, for they become binding laws of the US.

    Other views are presented, including the lament by former EPA scientist Alan Carlin that the deficiencies in the science supporting the Paris Agreement are not being discussed. Based on the science, if implemented, the Agreement will really accomplish little or nothing in controlling, or moderating, the climate. Perhaps, if the evidence for the scientific basis were frankly discussed, more of the public would realize that for western nations, the Agreement is an economic version of Russian Roulette. See Article # 1 and links under Defending the Orthodoxy, After Paris!, and Change in US Administrations.

    Simplified Model — Update: As stated by Richard Lindzen, above, the earth’s climate system consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. It is enormously complex to describe accurately, and extremely difficult to model with a reasonable degree of accuracy, within 2%. For over 35 years, global climate modelers have been trying the model the system, without much progress. Despite glowing reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and similar political organizations such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the modeling fails to accurately track atmospheric temperatures, where the greenhouse effect occurs.

    As discussed in last week’s TWTW, independent researchers Wallace, Christy, & D’Aleo (WCD) have produced two reports, the second one published online in April. The authors contacted TWTW to explain that the latest research effort was separate and distinct from the earlier research effort published online in August 2016.

    Both research efforts tested the hypothesis of a Tropical Hot Spot and the validity of the EPA finding that CO2 emissions endanger public health and welfare. Both efforts used econometric simultaneous equation parameter estimation techniques. Both reports used the same Tropical, Contiguous U.S., and Global Temperature datasets as the dependent variable, temperatures. The balloon datasets start in 1959 and the satellite datasets start in 1979.

    The primary distinction between the August 2016 report and the April 2017 report was an increase in the independent variables, the explanatory variables. The August report used only carbon dioxide (CO2) and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as the explanatory variables. [NOAA’s Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is used.] The subsequent April report add volcanic activity and solar activity as explanatory variables. Even though volcanoes are relatively short-lived, the cooling effect of heavy volcanic activity in the early part of the satellite record probably lowered temperatures for that period, giving a warming trend that falsely may be attributed to CO2.

    Both reports show that at least 75% of temperature variability since 1959 can be explained without any increasing CO2 as an explanatory variable. These results contradict the findings of the IPCC, the USGCRP, the EPA, etc. claiming that the primary cause of global warming or temperature change is CO2.

    Importantly, the simultaneous equation parameter estimation techniques produce useful information for policy decisions without need for understanding of the complex climate processes involved. The detailed understanding is desirable. But, the US spent decades and over $40 billion on climate science without any significant improvement in stated climate modeling results. Policy decisions should be based on what is demonstrated, not based on a promise of what may come. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

    Physical Limits and Technical Limits: In high school mathematics, many students learned about asymptotes – as a curve approaches a limit (usually shown by a straight line) the curve tends to infinity. For example, graphed on Cartesian coordinates, the function f(x) = 1/x becomes asymptotic as the values of x approach the x and y axes.

    In the first of a series of podcasts (with text) on energy, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark Mills describes why he believes “Shale Crushes Solar.” Solar and wind power are approaching their physical limits of efficiency – asymptotic limits. Solar panels and turbines can be made only so efficient. Short-term reduction in manufacturing costs are illusionary in that there is no significant growth in efficiency to be achieved, unless breakthroughs in the process of generating electricity from solar and wind happen.

    By contrast, Mills asserts that we are experiencing the beginnings of major technological breakthrough in the production of oil and gas from shale. These advances are coming from small and medium companies in the oil and gas industries scarcely known ten years ago. In a few months, the companies recovered from an oil price collapse and are roaring forward. The firms are just starting to apply the technical knowledge of the digital industry. At this point, there are no physical limits or constraints, except that which may be invented by politicians.

    In the second podcast, Mills discusses demand (or consumption) and has some surprising views as well. The primary increase in future electricity demand will not be from electric vehicles, but from the Information Technology (IT) industry. It takes enormous amounts of electricity to manufacture and operate electronic devices, such as cell phones. IT uses more energy that all air transportation. Today, if IT were ranked as country, in total consumption it would be ranked as number three in the world, behind China and the US. The number of electronic devices is growing enormously, and will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US

    Grid Storage: According to energy engineer Donn Dears, the California frim Pacific Gas & Electric reported on an 18-month trial of electricity storage on the grid encompassing 6 MW of storage at two sites. “The specific storage hardware examined was sodium-sulfur batteries, which are at the high end of the technology maturity scale and the low end of the cost spread for storage options of similar performance, having been used at utility scale in several nations for 25 years.” A 2MW/14MWh sodium-sulfur battery storage array cost approximately $11 million ($5,500/kW, $783/kWh) to build.

    Dears estimated that the costs must come down to $200 / KW to achieve break-even. This is 27 times below the costs of the trial. Further the actual battery life is about 10 years and the storage capacity must be 30 minutes, not 15 minutes used in the PG&E study. Dears had other issues with the study. Even a report of the trial concluded:

    • “California ratepayers could expect to pay billions of dollars for the deployment and operations of these resources.”
    • “There has been no breakthrough in electricity storage technology that delivers all the requisite features of high energy density, high power, long life, high roundtrip efficiency, safe handling, and competitive cost.”
    • “Clearly, batteries of any type are not a viable method for storing electricity. They are not a substitute for fossil fuel power plants.”

    Things are not promising for Californians who enjoy their electronic devises, unless they build gas-fired power plants to back up the solar and wind power facilities being installed. Then, why not just forget the solar and wind? See link under Energy Issues — US

    Political Arrogance – Australia: Writing in Energy Matters, Roger Andrews presented several posts on the failure of the grid in South Australia, predominantly from the failure of wind farms. This week he wrote:

    “Adequate energy storage is critical to the success of the proposed global transition to a low-carbon future based on intermittent renewables generation, and work done by Energy Matters and others shows that very large amounts of storage will be needed to smooth out intermittent power delivery to the point where it can be readily admitted to the grid. Yet the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia have now concluded that Australian grids can easily admit up to 50% renewable generation without adding any more backup storage at all – and this despite the recent blackouts in South Australia. How do they arrive at this remarkable conclusion?”

    CSIRO is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia. See Links under Energy Issues – Australia

    Number of the Week: 79 to 1: Much has been made in the press about the number of Americans employed in the solar industry. According to the New York Times “Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal.” In 2016, the solar industry employed 373,807 Americans, coal 160,119 and wind about 100,000. Perry produced Department of Energy statistics that showed coal industry produced 1.24 billion MWh of electricity or 7,745 per worker; while Solar produced 36.75 million MWh of electricity, or 98 per worker. Thus, it takes 79 workers in solar to produce that of 1 worker in coal.

    Of course, such comparisons have errors. Many of the solar workers are installing facilities, while many of the coal workers are using existing facilities. Conversely, coal-fired power plants are reliable, solar facilities are not. In part, the disparity explains why solar generation is so expensive to utilities and the consumer as compared to coal generation. See link under Energy Issues – US.


    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 five past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz and John Holdren are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Thank you. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in August.


    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Thoughts on the Public Discourse over Climate Change
    By Richard Lindzen, Merion West, Apr 25, 2017…

    Invalidating the EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding
    By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Apr 24, 2017…
    Link to Abridged Report: On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2Endangerment Finding
    By Wallace, Christy, & D’Aleo, April 2017

    U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
    Testimony of John R. Christy, Mar 29, 2017…

    Marches for Science Vs Actual Science
    By John Hinderaker, Power Line, May 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Discusses the paper by Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo.]

    New Study Confirms: The Warming ‘Pause’ Is Real and Revealing
    By David Whitehouse, GWPF, May 4, 2017…
    Link to paper: Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus’
    By Medhaug, Stoipe, Fischer & Knutti, Nature, May 3, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: The abstract starts: Between about 1998 and 2012, a time that coincided with political negotiations for preventing climate change, the surface of Earth seemed hardly to warm. [Boldface added:] Will stopping CO2 emissions stop climate change, which has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years?]

    Back to Climate Science: Obama’s EPA ‘Endangerment’ Finding Under Legal Review (TPPF plays offense re the green greenhouse gas)
    By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, May 4, 2017…
    Link to petition by Texas Public Policy Foundation
    Liberty v. Environmental Protection Agency Petition, May 2, 2017…

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    U.S. will lose jobs if it quits Paris climate deal: U.N.
    By Tom Miles, Reuters, May 4, 2017…
    “The United States will shoot itself in the foot if it quits the Paris climate accord because China, India and Europe will snap up the best power sector jobs in future, U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim said on Thursday.”
    [SEPP Comment: The green revolution heavily depends on subsidies and mandates. Why are subsidized green jobs the best?]

    Why India and Pakistan Are Renewing Their Love Affair with Coal
    One nation is shirking emissions targets and the other is investing in more coal plants—but with America as a role model, that’s hardly surprising.
    By Jamie Condiffe, MIT Technology Review, May 3, 2017…
    “If the supposed leader of the free world doesn’t think that drastic emissions reduction is a priority, why should India and Pakistan—or any country that believes burning more fossil fuels will enhance economic growth?”
    [SEPP Comment: For the sake of the poor in South Asia, should the wealthy US be a role model? In the 1870s in the US, fossil fuels superseded wood and muscle power as the primary energy sources. Should the US go back to the days of smoky fires and horse manure?]

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    There Has Been No ‘Global’ Warming In The Southern Hemisphere, Equatorial Regions
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, May 4, 2017…

    Giving Nature’s “Hiatus” Paper a Closer Read
    By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 5, 2017…
    Link to paper: Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus’
    By Medhaug, Stolpe, Fischer & Knutti, Nature, May 4, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Did Nature respond to negotiations for the Paris Agreement?]

    IUCN Specialist Group now rejects polar bear numbers it used for 2015 IUCN Red List review
    By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, May 1, 2017…

    After Paris!

    The Strange Absence of Science in the Paris “Treaty” Discussion
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, May 5, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Would a discussion of the science may bring up an awkward question as to the purpose: Is it to play an economic version of Russian Roulette?]

    The Legal and Economic Case Against the Paris Climate Treaty
    Canceling U.S. Participation Protects Competitiveness and the Constitution
    By Christopher C. Horner, Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI, May 3, 2017…

    Architect Of Paris Agreement Undercuts Arguments In Favor Of The Climate Deal
    By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 4, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: This key issue is can a country reduce its pledges to cut back CO2 emissions. It can always intensify them.]

    India Admits It Will Miss Coal Emissions Targets
    By Staff Writers, Financial Times, May 3, 2017…
    “India is not a polluter. It’s America and the western world that has to first stop polluting. India is doing its bit far more than we are responsible” he said. “We don’t have enough domestic capacity to meet this requirement in such a short period.” [Piyush Goyal, the power minister]

    Inside the Coal Industry’s Split Over The Paris Agreement
    By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 2, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: It depends on the individual company’s involvement in other mining activities.]

    Change in US Administrations

    Pull out of Paris climate deal, energy group tells Trump
    The president said shortly after the November election he had an “open mind” on the multilateral agreement.
    By Daniel Graeber, UPI, May 1, 2017 [H/t GWPF]…

    Critics increase pressure on Paris climate deal as Trump mulls exit
    By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, May 3, 2017…

    EPA chief: US needs coal to protect electric grid
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 3, 2017…

    Seeking a Common Ground

    Getting things in the right perspective
    By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, May 5, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: What will happen with Brexit and the UK elections?]

    Bret Stephens’ skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources
    By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Apr 29, 2017…

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    The Impacts of Urban Heat Islands on Natural Warming Trends
    Quereda, J., Monton, E., Quereda, V. and Molla, B. 2016. Significant Climate Warming (1950-2013) in the Spanish Mediterranean: Natural Trend or Urban Heat Island (UHI). Tethys 13: 11-20. May 5, 2017…
    “And so they conclude by stating that ‘in these Western Mediterranean cities, the Urban Heat Island could account for up to 80% of the recorded warming.’”

    Trends in U.S. Mangrove Area Over the Past 35 years
    Giri, C. and Long, J. 2016. Is the geographic range of mangrove forests in the conterminous United States really expanding? Sensors 16: doi:10.3390/s16122010. May 4, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: After a decline, improving.]

    The Increasing Sea Ice of the Southern Ocean (1992-2008)
    He, L.Y., Ke., C.Q., Zhou, X., Cui, Y.N. and Shan, L. 2016. Antarctic sea ice change based on a new sea ice dataset from 1992 to 2008. Climate Research 71: 155-169. May 2, 2017…

    Measurement Issues — Surface

    Global Temperatures Plunge 0.5 deg Celsius in April
    By Staff Writers, GWPF, Apr 29, 2017…

    Global temperatures plunge in April – “the pause” returns
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 1, 2017…

    Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

    UAH Global Temperature Update for April, 2017: +0.27 deg. C
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 1, 2017…

    Changing Weather

    Colorado Climate March Postponed Due to Heavy Snow
    Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 1, 2017…

    Changing Climate

    Scientists Explore Groundwater in the Sahel with Nuclear Technology
    By Laura Gil, IAEA, May 2, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Though not discussed, the age of the water would be interesting to determine past rainfall patterns in the Sahel and the Sahara, which may be related to changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The latest wet phase was known as the African Humid Period (early Holocene).]

    Wet phases in the Sahara/Sahel region and human migration patterns in North Africa
    By Isla S. Castañeda, et al. PNAS, Nov 12, 2009…

    Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

    Evolution of Arctic Sea Ice in the Pre- and Post-Satellite Era
    By Ronan Connolly, Michael Connolly & Willie Soon, Journal Hydrological Sciences, Via GWPF, April 2017…
    Accepted author version:

    What The Economist Didn’t Tell You about Greenland’s Ice
    By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 2, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: What appears initially appears as significant ice lose, when put into context, becomes insignificant.]

    Alarmists Gone Wild: Greenland losing 400 cubic km ice cubes per year!!!
    Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, May 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Putting Greenland ice loss in perspective.]

    Global Science Report: Antarctic Updates
    By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Problems in measurements of Antarctic sea ice since April 2016?]

    Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than thought
    Press Release, By Staff Writers, University of Leeds, May 2, 2017…
    Link to paper: Increased ice flow in Western Palmer Land linkedto ocean melting
    By Anna Hogg, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, May 2, 2017…

    Changing Earth

    What will El Niño be like in the future? For answers, scientists look to the past
    Caribbean ocean temperatures preserved in 5-million-year-old corals provide clues
    By Staff Writers, NSF, May 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Comparing today and 5 million years ago, before closure of the Caribbean seaway, misses the important point: As the earth warmed and cooled over the past 3.5 million years, did the patterns of El Niños change?]

    Un-Science or Non-Science?

    Inconvenient study concludes: warmer temperatures lead to a more stable climate
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 2, 2017…
    Link to paper: State dependence of climatic instability over the past 720,000 years from Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling
    By Dome Fuji Ice Core Project Members, Kenji Kawamura, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Hideaki Motoyama1, Science Advances, Feb 8, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Used model simulations in an attempt to answer a key question: Why does the most instability occur when there is an intermediate climate during a glacial period, rather than during an interglacial period, such as we are currently experiencing, or during the coldest part of a glacial period?]

    Lowering Standards

    Today in the Annals of Science
    By Steven Hayward, Power Line, May 4, 2017…
    Controversial microplastics study to be retracted
    “The authors of a high-profile paper about the dangers of fish consuming small particles of plastic say that they will retract their study, after an investigation found them ‘guilty of scientific dishonesty’ and raised the possibility that some of the research described ‘was not conducted’.”

    ABC pushing “suppressed scientists” story but misses that CSIRO won’t even employ a skeptic
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog May 2, 2017…

    Climate Change, Tornadoes and Junk Science at Michigan State!
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 5, 2017

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

    Rising carbon dioxide levels, ocean acidity may change crucial marine process
    By Staff Writers, Tallahassee FL (SPX), May 01, 2017…

    Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

    NYT subscribers dropping paper over climate column
    By Staff Writers, CNN, Apr 30, 2017 [H/t Cork Hayden]…

    Questioning European Green

    Uncontrolled Infusion Of Green Electricity Leads To Record-Breaking NEGATIVE Power Prices
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 3, 2017…

    Extreme Market Distortion: German Power Prices Could Be Negative 1000 Hours A Year!
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 5, 2017…
    Early this year Germany’s federal budget office determined that “the Ministry of Economics had in fact no overview of the financial impacts of the Energiewende” and that policymakers had “underestimated the impacts of renewable energy on the entire energy system“

    Europe’s Trend Of CO2 Reductions Seems To Have Stopped
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 5, 2017
    [SEPP Comment: At least briefly.]

    Numbers don’t lie: Germany’s Energiewende has had zero impact on emissions – at best
    Guest essay by Alberto Z. Comendador, WUWT, May 2, 2017…

    Subsidies and Mandates Forever

    Spain Is a Case Study in How Not to Foster Renewables
    Spain’s green energy lobby says government actions show a lack of planning that’s disincentivizing developers.
    By Jason Deign, GTM, May 5, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: If cutting subsidies destroys the industry, why have the industry and the subsidies at all?]

    Energy Issues – Non-US

    Energy Revolutions Hidden In Plain Sight: Part 1 of 3 — Shale Crushes Solar
    By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, Apr 26, 2017…

    Energy Revolutions Hidden In Plain Sight: Part 2 of 3: Demand – The Cloud Crushes Electric Cars
    By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, May 3, 2017…
    Link to Greenpeace report: Clicking Clean: Who Is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet?…

    Pemex seeks investors for its refineries, but who’s buying?
    By Jessica Resnick-Ault and David Alire Garcia, Reuters, May 5, 2017…
    “Today Mexico imports more than 60 percent of its refined gasoline and diesel from the United States, while its own refineries operate at about half capacity.”

    Energy Issues – Australia

    Blowout Week 174
    By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Apr 29, 2017…

    Energy Issues – US

    Today’s most productive energy workers are in coal and gas, not solar
    By Mark Perry, Washington Examiner, May 5, 2017…

    PG&E Storage Appraisal
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 2, 2017…

    Washington’s Control of Energy

    Energy Projects Worth $50 Billion Are Stalled Until Trump Fills Empty Posts
    By Catherine Traywick, Bloomberg, May 5, 2017…

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    10 Titans of Liquefied Natural Gas
    By Anmar Frangoul, CNPC, May 2, 2017…
    Exports in million tonnes (MT) and percentage market share of an estimated 260 MT market. Data from IGU and HIS Markeit
    Qatar, 77.2 MT, 29.9% market share
    Australia: 44.3 MT, 17.2% market share
    Malaysia: 25 MT, 9.7% market share
    Nigeria: 18.6 MT, 7.2% market share
    Indonesia: 16.6 MT, 6.4% market share
    Algeria: 11.5 MT, 4.5% market share
    Russia: 10.8 MT, 4.2% market share
    Trinidad: 10.6 MT, 4.1% market share
    Oman: 8.1 MT, 3.2 market share
    Papua New Guinea: 7.4 MT, 2.9% market share

    Return of King Coal?

    China’s coal-fired power generation surprises naysayers
    By Staff Writers, Platts, May 2, 2017 [H/t GWPF]…

    Chinese firms to invest $15bn in Pakistani coal-fired power
    By Diarmaid Williams, Power Engineering International, May 3, 2017…

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    Small modular reactor possibilities expand
    By Kevin Trevelyan, Post Register, Idaho Falls, May 4, 2017…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

    No, country X did NOT just run entirely on wind.
    There’s a lot of misleading information about renewable energy. Take for example this news article (and there’s a lot more):
    By Olivier Corradi, Tomorrow, May 3, 3027…

    El Hierro April 2017 performance update
    By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, May 4, 2017…
    “As at the end of April renewable energy from GdV had supplied 38.1% of El Hierro’s electricity demand and 8.8% of its total energy consumption since project startup in June 2015. Undeterred by these results, however, GdV has just called for bids to install seven EV charging stations ‘as one of the initial steps of a project for the massive implantation of electric vehicles on (El Hierro)’. Maybe they know something we don’t.”

    Wind energy: Offering grid reliability, security and diversity
    By Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, Washington Times, May 1, 2017…
    “Strong national security and a healthy economy share a basic component: access to reliable, affordable energy.
    “Wind power delivers this by making the grid and America’s electricity mix more diverse, secure, and — now that turbines have scaled up across 41 states — more reliable too.”

    Utility-scale solar has grown rapidly over the past five years
    By Manussawee Sukunta, EIA, May 4, 2017…
    “Utility-scale solar generation has been increasing as a result of the rapid growth in capacity; however, solar’s share of utility-scale electricity generation is 0.9%, about half of its share of capacity. Most solar generators are considered an intermittent or non-dispatchable resource because their availability depends on ambient insolation (exposure to the sun).”
    [SEPP Comment: According to a graph, output ranges from about 15% of capacity in the winter to 35% in peak summer. The top three states are California (9.8 GW of capacity), North Carolina (2.5 GW), and Arizona (1.9 GW) of a total of 21.5 GW. Why so much solar in North Carolina?

    SolarCity’s solar installations crash nearly 40%
    By Nichola Groom, Reuters, May 4, 2017…

    Energy & Environmental Newsletter: May 1, 2017
    By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, May 1, 2017…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

    BEV Charging Basics
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 5, 2017…

    Other News that May Be of Interest

    New paper claims humans were in California 130,000 years ago
    Many believe the evidence is not conclusive enough to back up such a significant claim.
    By Brooks Hays, UPI, Apr 27, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…

    Where oil rigs go to die
    When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business
    The Long Read by Tom Lamont, The Guardian, UK, May 2, 2017…

    Kites May Be Wind Power Solution
    By Michael Abrams, ASME, May 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…
    [SEPP Comment: What happens to a multi-ton turbine aloft when the wind fails?]

    Warning of fracking threat to whisky industry
    By Graeme Murray, The Scotsman, Apr 26, 2017…

    Giant gun to solve global warming!
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change, May 1, 2017…

    “Scientists claim they can fight global warming by firing trillions of mirrors into space to deflect the sun’s rays forming a 100,000 square mile “sun shade”.

    According to astronomer Dr Roger Angel, at the University of Arizona, the trillions of mirrors would have to be fired one million miles above the earth using a huge cannon with a barrel of 0.6 miles across. The gun would pack 100 times the power of conventional weapons and need an exclusion zone of several miles before being fired.

    Dr Angel has already secured NASA funding for a pilot project and British inventor Tod Todeschini, 38, was commissioned to build a scaled-down version of the gun. He constructed the four-metre long cannon in his workshop in Sandlake, Oxfordshire, for a TV documentary investigating the sun shield theory.

    He said: ‘The gun was horrendously dangerous. This was the first gun I’d ever built.’”
    The Telegraph, 26 Feb 2009

    1. We’ll Always Have Paris, Unless the Senate Has Its Say
    Is the climate accord binding even without Congress’s approval? Why risk finding out?
    By Robert Darwall, WSJ, May 4, 2017…
    The author of “The Age of Global Warming: A History” (2013) writers:

    “Expect some clarity soon on America’s future participation in the Paris Agreement on climate. Several cabinet members, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, want to stay in, but at a rally in Pennsylvania Saturday, President Trump called Paris a one-sided deal that would shrink the economy by $2.5 trillion over 10 years.

    “According to reports this week, Mr. Trump is leaning toward withdrawal, but aides warn that he could face trouble in U.S. courts if he fails to uphold the Obama administration’s commitments under Paris. But there is a third approach—submitting the agreement to the Senate for ratification.

    “Some advocates of staying in argue that America’s moral and political commitment under the agreement is not legally binding because the accord doesn’t have an enforcement mechanism. But neither the North Atlantic Treaty nor the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change has an enforcement provision, and both were submitted to the Senate. Neither of them have a compliance mechanism either—unlike the Paris Agreement, which provides for one in Article 15.

    “But does an international agreement have legal force at all if the Senate hasn’t ratified it? That’s unclear. During Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the 1992 U.N. climate convention, the administration of George H.W. Bush pledged to submit future climate protocols to the Senate. Senior Senate Republicans might now wish Paris would go away, but letting it stand without Senate consent would create a standard that would have permitted “accepting”—the word President Obama used for joining the Paris Agreement—the U.N. climate convention and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol without Senate consent. A senatorial prerogative written into the Constitution would be lost.

    “And an administration that has already had three executive orders blocked by the courts should assume it will face litigation over any loosening of emissions regulations. Will judges view Paris as legally binding? No one disputes that under some circumstances, the president can bind the U.S. by a unilateral executive agreement. The conundrum is determining at the outset whether the Paris Agreement falls into that category. Sending it to the Senate would provide an answer; not doing so cannot guarantee that it is not binding.

    “In U.S. v. Belmont (1937), the Supreme Court ruled that an international compact—in that instance one requiring the federal government to seize assets on behalf of the Soviet Union—“is not always a treaty which requires the participation of the Senate.” Ultimately the legal standing of the agreement depends on what the British legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart called “the internal point of view” of those applying and interpreting the law, one that lies outside the law itself.

    “In deciding what to do about the Paris Agreement, the president faces a more extreme situation than George W. Bush when he repudiated the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. Four years earlier, the Senate had unanimously adopted the Byrd-Hagel resolution effectively vetoing Kyoto. By not allowing the Senate to administer the protocol’s coup de grâce, Mr. Bush brought all the political opprobrium on himself.

    “In joining the Paris Agreement without Senate consent, Mr. Obama unilaterally nullified precedent and extinguished specific executive-branch pledges. Mr. Trump can restore the constitutional balance and further his own policies by submitting the Paris Agreement to the Senate. Tell senators why it is such a bad deal for the U.S.—and then let the Democratic senators, especially the 10 who are up for re-election next year in states he carried, explain why they support shrinking the economy.”

    2. Climate Editors Have a Meltdown
    How did science reporting get so detached from the underlying science?
    By Holman Jenkins, Jr. WSJ, May 2, 2017…

    I’ll admit it: I would have found it fascinating to be party to the discussions earlier this year that led to oscillating headlines on the New York Times home page referring to the new EPA chief Scott Pruitt alternately as a “denier” or “skeptic.” At least it would have been fascinating for 20 minutes.

    Ditto the hysterical discussions undoubtedly now arising from an anodyne piece of climate heterodoxy by the paper’s newest columnist, a former Journal colleague who shall remain nameless, in which he advises, somewhat obscurely, less “certainty” about “data.”

    Whether or not this represents progress in how the U.S. media cover the climate debate, a trip down memory lane seems called for. In the 1980s, when climate alarms were first being widely sounded, reporters understood the speculative basis of computer models. We all said to ourselves: Well, in 30 years we’ll certainly have the data to know for sure which model forecasts are valid.

    Thirty years later, the data haven’t answered the question. The 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, voice of climate orthodoxy, is cited for its claim, with 95% confidence, that humans are responsible for at least half the warming between 1951 and 2010.

    Look closely. This is an estimate of the reliability of an estimate. It lacks the most important conjunction in science: “because”—as in “We believe X because of Y.”

    Not that the IPCC fails to offer a “because” in footnotes. It turns out this estimate is largely an estimate of how much man-made warming should have taken place if the models used to forecast future warming are broadly correct.

    The IPCC has a bad reputation among conservatives for some of its press-release activities, but the reports themselves are basically numbing testimonies to how seriously scientists take their work. “If our models are reliable, then X is true” is a perfectly valid scientific statement. Only leaving out the prefix, as the media routinely does, makes it deceptive.

    We don’t know what the IPCC’s next assessment report, due in 2021, will say on this vital point, known as climate sensitivity. But in 2013 it widened the range of uncertainty, and in the direction of less warming. Its current estimate is now identical to that of the 1979 Charney Report. On the key question, then, there has been no progress in 38 years.

    For journalists, the climate beat has been singularly unrewarding. It has consisted of waiting for an answer that doesn’t come. By now, thanks to retirements and the mortality tables, the beat’s originators are mostly gone. The job has passed into hands of reporters who don’t even bother to feign interest in science—who think the magic word “consensus” is all the support they need for any climate claim they care to make.

    Take Inside Climate News, an online publication, lately accruing degraded journalism prizes, whose title echoes a successful series of specialist newsletters like Inside EPA and Inside the Pentagon that charge fancy prices for detailed, crunchy, reliable information about the U.S. government.

    Inside Climate News might sound like it’s doing the same but it isn’t. Search its website and the term “climate sensitivity,” the central preoccupation of climate science, appears zero times. Any reporter who is truly curious about what scientists know and how they know it would not be working there. Asking such questions would only get him or her suspected of denialism.

    But not even the EPA’s Mr. Pruitt or the New York Times’s newest recruit exhibits the ill grace to phrase the “so what” question.

    “So what” is the most important question of all. So what if human activity is causing some measure of climate change if voters and politicians are unwilling to assume the costs (possibly hugely disproportionate to any benefit) of altering the outcome of the normal evolution of energy markets and energy technology

    The Week That Was: 2017-03-04 (March 4, 2017)
    Brought to You by The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    There’s a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good. – Burton Hillis (William Vaughn, American columnist)

    Number of the Week: Up 22%; while down 33% and 13%

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

    TWTW: Due to other commitments requiring refraining from public comments that may be misconstrued as suggesting policy, this TWTW will be short and comments restrained. Responses to correspondence will be limited. Thank you.

    Major Climate Model Issues — Curry: In her paper: Climate Models for the layman” presented last week, Judith Curry discusses major issues with Global Climate Models (GMCs) and why the predictions / projections from them are not reliable. Some of these issues have been discussed by others, such as David Evans on Jo Nova’s blog, but the key points deserve repeating. In general, these issues occur in models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program, EPA, etc. The weaknesses in the procedures used are generally buried in details by the IPCC and largely ignored or dismissed by its followers. These weaknesses should be the center of discussion, if the models are being considered for government policy.

    In her discussion “What is a global climate model?” Curry states: “While some of the equations in climate models are based on the laws of physics such as Newton’s laws of motion and the first law of thermodynamics, there are key processes in the model that are approximated and not based on physical laws. [Boldface added.] In its finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare, the EPA emphasizes that models are based on physical laws and ignores that the models are also based on approximations – educated guesses.

    Curry further explains:

    Because of the relatively coarse spatial and temporal resolutions of the models, there are many important processes that occur on scales that are smaller than the model resolution (such as clouds and rainfall; see inset in Figure 1). These subgrid-scale processes are represented using ‘parameterisations’, which are simple formulas that attempt to approximate the actual processes, based on observations or derivations from more de-tailed process models. These parameterisations are ‘calibrated’ or ‘tuned’ to improve the comparison of the climate model outputs against historical observations. [Boldface added.]

    “The actual equations used in the GCM computer codes are only approximations of the physical processes that occur in the climate system. While some of these approximations are highly accurate, others are unavoidably crude. This is because the real processes they represent are either poorly understood or too complex to include n the model given the constraints of the computer system. Of the processes that are most important for climate change, parameterisations related to clouds and precipitation remain the most challenging, and are responsible for the biggest differences between the outputs of different GCMs [Boldface added.]

    “GCMs are used for the following purposes:

    • Understanding how the climate system works: sensitivity experiments are used to turn off, constrain or enhance certain physical processes or external forcings (for example, carbon dioxide, volcanoes, solar output) to see how the system responds

    • Reproducing past climate states: understanding the causes of past climate variability and change (for example, how much of the change can be attributed to human causes, such as carbon dioxide, versus natural causes such as solar variations, volcanic eruptions, and slow circulations in the ocean).

    • Global climate change: simulation of future climate states, from decades to centuries, for example simulations of future climate states under different emissions scenarios.

    • Attributing extreme weather: prediction and attribution of the statistics of extreme weather events (for example, heat waves, droughts, hurricanes).

    • Regional climate change: projections of future regional climate variations to support decision-making-related adaptation to climate change.

    • Guidance for emissions reduction policies.

    • Social cost of carbon: the output from GCMs provides the raw data used to calculate the social cost of carbon. [The boldface was italics in the original.]

    The specific objectives of a GCM vary with purpose of the simulation. Generally, when simulating the past climate using a GCM, the objective is to correctly simulate the spatial variation of climate conditions in some average sense. When predicting future climate, the aim is not to simulate conditions in the climate system on any particular day, but to simulate conditions over a longer period – typically decades or more – in such a way that the statistics of the simulated climate will match the statistics of the actual future climate.

    There are literally thousands of different choices made in the construction of a climate model (for example, resolution, complexity of the submodels, or the parameterisations). Each different set of choices produces a different model having different sensitivities. Further, different modelling groups have different focal interests, for ex- ample long paleoclimate simulations, details of ocean circulations, nuances of the inter actions between aerosol particles and clouds, or the carbon cycle. These different interests focus their limited computational resources on a particular aspect of simulating the climate system, at the expense of others.

    Is it possible to select a ‘best’ model? Well, several models generally show a poorer performance overall when compared with observations. However, the best model depends on how you define ‘best’, and no single model is the best at everything.

    It is certainly understandable that using models for better understanding how the climate system works and reproducing past climate states is a necessary first step. However: “Capturing the phenomena in hindcasts and previous forecasts is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the model to capture the phenomena in the future.”

    The models have been “tuned” or “calibrated” to available 20th century surface data. As shown in the 2008 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC, p. 9), even the available surface temperature data is very sparse and erratic. The only temperature data available of appropriate density are from satellites, which are largely ignored by the IPCC and its followers. There is no logical reason to assume that the projections / forecasts from global climate models are reliable. Taking an average of forecasts from unreliable models does not produce a reliable forecast.

    When the results of these unreliable models, which have not been verified and validated, are applied to government policy, real economic harm occurs. The harm can be seen in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction programs, the contrived “social cost of carbon”, exaggerated sea level rise, etc. Sharply increasing electricity costs in the U.K. and Germany are but one example. Upcoming TWTWs will discuss several other major issues concerning global climate modeling. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, and Questioning European Green.

    Sea Level Rise Forecasts – Compounding Unreliability: The February 25 TWTW linked to efforts in the City of Boston to prepare for sea level rise of up to 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) by 2100. Such an effort would cost billions of dollars. In January, NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) released a report stating the basis of such claims: 1) it uses unreliable global climate models to speculate on future temperatures; 2) it uses these to project speculative estimates of future sea levels; then, 3) it uses the speculated “collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet” to top-off the speculation. The first two parts come from the IPCC, the third part is added on by CO-OPS.

    As discussed in the January 22 TWTW, retired NASA meteorologist Thomas Wysmuller explored the correlation between CO2 and sea level rise and found no measurable linkage between sea level and CO2! “For the past 2,000 years, Sea Level rise was unchangingly linear, increasing between 1 & 1.5 mm/yr.” The maximum rise is about 6 inches per century. This has continued for the past 135 years, even though CO2 concentrations have increased by 38%.

    As Wysmuller indicates on his web site, the high-end estimates of the IPCC, etc. exceed the average century sea level rise that occurred over the 7,000 years when the great ice sheets covering much of northern Eurasia and most of North America melted. The great Laurentide Ice Sheet is no more, except in Greenland and small parts of Canada.

    In November 2016, Wysmuller gave presentations on the lack of linkage between CO2 and sea level rise at the 5th Annual World Congress of Ocean in Qingdao China and in January at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston (not to be confused with NASA-GISS in New York City on Broadway)

    However, the IPCC and CO-OPS use a direct relationship between CO2 emissions and general mean sea level (GMSL), yet to be demonstrated. The CO-OPS report states: “The 0.3 m-2.5 m GMSL range for 2100 is discretized by 0.5-m increments and aligned with emissions-based, conditional probabilistic storylines and global model projections into six GMSL rise scenarios: a Low, Intermediate-Low, Intermediate, Intermediate-High, High and Extreme, which correspond to GMSL rise of 0.3 m, 0.5 m, 1.0 m, 1.5 m, 2.0 m and 2.5 m, respectively.” [Boldface added.]

    The “conditional probabilistic storylines” have yet to be empirically demonstrated. Further, the extreme case for CO-OPS is based on the “collapse” of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which may take thousands of years and may be due to geothermal warming from the Antarctic fault-rift system underlying it, unrelated to CO2. Such details are ignored by CO-OPS.

    Contrarily, the web site, CO2 Science, reports an August 2016 study by Phil Watson of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia, which highly questions some claims of acceleration in sea level rise in the U.S, while recognizing regional differences in the data. The abstract states:

    “The physics-based climate projection models are forecasting that the current global average rate of mean sea-level rise (≈3 mm/y) might climb to rates in the range of 10–20 mm/y by 2100. Most research in this area has centred on reconciling current rates of rise with the significant accelerations required to meet the forecast projections of climate models. The analysis in this paper is based on a recently developed analytical package titled “msltrend,” specifically designed to enhance estimates of trend, real-time velocity and acceleration in the relative mean sea-level signal derived from long annual average ocean-water-level time series. Key findings are that at the 95% confidence level, no consistent or substantial evidence (yet) exists that recent rates of rise are higher or abnormal in the context of the historical records available for the United States, nor does any evidence exist that geocentric rates of rise are above the global average. It is likely that a further 20 years of data will identify whether recent increases east of Galveston and along the east coast are evidence of the onset of climate change induced acceleration.” [Boldface added]

    Watson has another study on European trends, for which the full text was available. He found no clear evidence of an acceleration trend in Europe as well. He cited studies claiming the rise and / or land subsidence will result in damage costing tens of billions of Euros by 2080. The various graphs of what may happen make Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick appear modest.

    Future flooding from realistic sea level rise and land subsidence are serious issues. But, exaggeration of the problems leads to loss of credibility and scorn for the entities that exaggerate. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up and Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science.

    The Mathematical Minister: Writing in The Telegraph, Rupert Darwall reports on an amazing comment concerning reliable electricity in the U.K. and how to stop price increases: “Greg Clark, the Business and Energy Secretary, is threatening government action whenever the markets are not working for consumers. As the Lords report makes clear, the real problem is government policy not working for consumers.

    “In his evidence, Greg Clark claimed not to see conflict between security of supply, having more weather-dependent wind and solar, and cutting energy bills. Instead, he described it as an invitation “to see how we can solve them as simultaneous equations”. [Boldface added.]

    “Pseudo-mathematical flannel can’t hide the fact that you can’t simultaneously maximise two variables, let alone three. You can’t maximise the amount of wind and solar while maintaining grid reliability and simultaneously drive electricity prices down. Something has to give – and it’s consumers who are picking up the rising bill for the Government’s Mission Impossible.”

    Someday simultaneous equations may successfully describe and forecast the erratic nature of sunshine and wind, but they certainly do not cause the erratic nature. See link under Questioning European Green

    Number of the Week: Up 22%, down 33% and 13%. In the article mentioned above, Darwall reports that: “Between 2008 and 2015, the average electricity bill rose by 22pc [%]. Over the same period, the price of hydrocarbon fuels used by power stations fell sharply – coal down by 33pc and gas by 13pc. The rise in electricity prices is wholly attributable to government policies – and would be even higher if coal and gas prices had not fallen.”

    According to the US Energy Information Administration, 2008 to 2015, the average residential price increased 12%.

    In 2009, the Democrats controlled the US Senate, yet the Senate did not pass President Obama’s cap-and-trade bill as a means of controlling CO2 emissions. The stated purpose of the bill was to address the dangerous global warming proclaimed in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4, 2007). The Senators who stood up to the leadership should be thanked. Otherwise, American may be facing the same increasing electricity costs being faced by the consumers in the U.K., whose Parliament passed the Climate Change Act of 2008. See link under Questioning European Green, Article # 2, and…


    Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

    Solar Forcing Of Modern, Historic Arctic Sea Ice
    Only Slightly Less Sea Ice Now Than Little Ice Age
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 2, 2017…
    Link to paper: Holocene variability in sea ice cover, primary production, and Pacific-Water inflow and climate change in the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas (Arctic Ocean)
    By Ruediger Stein, et al., Joural of Quaternary Science, Feb 27, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Based on two sediment cores using biomarker data.]
    Link to 2005 paper: Multi-decadal variation of the East Greenland Sea-Ice
    Extent: AD 1500-2000
    By Lassen and Thejll, Danish Meteorological Institute, 2005…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008…

    Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
    By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, July 2010…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Climate Models for the Layman
    By Judith Curry, GWPF, 2017…

    Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
    By John Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Feb 2, 2016…

    On the Existence of a “Tropical Hotspot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding
    By Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo, Independent Researchers, August 2016

    How Does One Justify One of the Most Expensive Regulations in American History?
    By Patrick J. Michaels, CATO, Mar 2, 2016…

    Why the Climate-Industrial Complex Needs to Be Publicly Attacked and Delegitimized
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Mar 2, 2017…

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    How to Defeat Those Who are Waging War on Science
    Here are five meaningful steps you can take [H/t Clyde Spencer]
    By Jonathan Foley, Christine Arena, Scientific American, Feb 27, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Good to know that the tactics of the opponents include: declaring that “uncertainty in climate science” is a tactic used by the “deniers” rather than real.]

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    An imperfect world
    By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Mar 3, 2017…
    “So, perhaps it is time for a wakeup call to environmental policymakers. No longer should the precautionary principle be invoked to ride roughshod over common sense. Anyone who is in favour of using the scientific method and hard evidence to support their case should be prepared to do a wide-ranging benefit-cost analysis on proposals. In an imperfect world, we should be striving for the best solutions, not those that just meet the agenda of a particular lobby.”

    Polar Bear Scare Unmasked: The Saga of a Toppled Global Warming Icon
    By Susan Crockford, GWPF TV, Feb 27, 2017…

    After Paris!

    American soft power, the Paris Agreement, and climate finance under Trump
    By Timmons Roberts and Caroline Jones, Brookings, Feb 24, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    [SEPP Comment: To be saved from climate refugees, send money.]

    Change in US Administrations

    A new EPA approach for Pruitt
    Climate science must be subjected to fair and open debate
    By Tom Harris, Washington Times, Mar 1, 2017…

    Perry rallies Energy Department on his first day: ‘Change the world’
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Mar 3, 2017…

    New Interior secretary rides horse to first day at work
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Mar 2, 2017…

    Seeking a Common Ground

    Brussel declaration on principles for science & policy making
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Feb 25, 2017…

    What’s wrong with ‘alternative facts’?
    By Kip Hansen, Climate Etc. Feb 26, 2017…

    Science, Policy, and Evidence

    Most scientists ‘can’t replicate studies by their peers’
    By Tom Fellden, BBC, Feb 22, 2017…
    Link to an earlier report: Peer Review: Why skepticism is essential
    By Donna Laframboise, GWPF, September, 2016…

    As Polar Bear Numbers Continue To Increase, GWPF Calls For Re-assessment Of Endangered Species Status
    By Staff Writers, GWPF, Feb 27, 2017…

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    A New Analysis of Sea Level Rise Along the Coast of the United States
    Watson, P.J. 2016. Acceleration in U.S. mean sea level? A new insight using improved tools. Journal of Coastal Research 32: 1247-1261. Mar 2, 2017…
    Full Text: for U.S. Sea Levels…
    Full Text for European Sea Levels…

    Past Warm Periods in China Helped to Sustain Dynastic Wellbeing
    Yin, J., Fang, X. and Su, Y. 2016. Correlation between climate and grain harvest fluctuations and the dynastic transitions and prosperity in China over the past two millennia. The Holocene 26: 1914-1923. Mar 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Colder periods with declining grain harvests led to dynastic collapse.]

    A 2000-Year Temperature History of China’s Animaqin Mountains
    Chen, F., Zhang, Y., Shao, X., Li, M.Q. and Yin, Z.-Y. 2016. A 2000-year temperature reconstruction in the Animaqin Mountains of the Tibet Plateau, China. The Holocene 26: 1904-1913. Feb 27, 2017…
    “In addition, Chen et al. note ‘the results of wavelet analysis showed the occurrence of significant quasi-periodic patterns at a number of occurring periods (2-8 years, 20-30 years, 30-60 years, and 60-130 years,’ as well as ‘some long-term periods (more than 200 years),’ which they say were ‘consistent with those associated with ENSO [El Nino Southern Oscillation], PDO [the Pacific Decadal Oscillation], and solar activity.’”

    Model Issues

    Climate change computer model vindicated 30 years later by what has actually happened
    By Ian Johnston, The Independent, Mar 3, 2017 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    [SEPP Comment: Partially right part of the time? Model skill or coincidence?]

    Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

    UAH Global Temperature Update for February, 2017: +0.35 deg. C.
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 2, 2017…

    Changing Weather

    Antarctica hits record high temperature at balmy 63.5°F
    By Staff Writers, Reuters, Mar 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: The coordinates of the station are: 63°24′S 56°59′W – outside the Antarctic Circle. Iceland is closer to the North Pole, and has a record temperature of 86 degrees. At plus 64 degrees North, Nome and Fairbanks Alaska are closer to the North Pole than the Antarctic location is to the South Pole. Inland, Fairbanks has a record temperature of 99 degrees F (1919); on the coast, Nome has a record temperature of 86 degrees (1977 & 2013).]

    Changing Climate

    2 Recent Papers Further Confirm That Natural Cycles Are Indisputable, Powerful Climate Drivers
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 1, 2017…

    Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

    Never Mind The Area, Feel The Thickness
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 28, 2017
    [SEPP Comment: As if you can.]

    Acidic Waters

    How NOAA and Bad Modeling Invented an “Ocean Acidification” Icon: Part 1 – Sea Butterflies
    Guest essay by Jim Steele, WUWT, Mar 1, 2017…

    How NOAA and Bad Modeling Invented an “Ocean Acidification” Icon: Part 2 – Bad Models
    Guest essay by Jim Steele, WUWT, Mar 2, 2017…

    Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

    Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States
    By William V. Sweet, et al., NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), January 2017…

    More Fake News From The Guardian
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 2, 2017
    [SEPP Comment: Using the entire record, rather than cutting off the earlier part, results in different conclusions.]

    MSN augments “Fake News” with photoshopped penguin photos
    Guest post by Jim Steele, WUWT, Mar 1, 2017…

    Questioning European Green

    Rupert Darwall: It’s families who are footing bill for deluded energy policies
    By Rupert Darwall, Telegraph, UK, Via GWPF, Mar 1, 2017…

    Germany’s “Silent Catastrophe” …330,000 Households See Power Turned Off In One Year!
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 3, 2017…

    German Electricity Price Projected To Quadruple By 2020, To Over 40 Cents Per Kilowatt-Hour!
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 28, 2017…

    Germany Facing Mass Blackouts Because The Wind And Sun Won’t Cooperate
    By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Feb 28, 2017…

    Putin’s Russia Seen Dominating European Gas for Two Decades
    By Elena Mazneva and Anna Shiryaevskaya, Bloomberg, Mar 1, 2017…
    “Gazprom PJSC, Russia’s state-run export monopoly, shipped a record amount of gas to the European Union last year and accounts for about 34 percent of the trading bloc’s use of the fuel.”

    Questioning Green Elsewhere

    Biofuel Madness: Another Disastrous Impact of Global Warming Deception
    Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Feb 28, 2017…

    The Political Games Continue

    The phony ‘social cost of carbon’
    The war on fossil fuels ignores carbon’s benefits
    By Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek, The Washington Times, Feb 28, 2017…

    Science Committee Spotlights Major Flaws in Calculating ‘Social Cost’ of Carbon Dioxide
    By Marlo Lewis, CEI, Mar 1, 2017 [Cooler Heads]…

    Subsidies and Mandates Forever

    Pure idiocy! How spending billions on subsidising an efficient coal-burning power station to burn wood is actually WORSE for the planet than before
    By Christopher Booker, Daily Mail, Feb 24, 2017…

    EPA and other Regulators on the March

    EPA chief calls for ‘aggressive’ rollback of regulations at CPAC
    B Max Greenwood, The Hill, Feb 24, 2017…
    “Managed liberty?”

    Trump takes hatchet to EPA
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Mar 1, 2017…

    Proposed EPA Budget Cuts Raise Serious Concerns
    By William Yeatman, CEI – Open Market, Mar 3, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Sharp budget cuts face legal and political challenges.]

    EPA pulls back methane request for drillers
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Mar 2, 2017…

    Energy Issues — US

    Annual Factbook Finds Natural Gas Has Helped Drive Energy Costs to Record Lows [in the US]
    By Lily Emamian, Energy in Depth, Feb 9, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    White House: Keystone XL exempt from ‘Buy American’ push
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Mar 3, 2016…
    “Keystone developer TransCanada already owns the pipe it intends to use for the project.”

    Editorial: Is pumped storage next big energy story?
    Editorial, Fredericksburg Lance Star, VA, Mar 1, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    [SEPP Comment: Through an old mining tunnel? If successful, many utilities in the Mid-West would be envious.]

    Washington’s Control of Energy

    With Shale Oil Production Like This, Who Needs Trump?
    By Julian Lee, Bloomberg, Feb 26, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: The author fails to mention the regulatory constraints the Obama administration used against shale oil and gas. Blocking pipelines is an example. Fortunately, what became the most important shale formations were not under direct federal control.]

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    Fracking Becomes the Centerpiece
    By William Balgord, Master Resource, Mar 1, 2017…

    Oil Spills, Gas Leaks, Earthquakes & Consequences

    Oklahoma’s earthquake threat now equals California’s because of man-made temblors, USGS says
    By Rong-Gong Lin II, LA Times, Mar 1, 2016 [H/t Bill Balgord]…
    Link to forecast: 2017 One‐Year Seismic‐Hazard Forecast for the Central and Eastern United States from Induced and Natural Earthquakes
    By Mark Petersen, et al., Seismological Research Letters, Mar 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Absurd headline. On the Richter Scale magnitude 5 is 1000 times as strong as a magnitude 3.]

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

    DOE: Breaking the Federal Arm of the Wind Industry (Part IV)
    By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Feb 23, 2017…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

    The CHP Shibboleth
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 3, 2017…

    The Hydrogen Economy – More Green Mythology
    By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Feb 27, 2017…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

    How Europe deliberately made air pollution worse
    By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Feb 26, 2017…

    California Dreaming

    California Snowpack 185% of normal, another big snow on the way
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 3, 2017…

    Environmental Industry

    The three ironies of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests
    Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Mar 3, 2017…

    Global hydropower boom will add to climate change
    Reservoirs emit significant greenhouse gases planet-wide, study finds; researchers urge that new hydropower projects not be christened with green energy label
    By Claire Salisbury, Asia Times, Feb 21, 2017 [H/t GWPF]…
    [SEPP Comment: According to greens, better to be without electricity than use non-green electricity – a luxury the green wealthy assert but not live by.]

    Other Scientific News

    First solar images from NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 1, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center should not be confused with NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA-GISS), which uses surface temperature data.]

    Other News that May Be of Interest

    Roger W Cohen, 1939-2016 RIP
    By Martin P. Fricke, Laurence I. Gould and William Happer, GWPF, Feb 27, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Cohen led the Exxon research effort on CO2 caused global warming, and become a global warming “skeptic.” This change is seldom mentioned by those who demonize Exxon.]

    In an ironic twist, a 1991 Shell ad contains a warning about climate change
    By Maria Gallucci, Mashable, Feb 28, 2017…

    Maryland Environmental Group In The Dark About Radiofrequencies And WiFi
    By Josh Bloom, ACSH, Feb 28, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: To protect children from electromagnetic radiation, keep the kids in the dark?]

    Scared witless!
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change, Feb 26, 2017…
    The next United Nations climate report will “scare the wits out of everyone” and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.

    Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.

    “That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. “I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.” Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Nov 2012

    1. Draining the Regulatory Swamp
    The Congressional Review Act is even better than we thought.
    Editorial, WSJ, Feb 28, 2017…

    SUMMARY: After mentioning that some have criticized the current Congress as “do nothing”, the editorial states: “the House has already voted to repeal 13 Obama-era regulations, and President Trump signed his third on Tuesday. Now the GOP should accelerate by fully utilizing the 1996 Congressional Review Act.

    “Republicans chose the damaging 13 rules based on a conventional reading of the CRA, which allows Congress to override regulations published within 60 legislative days, with simple (50-vote) majorities in both chambers. Yet the more scholars examine the law, which had only been used successfully once before this year, the clearer it is that the CRA gives Congress far more regulatory oversight than previously supposed.

    “Spearheading this review is the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Todd Gaziano—who helped write the 1996 act—and the Heritage Foundation’s Paul Larkin. Their legal findings, and a growing list of rules that might be subject to CRA, are on

    “The pair argue, first, that the CRA defines “rule” broadly. The law relies on the definition in the Administrative Procedure Act, which includes any “agency statement” that is “designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy.” This includes major and minor rules as well as “guidance”—letters that spell out an agency’s interpretation of a law.

    “This matters because President Obama’s regulators often ducked the notice and comment of formal rule-making by issuing “guidance” to act as de facto regulation. Examples include the guidance requiring transgender bathrooms in public schools, which the Trump Administration recently withdrew, or the 2011 guidance dictating how universities must handle sexual assault. The latter is ripe for CRA repeal.

    “The second discovery is the law’s definition of when the clock starts on Congress’s time to review rules. The CRA’s opening lines require any agency promulgating a rule to present a “report” containing the rule’s text and definition. The CRA explains that Congress’s review period begins either on the date the rule is published in the Federal Register, or the date Congress receives the report—whichever comes later.

    “Thus any rule for which any Administration (going back to 1996) failed to submit a report is fair game for CRA review and repeal. The Trump Administration can begin the clock merely by submitting a report to Congress.

    “Our own search suggests past Administrations were fairly diligent about presenting reports for major rules. But a 2014 study by the Administrative Conference of the United States found at least 43 ‘major’ or ‘significant’ rules that had never been reported to Congress.

    “The study estimated a further 1,000 smaller rules a year that agencies had failed to report. The study focused only on formal rules—not “guidance” that also requires a report to Congress under the CRA. is offering tools so citizens can examine whether past rules have reports.

    “A third discovery could be the most important. The opening words of the CRA read: ‘Before a rule can take effect’ the federal agency in question must submit a Congressional report. No one has tested the legal limits of this provision, but a fair reading suggests the Trump Administration could declare any rule for which a report has not been submitted to be null and void.

    “The White House would be wise to start by simply directing federal agencies to catalog which rules have reports—and then devise a strategy with Congress. Some rules might deserve to stay on the books. Some bad rules might get reported to Congress for repeal under the CRA. Others could be declared null and void—which saves the trouble of formally reversing them. This last approach might appeal to Congressional Republicans who are fretting that a CRA crush is diverting them from health-care and tax reform.

    “Democrats will howl in response to an aggressive use of the CRA, but the law was designed to impose penalties on agencies that failed to keep Congress informed. As Mr. Gaziano says, ‘the entire point of the CRA was to restore some minimal level of constitutional accountability over agencies that take a broadly worded statute as license to run wild.’

    “The CRA is the most immediate tool Republicans have to reimpose democratic accountability on a lawless bureaucracy, and they should use it to the fullest.”

    2. The Carbon Tax Chimera
    The Shultz-Baker proposal sounds better than it would work.
    Editorial, WSJ, Feb 24, 2017…

    SUMMARY: The editorial begins: “The climate may change but one thing that never does is the use of climate change as a political wedge against Republicans. Also never changing is the call from some Republicans to neutralize the issue by handing more economic power to the federal government through a tax on carbon. The risk is that Donald Trump takes up the idea, which would hurt the economy with little benefit to the environment.

    “George Shultz and James Baker, the esteemed former secretaries of State, have joined a group of GOP worthies for a carbon tax and recently pressed the case in these pages. They propose a gradually increasing tax that would be redistributed to Americans as a “dividend.” This tax on fossil fuels would replace the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and a crush of other punitive regulations. Energy imports from countries without a similar structure would face a tax at the border.

    “A carbon tax would be better than bankrupting industries by regulation and more efficient than a “cap-and-trade” emissions credit scheme. Such a tax might be worth considering if traded for radically lower taxes on capital or income, or is narrowly targeted like a gasoline tax. But in the real world the Shultz-Baker tax is likely to be one more levy on the private economy. Even if a grand tax swap were politically possible, a future Congress might jack up rates or find ways to reinstate regulations.

    “Another problem is the “dividend.” A carbon tax would be regressive, as the poor spend more of their income on gasoline and household energy. The plan purports to solve this in part by promising to return the tax to the American public. But the purpose of taxes is to fund government services, not shuffle money from one payer to another. No doubt politicians would take a cut to funnel into renewable energy or some other vote-buying program.

    “The rebates would also become a new de facto entitlement with an uncertain funding future. A family of four would receive a $2,000 payout in the first year from a carbon tax, according to a report from the Climate Leadership Council, and that “amount would grow over time as the carbon tax rate increases.” But the point of taxing carbon is to emit less of it, and eventually revenues would decline as the tax rate rises. The public would then receive minimal or no help paying for energy the government made more expensive, and the progressives will try to make up the difference by raising other taxes.”

    The editorial then discusses other alternatives, all of which raise the costs of energy to the consumer.

    3. Trump’s Clean Watershed
    He orders the EPA to review Obama’s illegal waterways regulation.
    Editorial, WSJ, Feb 28, 2017…

    SUMMARY: The editorial states: “Speaking of deregulation (see nearby) [Article # 1], President Trump on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider an Obama Administration rule that seized control over tens of millions of acres of private land under the pretext of protecting the nation’s waterways. EPA chief Scott Pruitt will now follow due process to rescind one of his predecessor’s lawless rule-makings.

    In 2015 the Obama EPA reinterpreted the Clean Water Act with a rule extending its extraterritorial claims to any creek, muddy farm field, ditch or prairie pothole located within a “significant nexus” of a navigable waterway. EPA defined significance broadly to include any land within the 100-year floodplain and 4,000 feet of land already under its jurisdiction, among other arbitrary delimitations.

    Mr. Trump summed it up well, if not eloquently, when he said “it’s a horrible, horrible rule” and “massive power grab” that has “sort of a nice name, but everything else is bad.”

    The rule would force farmers, contractors and manufacturers to obtain federal permits to put their property to productive use. After recent flooding in California, millions of more acres could come under EPA’s jurisdiction. Green groups could use the rule to block pipelines, housing projects or any development they don’t like. Farmers might be prohibited from using fertilizers that could flow downstream.

    The Clean Water Act applies only to navigable waterways, but the EPA seized on the opening created by Justice Anthony Kennedy in the unfortunate 2006 Supreme Court case Rapanos v. U.S. that split 4-1-4. His controlling opinion invented the “significant nexus” standard that is a classic in judicial ambiguity and which the EPA used to expand government control over private property development.

    The editorial then discusses the many lawsuits filed by states and other affected parties against the EPA and concludes: “EPA even acknowledged that the ‘science available today’ doesn’t support the regulation. Mr. Pruitt will be doing a national public service if he advises the Justice Department to withdraw the rule as an abuse of administrative power


    The Week That Was: 2017-02-18 (February 18, 2017)
    Brought to You by The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    “Sometimes there is no alternative to uncertainty except to await the arrival of more and better data.” C. Wunsch [H/t Donald Rapp]

    Number of the Week: over 27 million vehicles

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

    TWTW: Due to other commitments requiring refraining from public comments that may be misconstrued as suggesting policy, this TWTW will be short and comments restrained. Responses to correspondence will be limited. Congress is scheduled for “District work period” (recess) until February 27. Next week’s TWTW will be very brief. Thank you.

    Sea Level Rise: One disturbing activity by some government entities is using the highly speculative projections of future sea level rise to frighten the public The purpose appears to be to promote the false belief that humans can stop sea level rise by limiting or controlling carbon dioxide emissions. A common trick is using the widely ranging projections of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These projections are based on global climate models that have not been validated, and use of a few highly questionable studies based on a small sample of occurrences that cannot be generalized, globally.

    In his presentation at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9), former NASA meteorologist Thomas Wysmuller highlighted some of the difficulties in arriving at accurate estimate of global sea level rise. Even satellite measurements have significant errors, containing significant noise from wave action near the coast lines.

    Wysmuller states that we have three different metrics for estimating sea levels: 1) tidal gages with an average of 1.7 mm per year; 2) TopeX/Poseidon/Jason 1 & 2 satellites with a rise of 3.1 mm per year; and ENVISAT satellite with a rise of 0.5 to 2.5 mm per year. Importantly, all the sources indicate linear trends!

    By selecting among the data, one could project a rise of 5 cm to 31 cm (2 inches to 12 inches) per century. Add to this the stunt that James Hansen used, claiming almost all the rise will occur in the last two decades of the century, and one can create almost any type of projection.

    Adding to the problems, the satellite measurements have significant internal error. For example, the American-French satellites, TopeX/Poseidon 3.1, have low radar resolution with 23 mm at best resolution and an orbital tracking error of 20 to 40 mm. It is impossible to create precision from error.

    Wysmuller discusses some of the problems with each type of measurements. Among them, tide gages measurements have difficulties with land subsidence or land rising. For example, the land in Norfolk-Newport News area of Virginia, with large naval facilities, is subsiding. A major reason is ground water extraction, compounded with some influence by the aftereffects of a meteor strike 35 million years ago.

    Adding to the problems with accurate measurements of sea level rise, are wind influences such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which cause the water in the Pacific pile up in the western Pacific (southeast Asia) and then recede when the wind dies down. This process is like making waves in a bathtub.

    Additionally, Jo Nova discusses a new paper in Nature Communications that estimates that half meter (20 inch) fluctuations in sea levels were common in Southeast Asia 6,000 years ago. Clearly, these events are not new and not related to human carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

    Those who make 100 year projections, without emphasizing the uncertainty are greatly misleading the public. Government entities emphasizing such studies are jeopardizing their credibility. See links under Changing Seas and Changing Earth

    New EPA Administrator: On February 17, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was sworn in as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Since his selection as Administrator, much has been written about him and what he will do. TWTW will not comment, except to recognize there is an important difference between rights of the people and powers of government.

    Transparency: To have perspective on the bureaucratic thinking in a government agency, it is useful to review the justifications the agency has used on a controversial issue. A review of parts of the eleven volumes of the published public comments and EPA responses to the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases, chiefly CO2, endanger public health and welfare reveals EPA’s views on transparency. For example, in rejecting the 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), the agency writes:

    “EPA has reviewed and considered the NIPCC report and found that it lacks the rigorous procedures and transparency required to serve as a foundation for the endangerment analysis. A review of the NIPCC Web site indicates that the NIPCC report was developed by “two co-authors” and “35 contributors and reviewers” from “14 countries” ( The organization does not appear to have established any procedures for author selection and provides no evidence that a transparent and open public or expert review was conducted. Thus, the NIPCC’s approach stands in sharp contrast to the clear, transparent, and open procedures of the IPCC, CCSP, USGCRP, and NRC. Relying on the work of the major assessment reports is a sound and reasonable approach. See Section III.A. (52 pp, 315 K, About PDF) of the Findings, “The Science on Which the Decisions Are Based,” for our response to comments on the use of the assessment literature and previous responses in this section regarding our treatment of new and additional scientific literature provided through the public comment process.” [Boldface added.]

    The parts in boldface are remarkable. There is no validation of the models used by the IPCC, etc. The models are failing to correctly predict limited atmospheric warming, greatly overestimating it. There is no empirical evidence demonstrating that a doubling of CO2 will produce an increase in temperatures of 3 degrees C, plus or minus 1.5 degrees C. In declaring tiny particles (PM 2.5) are a category pollutant, the EPA relied on data that are unavailable for public, or even for Congressional review. EPA’s declaration that mercury from coal-fired power plants lower IQ is based on a questionable study from the Faroe Islands, and ignores a far more rigorous study from the Seychelles Islands.

    In short, EPA applies standards to others it is unwilling to meet itself. Such is the nature of Bureaucratic Science. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.

    Sodium Anyone? On his web site, Meteorologist Cliff Mass addresses the concern some have expressed on the use of salt on highways to make them safer in “How much salt falls naturally out of the sky?” He uses a map on “Sodium ion wet deposition, 2015″ found on the National Atmospheric Deposition Program Web site. The map is revealing. The heaviest concentrations of sodium (Na) are along the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to New Hampshire, the Pacific North West, and a bit of Utah. Few of these areas are noted for salting highways to remove ice and snow. The main culprit appears to be salt water evaporation, particularly during storms.

    Searching the maps for “Total Mercury Wet Deposition, 2015″ shows that the most affected general area is southern Florida with the southern Great Plains and Southeastern US also affected. These hardly represent the intercity neighborhoods that former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson claimed were greatly affected.

    California Rains: Central and Southern California are being hit by an atmospheric river, totally ending the drought. When the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam was used, the earth in the spillway eroded, below the spillway weir. An emergency evacuation of the area downstream was declared, without clear explanation, prompting TWTW to search for the construction drawings to find if the 30-foot high concrete weir (smooth barrier) of the spillway is anchored in bedrock. The search was futile. Oroville is the second largest reservoir in California and the highest dam in the US. The lip of the spillway is 20 feet below the height of the dam, so there was no danger of the dam breaching.

    Roy Spencer followed events and reported that the bedrock on which the spillway weir sits is highly fractured. This may have prompted officials to declare the evacuation. But the event illustrates that a great deal of confusion and fear can be created by officials not properly informing the public.

    Ever the spoiler of false fears, Tony Heller referenced an article in Scientific American on the great California floods of 1860-61, which devastated the Central Valley, long before the fear of CO2-caused climate change. Apparently, native Americans recognized what was about to happen, and followed tradition by taking to the hills. See links under Changing Weather and California Dreaming

    Additions and Corrections: Commenting on the January 28 TWTW, meteorologist William Kininmonth of Australia brought up a very important distinction between weather models and climate models. Weather models “require accurate initial conditions of temperature, moisture, and wind fields.” Thus, they improve with improving knowledge of the initial conditions – measurements.

    “In contrast, climate model projections are fundamentally reliant on energy exchange processes, both within the model atmosphere and exchanges with each of the underlying surface and space.” Very small errors in the processes involved can accumulate into large errors, resulting in significant temperature bias.

    He disagreed with a statement in the TWTW, which needs to be improved and will be discussed next time. TWTW deeply appreciates additions and corrections from such learned readers.

    Number of the Week: Over 27 million vehicles. Business Insider of Australia reports that in 2016 there were over 27 million vehicles sold in China, about one-third were SUVs. The total number includes commercial vehicles and trucks, not clearly differentiated. By comparison, the Los Angeles Times reports that 2016 was a record sales year in the US with 17.55 million new vehicles sold, about 63% SUVs and light trucks. There were about 10 million more vehicles sold in China than in the US.

    In developing countries, a high percentage of vehicles sales become new vehicles on the road. In developed countries, most are replacement vehicles. According to Hedges & Company, there were 261.8 million cars and light trucks registered in the US, up from 257.9 million in 2015, an increase of about 3.9 million or 1.5%. Recent data for total registered vehicles in China are not available. See links under After Paris! and…


    Science: Is the Sun Rising?

    3 Recent Studies Indisputably Show Solar Activity Is Very Powerful Climate Driver!
    Solar activity fluctuations control the climate: sea level in Venice, tropical storms in Australia, Amazon discharge rates
    By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (German text translated by P Gosselin), Feb 11, 2017…

    Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

    Solar Cycle Quietest in 200 Years – And Surface Warming Much Slower Than Model Projections!
    The sun in January 2017, and: a “pause” or not?
    By Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt, Translated/condensed by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 17, 2017…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008…

    Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
    By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, July 2010…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Nature Unbound II: The Dansgaard- Oeschger Cycle
    By Javier, Climate Etc. Feb 17, 2017…

    David Whitehouse: Data, Deflection And The Pause
    By David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor, Feb 12, 2017…

    DAVID ROSE: How can we trust global warming scientists if they keep twisting the truth
    By David Rose, Mail on Sunday, Feb 12, 2017…

    Kimberley Strassel: Don’t Wimp Out On Climate
    By Kimberley Strassel, WSJ, Via GWPF, Feb 17, 2017…

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    EPA’s Response to Public Comments on the Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases: Volumes 1-11
    By Staff Writers, EPA,…

    Justice Alito Declares “Carbon Dioxide Is Not a Pollutant” in a Candid, Confused Speech
    By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate, Feb 13, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    [SEPP Comment: The justice is not confused about what is a pollutant, the reporter is. The Supreme Court found greenhouse gases could be pollutanst and regulated under the Clean Air Act if the EPA found they endanger human health and welfare. It is EPA’s speculative finding that makes them pollutants, although the EPA cannot produce direct evidence supporting its finding. The finding is a major issue among scientists.]

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    Are Climate Alarmists Glassy-Eyed Cultists?
    By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Feb 16, 2017…

    14 Reasons Why Silicon Valley Embraced Climate Alarmism
    Guest essay by Leo Goldstein, WUWT, Feb 13, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: One could add: They assume global climate models are thoroughly tested.]

    Baffin Bay and Kane Basin polar bears not ‘declining’ concludes new report
    By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Feb 15, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: New report: we do not know whether prior reports of population decline were reliable or not.]

    More Data Manipulation By NOAA, NASA, HadCRUT…Cooling The Past, Warming the Present
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 13, 2017…

    The Times Manipulates the Climate Science Scandal Data
    By Tully Borland, American Thinker, Feb 12, 2017…

    Whistleblower Links NOAA Study to Climate Treaty Agendas
    By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Feb 13, 2017…

    After Paris!

    Here’s How Trump Can Withdraw From The Paris Climate Agreement
    By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Feb 13, 2017…

    Covenant of Democratic Nations
    By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Feb 16, 2017…

    The Jaw-Dropping Growth in Chinese Car Sales
    By Bill Murray, Real Car Energy, Feb 13, 2017…
    Link to report: CHART: The jaw-dropping growth in Chinese car sales
    By Paul Colgan, Business Insider, Australia, Feb 13, 2016…
    “Looking at it another way, China bought more cars last year than there are people in Australia, and a third of those were SUVs.”

    2016 U.S. auto sales set a new record high, led by SUVs
    By Staff Writers, AP, Jan 4, 2017…

    Change in US Administrations

    In the US, Trump ushers in era of dramatic deregulation
    By Ivan Couronne, AFP, Feb 10, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…

    The Time Has Come to Implement Trump’s Environmental Campaign Promises
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Feb 17, 2017…

    Retire the Phony ‘Social Cost of Carbon’
    By Roger Bezdek and Paul Driessen, Master Resource, Feb 13, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]…
    [SEPP Comment: Detailed analysis of a bureaucratic absurdity.]

    Seeking a Common Ground

    Learning from Bill Gates
    By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Feb 14, 2017…
    Link to annual letter by the Gates Foundation: Dear Warren: Our 2017 Annual Letter
    Warren Buffett’s Best Investment
    By Bill and Melinda Gates, Feb 14, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Governments should learn effective giving.]

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    A Brief History of Tree Growth in Tibetan Plateau Alpine Forests
    Silva, L.C.R., Sun, G., Zhu-Barker, X., Liang, Q., Wu, N. and Horwath, W.R. 2016. Tree growth acceleration and expansion of alpine forests: The synergistic effect of atmospheric and edaphic change. Science Advances 2: e1501302. Feb 17, 2017…
    “the six scientists report that their “measurements of stable isotopes (carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen) in tree rings indicate that tree growth has been stimulated by the synergistic effect of rising atmospheric CO2 and a warming-induced increase in water and nutrient availability from thawing permafrost.” And this great greening of the earth continues unabated.”

    Bamboos Exposed to Elevated CO2 and Ozone: How Do They Do?
    Guo, Z., Zhuang, M., Li, Y., Chen, S. and Yang, Q. 2015. Adaptability of Indocalamus decorus to climate change based on physiological and biochemical responses to elevated carbon dioxide and ozone. iForest 9: 311-317. Feb 16, 2017…

    Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Enhances Crop Water Use Efficiency
    Deryng, D., Elliott, J., Folberth, C., Muller, C., Pugh, T.A.M., Boote, K.J., Conway, D., Ruane, A.C., Gerten, D., Jones, J.W., Khabarov, N., Olin, S., Schaphoff, S., Schmid, E., Yang, H. and Rosenzweig, C. 2016. Regional disparities in the beneficial effects of rising CO2 concentrations on crop water productivity. Nature Climate Change 6: 786-790. Feb 14, 2017…
    “In closing, the four US and twelve European researchers write that their findings ‘quantify the importance of CO2 effects on potential water savings and, in so doing, highlight key limitations of global hydrological models that do not consider effects of CO2 on evapotranspiration.’ And, therefore, they further state that their results ‘demonstrate the need to expand field experiments and encourage greater consistency in modelling the effects of rising CO2 across crop and hydrological modelling communities,’ which efforts would likely suggest potentially positive outcomes.”

    Some Significant Shortcomings of Current CMIP5 Climate Models
    Scafetta, N. 2016. Problems in Modelling and Forecasting Climate Change: CMIP5 General Circulation Models versus a Semi-Empirical Model Based on Natural Oscillations. International Journal of Heat and Technology 34: S435-S442. Feb 15, 2017…

    Measurement Issues — Surface

    ‘Slowdown’ In Ocean Heating Gives Climate Sceptics A Warm Glow
    By Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times, Via GWPF, Feb 12, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Graphics showing different measuring procedures. The article does not address the key issues: What are the errors in each type of measurement and how well are the data integrated.]

    Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

    Atmospheric temperature measured by satellites sets new record in 2016.
    Press Release by Carl Mears, RSS, Jan 5, 2017…

    Changing Weather

    Massive Flood In California After Two Decades Of Drought
    By Tony Heller, The Deplorable Climate Science Blog, Feb 13, 2017…
    Link to article:
    California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe
    By Lynn Ingram, Scientific American, Jan 1, 2013…

    Flooding: What Is Normal?
    Professor Paul Bates, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Via Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 17, 2017
    [SEPP Comment: Describing a flood as one in a hundred years is misleading.]

    Northwest Weather Hits Southern California with the Most Substantial Storm in Years
    By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Feb 17, 2017…

    Changing Seas

    Asian sea levels changed rapidly 6,000 years ago — natural sea level rise “unprecedented”
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 13. 2017…
    Link to paper: Half-metre sea-level fluctuations on centennial timescales from mid-Holocene corals of Southeast Asia
    By Aron J. Meltzner, et al., Nature Communications, Feb 10, 2017…
    “Regional sea-level change is a superposition of secular eustatic trends and interannual regional oscillations, not all of which are well studied. The largest interannual variability of sea level occurs in the tropical Pacific and is related to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO); early (1993–2001) satellite data showed high rates of sea-level rise in Southeast Asia that approached 30 mm per year, though those extreme rates have not persisted.”
    “The consistency of the Southeast Asian records, from sites 2,600 km apart, suggests that the records reflect regional changes in RSL [Relative Sea Levels] that are unprecedented in modern times.”
    [SEPP Comment: This sea level variation in Southeast Asia demonstrates the tremendous error that is created by those who select regional changes over a brief time and project them globally on a century basis. If a rise of 30 mm per year persisted, it would result in a rise of 300 cm, or 118 inchers, per century.]

    “Tide Gauges/Satellites; Different Measures – Same Ocean! Will the REAL Sea-Level Please Rise???”
    By Tom Wysmuller, ICCC-9, July 8 & 9, 2014

    Changing Earth

    Land Subsidence and Relative Sea-Level Rise in the Southern Chesapeake Bay Region
    By Jack Eggleston and Jason Pope, USGS & Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, 2013

    Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

    Claim: 0.7C / Century is Exceptional
    Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Feb 13, 2017…

    Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

    On-Air Weathercasters views on Climate Change
    By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Feb 16, 2016…

    Questioning European Green

    Germans Face Pain As Power Prices Surge To “Record Levels”, Renewables Go “Almost AWOL”
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 15, 2017…

    Harsh Winter: How Coal, Lignite And Gas Saved Germany From Disaster
    Conventional power plants played a crucial role in meeting Germany’s energy requirements during dark and chilly January. Now suppliers are demanding market reforms.
    By Jürgen Flauger, Handelsblatt, Via GWPF Feb 11, 2017…

    The Political Games Continue

    [U.S. House] Committee Probes Allegations of Politicization of NOAA Study
    Press Release by Staff Writers, Committee on Science, Space, & technology, Feb 14, 2017…

    Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

    The Baker-Shultz Carbon-Tax Plan Is a Bad Deal for Americans
    By Rupert Darwall, National Review Online, Via GWPF, Feb 14, 2017…

    EPA and other Regulators on the March

    Pruitt sworn in as EPA chief
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Feb 17, 2017…

    Grants Management:
    EPA Partially Follows Leading Practices of Strategic Workforce Planning and Could Take Additional Steps
    By Staff Writers, GAO, Feb 8, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    In 2015, EPA awarded roughly $3.9 billion in grants—which is nearly half its budget—to support activities like repairing water infrastructure.

    House members: EPA officials may be using Signal to “spread their goals covertly”
    Encrypted messaging app gains new currency under the Trump administration.
    By Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, Feb 15, 2017…

    Energy Issues – Australia

    Australian Blackouts Due To Unreliable Renewables Were Predicted In Royal Society Paper
    By Miles Kemp, Sunday Mail (South Australia), Via GWPF, Feb 12, 2016…

    Australian Heatwave Excuses
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 14, 2017…
    “Only baseload generating capabilities, i.e., coal, natural gas, nuclear, and, usually, hydro, can be included when determining the capacity of the grid to provide electricity under any circumstance, including heatwaves.”

    SA Blackout: a grid crippled by complexity
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 16, 2017…
    Link to report: System Event Report, South Australia, 8 February 2017
    By Staff Writers, AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) Feb 15, 2017…

    Energy Issues — US

    U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Lowest Since 1994
    By Bill Murray, Real Clear Energy, Feb 15, 2017…
    Link to report: DRAFT Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas 6Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2015
    By Staff Writers, EPA, Feb 14, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Key tables: page 4; (2015, 6506; 1992 65,424); Figure ES-4: 2015U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Gas (Percentages based on MMT CO214Eq.) (CO2 82.2%) p.8; and Sources of CO2 emissions.]

    US GDP, Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions
    By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Feb 13, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Points out that the economic shift to services and government were important for reducing US emissions.]

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    U.S. crude oil production increases following higher drilling activity
    By Staff Writers, EIA, Feb 15, 2017…

    Gas Hydrate Breakdown Unlikely to Cause Massive Greenhouse Gas Release
    Press Release USGS, Feb 9, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…
    Link to paper: “The Interaction of Climate Change and Methane Hydrates,”
    By C. Ruppel and J. Kessler, Reviews of Geophysics, Feb 8, 2017…

    Return of King Coal?

    Coal, fuel of the future
    By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Feb 17, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Given the difficulties in Europe for electricity, replacing fossil fuels with “renewables” for transportation and heating will be very difficult. The BP Energy Outlook may be far too optimistic. The interactive map of CO2 emissions of the European electricity consumption produces surprising results. For example, at one point Denmark used 65% fossil fuels.]

    Demon Coal
    By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Feb 14, 2017…

    Utilities vote to close Navajo coal plant at end of 2019
    Utility owners need to work out an arrangement with the Navajo Nation to decommission the plant after the lease expires.
    By Ryan Randazzo, The Republic, Feb 13, 2017…

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    The world’s largest nuclear plants differ by age, number of reactors, and utilization
    By Staff Writers, EIA, Feb 6, 2017…

    Toshiba’s nuclear reactor mess winds back to a Louisiana swamp
    By Staff Writers, Bloomberg, Feb 13, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

    New Renewable Energy Targets for Scotland
    By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Feb 17, 2017…
    “Scotland is to become world leader in the hydrogen economy. I suspect we will find ourselves leading a group of 1 country that may quickly go to the wall should these proposals be implemented.”

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

    Europe’s Green Madness: Dieselgate Was A Political Disaster
    By Holman Jenkins, WSJ, Via GWPF, Feb 15, 2017…
    “We have here an emblem of the Western world’s infirmity. Multiple irrationality loops have taken over. Climate policy is the primary example—a pure traffic in costly gestures that create no real benefits for the public. In the U.S., the totality of Obama climate policies—his fuel mileage targets, his coal regulations, his wind and solar subsidies—would not make a detectable difference in the earth’s climate even if given a century to work their non-magic. Yet the cost will be hundreds of billions.”

    California Dreaming

    Oroville Dam: Crisis Eases, Emergency Spillway Repairs in Progress
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 15, 2017…

    NOAA & The Oroville Dam
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 15, 2017
    Link to NOAA report: Flooding concerns at Oroville Dam as water levels reach capacity
    By Tom Di Liberto, NOAA, Feb 14, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Interesting graph on inflow to Oroville Reservoir since 1995, showing that the latest is not the greatest.]

    Health, Energy, and Climate

    Deaths from India air pollution rival China: study
    By Nick Perry
    New Delhi (AFP) Feb 14, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Have death rates actually increased or are the deaths based on model calculations? According to the World Bank, the World death rate continues to decline. 17.75 per 1,000 in 1960 to 7.75 per 1,000 in 2014. Female life expectancy at birth has gone from 54.4 to 73.6. Male and female life expectancy at birth has gone from 52.5 to 71.5…
    Crude death rate in India went from 8.88 per 1,000 in 2000 to 7.35 in 2014. There is a sharp dip in 2007, 08, & 09 that is unexplained. In 2010 the rate returned to 7.53 and its general trend of decline to 2014. (from CIA World Factbook)…

    Other News that May Be of Interest

    GAO: Cyber attack threat from federal employees
    By Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, Feb 15, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    Link to GAO Report: Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities
    Statement of Gregory C. Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues, GAO, Release date Feb 14, 2017…
    “Over the past several years, GAO has made about 2,500 recommendations to federal agencies to enhance their information security programs and controls. As of February 2017, about1,000 recommendations had not been implemented.”

    How much salt falls naturally out of the sky?
    By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Feb 12, 2017…
    Link to the National Atmospheric Deposition Program Web site maps and data…

    Worse than we thought – global food production 2
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions, Feb 16, 2017…

    “Climate change is set to do far worse damage to global food production than even the gloomiest of previous forecasts, according to studies presented at the Royal Society in London, UK, on Tuesday.

    “’We need to seriously re-examine our predictions of future global food production,’” said Steve Long, a crop scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. Output is “’likely to be far lower than previously estimated’.”
    New Scientist, 26 Apr 2005

    [SEPP Comment: Since these dire predictions, crop yields in the US and the world have soared.]

    1. Scott Pruitt’s Back-to-Basics Agenda for the EPA
    The new administrator plans to follow his statutory mandate—clean air and water—and to respect states’ rights.
    By Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, Feb 17, 2017…

    SUMMARY: The journalist states:

    Republican presidents tend to nominate one of two types of administrator to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. The first is the centrist—think Christie Todd Whitman (2001-03)—who might be equally at home in a Democratic administration. The other is the fierce conservative—think Anne Gorsuch (1981-83)—who views the agency in a hostile light.
    Scott Pruitt, whom the Senate confirmed Friday, 52-46, doesn’t fit either mold. His focus is neither expanding nor reducing regulation. “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administration, or a particular administrator,” he says. “Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.” You might call him an EPA originalist.

    Not that environmentalists and Democrats saw it that way. His was one of President Trump’s most contentious cabinet nominations. Opponents objected that as Oklahoma’s attorney general Mr. Pruitt had sued the EPA at least 14 times. Detractors labeled him a “climate denier” and an oil-and-gas shill, intent on gutting the agency and destroying the planet. For his confirmation hearing, Mr. Pruitt sat through six theatrical hours of questions and submitted more than 1,000 written responses.

    During an interview, Pruitt said:

    “We’ve made extraordinary progress on the environment over the decades, and that’s something we should celebrate,” he says. “But there is real work to be done.” What kind of work? Hitting air-quality targets, for one: “Under current measurements, some 40% of the country is still in nonattainment.” There’s also toxic waste to clean up: “We’ve got 1,300 Superfund sites and some of them have been on the list for more than three decades.”

    Such work is where Washington can make a real difference. “These are issues that go directly to the health of our citizens that should be the absolute focus of this agency,” Mr. Pruitt says. “This president is a fixer, he’s an action-oriented leader, and a refocused EPA is in a great position to get results.”

    “That, he adds, marks a change in direction from his predecessor at the EPA, Gina McCarthy. ‘This past administration didn’t bother with statutes,’ he says. ‘They displaced Congress, disregarded the law, and in general said they would act in their own way. That now ends.’

    “Mr. Pruitt says he expects to quickly withdraw both the Clean Power Plan (President Obama’s premier climate regulation) and the 2015 Waters of the United States rule (which asserts EPA power over every creek, pond or prairie pothole with a ‘significant nexus’ to a ‘navigable waterway’). ‘There’s a very simple reason why this needs to happen: Because the courts have seriously called into question the legality of those rules,’ Mr. Pruitt says. He would know, since his state was a party to the lawsuits that led to both the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan and an appeals court’s hold on the water rule.

    “Will the EPA regulate carbon dioxide? Mr. Pruitt says he won’t prejudge the question. ‘There will be a rule-making process to withdraw those rules, and that will kick off a process,’ he says. ‘And part of that process is a very careful review of a fundamental question: Does EPA even possess the tools, under the Clean Air Act, to address this? It’s a fair question to ask if we do, or whether there in fact needs to be a congressional response to the climate issue.’ Some might remember that even President Obama believed the executive branch needed express congressional authorization to regulate CO 2 —that is, until Congress said ‘no’ and Mr. Obama turbocharged the EPA.

    “Among Mr. Pruitt’s top priorities is improving America’s water infrastructure. ‘I’m going to be advancing this with the president, this idea that when we talk about investing in infrastructure, we need to look more broadly than bridges and roads,’ he says. ‘Look at what happened in Flint,’ the Michigan town where lead was found in the water supply. ‘Look at what is happening in California,’ where the Oroville Dam’s failure endangers tens of thousands of homes.

    “Mr. Pruitt defies the stereotype of the fierce conservative who wants to destroy the agency he runs. Nonetheless, he is likely to encounter considerable hostility. The union that represents the EPA’s 15,000-strong bureaucracy urged its members to besiege their senators with calls this week asking them to reject Mr. Pruitt’s appointment. (The effort didn’t have much effect: The vote was nearly along party lines, with only two Democrats and one Republican breaking ranks.) These bureaucrats have the ability to sabotage his leadership. That’s what happened to Mrs. Gorsuch. She went to war with the bureaucracy, and the bureaucracy won.

    “Mr. Pruitt wants progress… ‘

    “Mr. Pruitt has read those laws his agency is charged with enforcing, and they guide another major change: a rebalancing of power between Washington and the states. ‘Every statute makes clear this is supposed to be a cooperative relationship,’ he explains, ‘that Congress understood that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work for environmental regulation, and that the state departments of environmental quality have an enormous role to play.’

    “He faults President Obama’s EPA for its ‘attitude that the states are a vessel of federal will. They were aggressive about dictating to the states and displacing their authority and letting it be known they didn’t trust the states.’ Mr. Pruitt has numbers to back up the claim: During the combined presidencies of George H.W. Bush,Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the EPA imposed five federal air-quality implementation plans on states. Mr. Obama’s EPA imposed 56.

    The author cites a coalition for the Chesapeake Bay as one the example of the ability of the affected states and the federal working together. Then he writes:

    “Mr. Pruitt argues that his renewed focus on statutes and federalism will help produce regulatory certainty, which will be good for business: ‘The greatest threat we’ve had to economic growth has been that those in industry don’t know what is expected of them. Rules come that are outside of statutes. Rules get changed midway. It creates vast uncertainty and paralysis, and re-establishing a vigorous commitment to rule of law is going to help a lot.’

    “His focus on jobs and the economy sets him apart from some past EPA administrators. ‘I reject this paradigm that says we can’t be both pro-environment and pro-energy,’ he says several times during the interview. ‘We are blessed with great national resources, and we should be good stewards of those. But we’ve been the best in the world at showing you do that while also growing jobs and the economy. Too many people put on a jersey in this fight. I want to send the message that we can and will do both.’

    According to Pruitt,

    “‘Most lawsuits against the EPA historically have come either because of the agency’s lack of regard for a statute, or because the EPA failed in an obligation or deadline,’ he says. ‘But we protect ourselves by hewing to the statutes. It will prove very difficult for environmental groups to sue on the grounds that they think one priority is more important than another—because that is something that really is at the discretion of agency.’

    “Speaking of lawsuits, Mr. Pruitt says he plans to end the practice known as ‘sue and settle.’ That’s when a federal agency invites a lawsuit from an ideologically sympathetic group, with the intent to immediately settle. The goal is to hand the litigators a policy victory through the courts—thereby avoiding the rule-making process, transparency and public criticism. The Obama administration used lawsuits over carbon emissions as its pretext to create climate regulations.

    “‘There is a time and place to sometimes resolve litigation,’ Mr. Pruitt allows. ‘But don’t use the judicial process to bypass accountability.’ Some conservatives have suggested the same tactic “might be useful now that Republicans are in charge. ‘That’s not going to happen,’ he insists. ‘Regulation through litigation is simply wrong.’ Instead, Mr. Pruitt says, the EPA will return to a rule-making by the book. ‘We need to end this practice of issuing guidance, to get around the rule-making procedure. Or rushing things through, playing games on the timing.’

    “For similar reasons, Mr. Pruitt plans to overhaul the agency’s procedure for producing scientific studies and cost-benefit analyses. ‘The citizens just don’t trust that EPA is honest with these numbers,’ he says. ‘Let’s get real, objective data, not just do modeling. Let’s vigorously publish and peer-review science. Let’s do honest cost-benefit work. We need to restore the trust.’’

    2. If You Kill a Migratory Duck, Your Goose May Be Cooked
    A century-old law stymies development to protect common fowl like crows and hummingbirds.
    By Allysia Finley, WSJ, Feb 15, 2017…

    SUMMARY: Arguing that the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act has outlived its usefulness the reporter gives specific examples of absurd enforcement. The examples include a hummingbird’s nest stopping renovations on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge north of San Francisco, nesting cormorants stopping demolition of Oakland’s Bay bridge.

    “The 1918 migratory-bird law was originally crafted as a treaty with Canada—Mexico, Japan and Russia later signed—to protect migratory birds from poachers who made a bundle selling their feathers. Recall the ornate feathered hats worn by actresses in the 1913 play ‘Pygmalion.’

    “Under the act, it’s a federal crime to ‘pursue, hunt, take, capture or kill’ migratory birds. The list of protected species has soared to 1,026, including common fowl like crows, ducks and finches. President Obama alone extended protections to nearly 200 species.

    “Meanwhile, what constitutes criminal conduct has become decidedly fuzzy. Taking an egg is blatantly illegal. Prosecutors have argued that the law also covers subtler activities that inadvertently cause harm to birds.

    “The legal ambiguity has businesses and contractors walking on eggshells. When five black-crowned night herons were injured after a contractor trimmed trees outside of an Oakland post office in 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched an investigation. A public outcry rescued the worker from prosecution.”

    “Other, less sympathetic defendants haven’t been so fortunate. In 2011 federal prosecutors charged seven oil companies in North Dakota after 28 birds, mainly ducks, flew into their tar pits. Fish and Wildlife argued that the waste pits should have been covered. A U.S. district judge in 2012 dismissed the charges, holding that the 1918 law did not apply to “incidental and unintended” deaths that occur during “legal, commercially-useful activity.”

    “The judge also wondered why prosecutors hadn’t targeted windmills, which kill about a half million birds each year. Rather than accept the rebuke, they declared open season on wind farms. In 2013 prosecutors charged Duke Energy Renewables after its wind turbines in Wyoming were found to have mauled 163 birds. Duke pleaded guilty and paid a $1 million penalty. In 2015 PacifiCorp Energy was charged and fined $2.5 million after 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds were killed at its wind farms.’

    The journalist gives examples that some federal appeals courts consider accidental avian deaths a crime, others do not.

    “Prosecuting inadvertent activity has no limiting principle. A 2014 study performed for the Fish and Wildlife Service found that communication towers kill an estimated 6.6 million birds each year. Building collisions cause between 365 million and 988 million bird deaths annually. Should building owners be charged when a bird flies into a window or wall?

    “Government agencies, businesses and contractors have been taking legal precautions to avoid disturbing migratory birds, which has delayed and increased costs for hundreds of infrastructure projects. In 2010 TransCanada delayed construction of a pipeline in Wyoming until migratory birds cleared the construction zone. Ospreys stalled 700 Sprint cell sites in 2012. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has even ordered all state buildings to turn off inessential outdoor lighting after 11 p.m. during peak migratory season for birds.

    “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act has outlived its purpose and been superseded by the Endangered Species Act. Let it go the way of the dodo.”


    The Week That Was: 2017-01-28 (January 28, 2017)
    Brought to You by SEPP
    The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. – Carl Sagan

    Number of the Week: Less than 40%

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

    TWTW: Due to other commitments requiring refraining from public comments that may be misconstrued as suggesting policy, this TWTW will be short and comments restrained. Responses to correspondence will be limited. Thank you.

    Appropriate Science? Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Raul Grijalva have written to President Trump objecting to Ken Haapala’s unpaid, temporary position on the Department of Commerce transition, landing team. They correctly state Haapala has no advanced degree in natural sciences. Afterwards, the letter contains numerous errors, such as Haapala “has made a career out of denying the science behind climate change.”

    Born in Massachusetts, immediately north of Senator Whitehouse’s home state of Rhode Island, Haapala learned in elementary school that many of the geographic features of New England and the northern US were formed by ice sheets and the subsequent melt. The last ice sheets began melting about 18,000 to 20,000 years ago, raising sea levels by about 120 meters (400 feet), as discussed in last week’s TWTW. Certain maps show deep canyons cut in the eastern continental shelf by rivers such as the St. Lawrence and the Hudson.

    These ice sheets created numerous lakes such as the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, etc. in the northern US. There are few such natural lakes in the southern US. Also, evidence of scouring of bedrock by glaciers can be found in Central Park in Manhattan.

    When teaching economics at Arizona State University, in Representative Grijalva’s home state, Haapala observed the impact of water vapor, the major greenhouse gas, on climate. The largely uninhabited parts of the Sonoran Desert were hotter during the day, but cooled more rapidly at night than areas in Southeastern US of similar latitude and elevation, during the same months.

    Also, areas with extensive irrigation or urbanization cool much more slowly at night than rural areas without irrigation, showing a human influence on climate. Evidence of changing climate and its causes has long fascinated Haapala.

    When engaged under federal contract to review the US energy models, particularly the natural gas model, Haapala became disturbed by the lack of proper testing of the numerical models – so called “state-of-the-art” computer models. Although many of the studies he reviewed were impressive, Haapala reported major issues with the models, and why they were unsuitable for short-tern prediction and not useful for long-term policy. The report was largely ignored. The conventional thinking in Washington at the time was that the world would run out of oil around the end of the 20th century. Policies based on these models continue to cost taxpayers, without benefits.

    Messrs. Whitehead and Grijalva misstate that “SEPP is a project of the Heartland Institute”. It is not. SEPP is its own entity formed in 1990 by distinguished scientists such as S. Fred Singer and Fredrick Seitz. It is funded by private contributions, not by companies in energy, chemicals, or tobacco industries, as falsely stated in the_Washington Post_. When Haapala joined SEPP, he resigned as a long-time member of the board of the oldest science society formed in Washington, because he knew he would be subject to political attacks and did not wish to have these attacks reflect on that organization. Daring to confront conventional thinking has its own responsibilities and penalties.

    A great influence on Haapala’s willingness to question conventional thinking are the writings of Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher and mathematician. With no advanced degree in natural sciences, Russell wrote very clearly on many scientific issues of the day. As an objector to World War I, Russell was convicted under “The Defense of the Realm Act”. For that reason, he was dismissed from his position at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was jailed for speaking out against British efforts to entice the US to join the War. One of Russell’s major objections to Britain’s entry into the War was that the treaties and agreements used to justify Britain’s entry were not publicly discussed by the legislature, the Parliament. Is this similar with the U.S. involvement in Paris Agreement to limit CO2 emissions?

    In 1940, Russell’s appointment to City College of New York was thwarted by legal action. Due to his writings on religion and morals, a New York court found him “morally unfit” to teach – mathematics and logic? Intolerance of those who disagree with conventional thinking is not limited by political party or ideology. See links under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry.

    Arctic Refreeze: In January, Arctic sea ice is expanding rapidly. The Siberian Times reports that two Russian icebreakers, the_Kapitan Dranitsyn and_Admiral Makarov, are “marooned” for the remainder of the winter – until May or early June. It may be premature to book a winter pleasure cruise of the Arctic. See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice.

    Hurricane Activity: The web site,CO2 Science, reviewed an interesting paper by Mexican scientists on hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. These scientists developed a chart estimating hurricane activity from 1749 to 2012. Based on their chart, the number of hurricanes varies annually, with a sharp peak about 1840 with 13 hurricanes. However, the general trend is a decline in frequency. The researchers attribute the general decline to an increase in sunspot activity. See links under Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science.

    Attributing Blame? Writing in_Energy Matters, Roger Andrews reports an interesting analysis performed for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The US is a party to the UNFCCC.

    The analysis was performed by an ad-hoc group for modelling and assessment of contributions of climate change (MATCH) to evaluate a proposal by Brazil. The report gives a pie chart of an estimate of temperature increases from 1890 to 2000 based on estimates of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4, and N2O). [Assuming greenhouse gas emissions are the cause.] Andrews writes:

    “Assuming that the sum of the contributions from the USA, OECD Europe, Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), Japan and Canada represents the warming contribution of the developed countries we find that these countries were responsible for only 41% of the global temperature increase between 1890 and 2000. The remaining 59% was caused by emissions from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia less Japan, which with the exception of Singapore and arguably South Korea include all the world’s developing countries, along with the Former Soviet Union and East European countries, which at the time had nowhere near reached developed country income levels and mostly still haven’t.”_

    See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy.

    Number of the Week: Less than 40%. Roger Andrews updates the 2000 estimates of possible temperature rise from greenhouse gas emissions and concludes that if the analysis is correct, “developed countries have caused less than 40% of the global warming to date and the developing countries more than 60%.” Then, why are developed countries expected to make the bulk of the contributions to the Green Climate Fund run by the UNFCCC? The UNFCCC goal is $100 Billion per year. See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy.


    Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

    Letter to President Donald Trump
    By Raul Grijalva and Sheldon Whitehouse, Members of Congress, Jan. 24, 2017

    Dems Urge Donald Trump To Remove Climate Change Denier From Post Overseeing NOAA Transition
    “Climate science denial ‘will put American businesses at a disadvantage and make our country a more dangerous place to live,’ the letter reads.”
    By Ryan Grenoble, Huffington Post, Jan 24, 2017…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Robert Merlin Carter: 9 March 1942 – 19 January 2016
    By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Jan 24, 2017…
    Link to web site: Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming
    By Robert M. Carter (1942-2016), Craig Idso, S. Fred Singer, Heartland Institute, Nov 30, 2015…

    Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008…

    Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
    By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, July 2010…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    You Ought to Have a Look: Interview with Will Happer
    By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Jan 25, 2017…
    Link to William Happer interview and flow chart: Focused Civil Dialogue on Global Warming
    TBS, No Date…

    Vahrenholt rails against the ‘climate priests’
    By Diarmaid Williams, PEI, Jan 25, 2017…

    The Urgency of Revoking the USEPA’s GHG Endangerment Finding
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science…

    Danish Think Tank: $9B Cloud Project Could Prevent All 21st Century Global Warming
    By Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News, Jan 24, 2017…

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    Trump nominee pledges to shield NOAA climate scientists from intimidation, censorship
    By Andrew Freedman, Marshable, Jan 24, 2017…

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    Attributing the blame for global warming
    By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Jan 25, 2017…
    Link to report: Summary report of the ad-hoc group for modelling and assessment of contributions of climate change (MATCH)
    By Niklas Höhne, et al. MATCH, Nov 7, 2008…

    Change in US Administrations

    The Trump shift
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 25, 2017…

    Lord Monckton’s Ten for Trump and America (climate disengagement at hand)
    By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 27, 2017…

    Seeking a Common Ground

    A crisis of trust is looming between scientists and society – it’s time to talk
    It’s vital to improve public trust in science and expertise. But science is increasingly complex, and getting harder to explain. Things need to change
    By Helen Czerski, The Guardian, Jan 27, 2017…

    Why You Should Never, Ever Stop Challenging Conventional Wisdom
    The experts are usually wrong.
    By Quora, Inc. Jan 23, 2017 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    A Twenty-Six Decade Record of Atlantic Hurricanes
    Rojo-Garibaldi, B., Salas-de-León, D.A., Sánchez, N.L. and Monreal-Gómez, M.A. 2016. Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea and their relationship with sunspots.Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 148: 48-52. Jan 27, 2017…

    Elevated CO2 and Warming Reduce the Abundance of Plant-Feeding Nematodes in a Wyoming Grassland
    Mueller, K.E., Blumenthal, D.M., Carrillo, Y., Cesarz, S., Ciobanu, M., Hines, J., Pabst, S., Pendall, E., de Tomasel, C.M., Wall, D.H. and Eisenhauer, N. 2016. Elevated CO2 and warming shift the functional composition of soil nematode communities in a semiarid grassland.Soil Biology & Biochemistry 103: 46-51. Jan 25, 2017…

    A Five-Century Streamflow Reconstruction for the Missouri River Basin
    Ho, M., Lall, U. and Cook, E.R. 2016. Can a paleodrought record be used to reconstruct streamflow? A case study for the Missouri River Basin.Water Resources Research 52: 5195-5212. Jan 24, 2017…

    Changing Weather

    Weather Satellite Imagery Now in Color!
    By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Jan 24, 2017…

    The Winter Of 1947
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 27, 2017

    Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

    Blow to Northern Sea Route as voyages of two icebreakers are… broken by ice
    By The Siberian Times reporter, Jan 24, 2017…

    Arctic Ice Takes Revenge
    By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Jan 26, 2017 [H/t GWPF]…
    [SEPP Comment: Graph showing Arctic ice extent in January is expanding rapidly.]

    Larsen C Ice Shelf Crack Not Related To Climate Change …Ice “More Stable Than Previously Thought”
    No climate change: Huge iceberg threatens to break off from Larsen C Ice Shelf
    By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Jan 24, 2017…

    Questioning European Green

    [Mayor] Sadiq Khan issues “very high” air pollution alert in London
    By Caitlin Morrison, City A.M. Jan 23, 2017…
    “Pollution levels have also been heightened by ‘an unusually high amount of domestic wood burning’ on Sunday afternoon and evening.”

    Wood Burning Fad Blamed For Urban Air Pollution
    By David Sanderson, The Times, Via GWPF, Jan 26, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: The use of natural wood, that is not properly seasoned, dried, is a problem.]

    Germany’s Energiewende — A Disaster In The Making
    By Fritz Vahrenholt, GWPF, 2017…

    Questioning Green Elsewhere

    ‘Green Champion’ China Is Building Europe’s New Coal Power Plants
    By Maja Zuvela, Reuters, Via GWPF, Jan 25, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Includes map of coal-fired plants in south-eastern Europe.]

    Did the Coal Phase-out Reduce Ontario Air Pollution?
    By Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliakbari, Fraser Institute, Jan 17, 2017…
    “Overall, we conclude that the coal phase-out yielded small improvements in air quality in some locations, consistent with projections done prior to the plant closures, which were comparable in size to projected air quality improvements that could have been achieved through installation of new pollution control systems rather than closing the plants.”
    [SEPP Comment: Links to Executive Summary and full report given.]

    If SA [South Australia] gets any more free energy everyone will go broke
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 24, 2017…

    EPA and other Regulators on the March

    Rearguard Obstructionism
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 27, 2017…

    The EPA just delayed 30 environmental regulations created under Obama — here’s what that means
    By Rafi Letzter and Dave Mosher, Business Insider, Jan 26, 2017…

    Washington’s Control of Energy

    The Dakota Access Pipeline is the Best Way to Move Bakken Crude Oil to Market.
    Dakota Access – Pipeline Facts, Web Site promoting the pipeline, Accessed Jan 27, 2017…
    [SEPP Comment: Good graphics of the pipeline which is almost entirely on private land, often used for other utility easements. The crossing of the Missouri River (Lake Oahe) is at least 95 feet below the river / lake bed.]

    Return of King Coal?

    Vastly Improved Modern Coal-Fired Power Plants
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 24, 2017…

    The New Coal Boom?
    By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Via GWPF, Jan 27, 2017…
    “The Minerals Council of Australia says there are more than 725 high-efficiency, low-emissions plants already in operation in East Asia alone.
    “A further 1100 plants are under construction or in the pipeline.”
    [SEPP Comment: Under regulations by the Obama Administration, new high-efficiency ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants could not be built in the US.]

    Big win: Turnbull wasted billions, but now backs super critical coal, copies skeptics 5 years later
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 24, 2017…

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    Britain Quits Euratom
    By Sam Coates and Emily Gosden, The Time, Via GWPF, Jan 27, 2017…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

    Why do people think hydrogen-powered cars are sustainable?
    By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Jan 21, 2017…

    Another secret report!
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change, Jan 24, 2017…

    “A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

    “The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.

    “The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

    “Climate change ‘should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern’, say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.”

    Link to the Guardian article: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
    By Mark Townsend and Paul Harris, The Guardian, Feb 21, 2004…

    1. Trump Administration Aims to Reverse Obama’s Climate Agenda
    Anticipated actions would come on top of other commitments to repeal environmental regulations issued over past eight years
    By Amy Harder, WSJ, Jan 22, 2017…

    SUMMARY: The reporter states:“The Trump administration is looking to take action within days to reverse former President Barack Obama’s climate agenda and show its commitment to promoting fossil-fuel infrastructure, according to people familiar with the plan.

    “The anticipated actions would come on top of other commitments President Donald Trump has made to repeal a raft of environmental regulations issued by Mr. Obama over the past eight years, especially a high-profile measure cutting carbon emissions from power plants and a water-pollution rule. Presidential directives ordering the Environmental Protection Agency, which issued both regulations, to begin work to repeal them are likely within days, although the actual repeal could take years.

    “The additional moves include actions to advance the Keystone XL oil pipeline and a push to remove greenhouse-gas emissions as an element of environmental reviews of new projects.”

    However, the timing and method of repealing policy items has not been set.

    Also:“The Trump administration also is looking to squash guidance the White House issued last August on climate change and is weighing suspension of a metric, called the social cost of carbon, that seeks to incorporate the monetary impact of climate change into government actions.

    “That guidance, which has no legal impact, calls on federal agencies to consider greenhouse-gas emissions as part of regular reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act, a federal law that lays out the environmental reviews required for a host of different infrastructure projects, including pipelines.

    Eliminating the guidance and the metric is a way for Mr. Trump to show he is working to promote American energy and infrastructure, a staple of his campaign rhetoric, according to people close to the administration.”

    2. No More Keystone Capers
    Trump liberates two pipelines but could kill them with new demands.
    Editorial, WSJ, Jan 24, 201…

    SUMMARY: After praising Trump for executive orders for reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, the editorial states:

    “Keystone is predicted to spin off 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, many of them to be filled by union workers, and add $3 billion to GDP. The pipeline could move 830,000 barrels a day along the route from Alberta to Nebraska; up to 100,000 would come from North Dakota, where a glut of crude has to travel by rail to reach refineries built to process it. The efficiencies will ripple across the oil and gas industry.

    “The Keystone order directs the State Department to make a recommendation within 60 days for a prompt approval, though environmental groups will file lawsuits in every eligible jurisdiction. The objections are specious: President Obama’s State Department concluded on several occasions that Keystone would have no meaningful effect on climate or emissions. Moving oil by pipeline emits less carbon and is safer than trains.

    “As for Dakota Access, you may have noticed the months-long media rally around Standing Rock Sioux protests. The tribe claims the pipeline will harm its land and water, but this is fake news: Dakota Access does not run beneath the reservation. The route, which was altered 140 times in North Dakota to protect cultural resources, cuts along private land where other pipelines run. The tribe lost in federal court but has vowed to fight President Trump’s order.

    “One danger here is President Trump’s campaign promise to “renegotiate some of the terms” that included bromides about how “we’ll build our own pipes, like we used to in the old days.” He floated royalty payments during the campaign, and a separate order on Tuesday directed the Commerce Department to develop a plan to use U.S. steel and iron in all new pipelines. TransCanada has said in past months that it’s “fully committed” to Keystone XL, but the company may not be eager for another politician to direct its investment decisions.

    “White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Mr. Trump is looking to ensure taxpayers the best possible deal. Reminder: Taxpayers pay nothing. The State Department estimated that when Keystone is finished and pumping oil, local governments will collect more than $55 million a year in property taxes. About 70% of the resulting refined products from Keystone would stay in the U.S., which will push down gas prices as another benefit, according to a study from IHS. That already sounds like a good deal.

    “Meanwhile on the livefeed for “The Resistance,” Senate Democrats are proposing a trillion dollars in direct federal spending on public works—and no doubt hoping to persuade President Trump to go along and divide the GOP. But Republicans in Congress should not agree to a dollar of new such spending without more streamlining in permitting.

    “Private investment projects like Keystone and Dakota Access are the superior route to creating jobs and boosting incomes, which President Trump has long said is his first priority. Mr. Trump’s best move would be to ditch his floated Keystone conditions and enjoy taking credit for the resulting economic growth. He could even attend the next ground-breaking ceremony.”


    The Week That Was: 2016-12-31 (December 31, 2016)
    Brought to You by SEPP
    The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week
    “The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein

    Number of the Week: $26 Billion

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

    TWTW: Over the next few weeks, the coverage of TWTW will be limited. Shortly before the election, Ken Haapala was asked to volunteer for a non-paid, temporary position on a Trump transition landing team. He responded as he would have for any major national candidate – Yes. Having been vetted, on January 2 he starts his duties. The activities will probably take considerable time, and he will avoid writing in TWTW about policy or political issues. Any policy or political writing may be misinterpreted. Thank you.

    Updated US Climate Change Financing: A recently uncovered report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides data on federal government financing of climate science and climate change activities. This prompted an update of estimates made several years ago, that were discussed in TWTW at the time. The CRS report covers FY 2008 to 2014, with FY 2014 as estimates based on the President’s FY2014 request. (Today, the fiscal year runs from October 1 of the prior year to September 30 of the stated year. For example, FY2017 would be from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017.). The report states:

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and federal agencies have identified approximately $77 billion of budget authority available to federal agencies from Fiscal Years 2008 through 2013 for climate change activities. The large majority—more than 75%—funded technology development and deployment, mostly through the Department of Energy (DOE). More than one-third of the identified funding during this period was appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5), enacted February 17, 2009.

    In general, agencies spend all their budget authority. The OMB is the source used for expenditure. The report covers several major federal initiatives which address climate: the US Global Change Research Program; the Clean Energy Technologies, formerly called the Climate Change Technology Program; International Climate Change Assistance, largely funding UN Groups such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and Climate Adaptation, Preparedness, and Resilience.

    The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606). Its numbers grew from $1.728 Billion in FY 2001 to an estimate of $2.658 Billion in FY 2014, plus an additional 0.641 Billion with the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also called the Stimulus Bill.

    The Clean Energy Technologies grew from $1.675 Billion in FY 2001 to an estimate of $7.933 in FY2014 plus an additional $25.499 Billion in the ARRA. International Climate Assistance grew from $218 Million in FY 2001 to $893 Million in FY 2014 and Adaptation grew from$0 in FY 2009 to $110 Million in FY2014

    The total reported numbers also include OMB estimates of Energy Tax Provisions That May Reduce Greenhouse Gases which grew from $0 in FY2001 to an estimate of $9.839 Billion in 2014. Tax credits for alternative electricity generation such as wind and solar fall into this group.

    The expenditure estimates were combined with earlier expenditure estimates from the Government Accountability Office to give an indication of approximate government expenditures on climate change since FY1993. The various categories were grouped into two: climate science and other.

    From FY 1993 to FY 2014, the government reports show that annual spending on “climate science” grew from $1.306 Billion to $2.658 Billon, totaling $42.488 Billion. Of this total $0.641 Billion came with AARA (the “stimulus bill”). The increase in annual expenditures over the period was a bit over 200%. Over this period “Other” climate related expenditures (including tax credits) grew from $1.046 Billion to $8.936 Billion, totaling $104.289 Billion, with $25.499 Billion coming from ARRA. The increase in annual expenditures over the period was 850%.

    Total expenditures for the period grew from $2.352 Billion to $11.594 Billion, for a total of $146.777 Billion with $26.140 Billion coming from ARRA. The increase in annual expenditures was 490%.

    The amount going to international assistance, UN groups, grew from $201 Million to $893 Million in 2014, a growth in annual expenditures 440%. The UN groups focus on global warming occurring at the surface, surface-air temperatures, and largely ignore atmospheric warming, where the greenhouse gas effect occurs.

    When the budgets for FY 2015 & FY 2016 of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) are included, the total expenditures for “climate science” from FY 1993 to FY 2016 come to $47.561 Billion with international assistance amounting to $8.240 Billion.

    As with UN groups, the USGCRP does not consider atmospheric warming as important. Yet, according to the 1979 National Academy of Sciences “Charney Report”, the greenhouse gas warming occurs in the atmosphere. Since the advent of comprehensive satellite measurements almost 40 years ago, atmospheric warm is slight, and can be explained as from natural causes.

    The CRS report also gave the total annual expenditures of climate change in constant 2012 dollars, but the GAO report did not give constant dollars. The index used by the CRS was not available on the web, so the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was used to adjust GAO numbers to 2012 constant dollars. To assure a reasonable adjustment, several calculations were double-checked with CRS numbers. The error in the match sets was less than 1%.

    In 2012 dollars, expenditures for climate change grew from $3.740 Billion in 1993 to $11.112 Billion in 2014, for a total of $166.530 Billion from FY 1993 to FY 2014. The growth in expenditures was 297%, or almost 300%. Note that estimates for “Other” climate expenditures were not available for FY 2015 & FY 2016, so the total amount could not be calculated to include those years.

    By way of comparison, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the entire Apollo program, from 1962 to 1973 with 17 missions, and 7 of them sending men to the moon and returning them cost $170 Billion, in 2005 Dollars. Using the CPI this works out to be about $200 Billion in 2012 dollars. In “fighting” climate change, the US is spending almost as much as it did on all the Apollo missions, without examining the correct data. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.

    Number of the Week: As stated above, the 2009 “stimulus bill” contained $26.140 Billion in federal government funding on climate related activities. Such spending provided few “shovel ready” jobs.



    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008…

    Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
    By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, July 2010…

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Obsolete Climate Science on CO2
    By Richard A. Epstein, The Hoover Institution, Dec 20, 2016 [H/t WUWT]…
    “At this time, it appears that virtually all the EPA rules rest on outdated science.”
    [SEPP Comment: Addresses weaknesses in approaches by establishment climate science defenders such as exaggerated concerns over global warming, dismissive attitude towards independent inquiry, the manner in framing the concept of social cost of carbon, etc.]

    Salvaging the Unsalvageable: HFCs and the UN Climate Change Fiasco
    By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Dec 29, 2016…

    Skeptical Climate Scientists Coming In From the Cold
    By James Varney, RealClear Investigations, Dec 31, 2016

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment
    Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate
    By Jule G. Charney, et al. Climate Research Board, National Academy of Sciences, July 23-27, 1979…

    Climate Change: Improvements Needed to Clarify National Priorities and Better Align Them with Federal Funding Decisions
    By Staff Writers, Summary, GAO-11-317, May 20, 2011 [FY 1993 to FY 2010]…

    Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014
    By Jane Leggett, et al. Congressional Research Service, Sep 13, 2013
    U.S. Government’s Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Consolidated Financial Statements – Summary
    GAO-15-341R: Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015.…

    U.S. Global Change Research Program
    Thirteen Agencies, One Vision: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science…
    FY 2015 & 2016 Budget…

    CPI Inflation Calculator
    Databases, Tables & Calculators by Subject…

    A Budgetary Analysis of NASA’s New Vision for Space Exploration
    By Staff Writers, Congressional Budget Office, September 2004 p.18…

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    Why Climate Alarmists Have Missed the Big Picture
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Dec 30, 2016…
    “Climate alarmists have laid out a technical basis that CAGW could occur if all their climate model assumptions were correct. Far, far more likely is that global temperatures will fall, just as they did during the Little Ice Age ending in the 19th Century.”

    Prioritizing the environment and jobs with Pruitt at the helm of EPA
    By Sen. Jim Inhofe, Washington Examiner, Dec 21, 2016…

    The Climate Science Challenge,
    By Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, His Blog, Dec 28, 2016 [H/t Cooler Heads]…
    [SEPP Comment: Seeking the invisible 97%!]

    The Illusion of Knowledge
    By Scott Adams, Creator of Dilbert, His Blog, Dec 29, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    Mathematical Association of America Reviews Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics
    Posted by William Briggs, His Blog, Dec 26, 2016…

    You Ought to Have a Look: Panic Among Alarmists
    By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Dec 30, 2016…
    Link to Curry post: The art and science of climate model tuning
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Aug 1, 2016…

    Newly launched Chinese satellite claims to monitor CO2 – but does it?
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 27, 2016…
    Link to paper: A cloud detection scheme for the Chinese Carbon Dioxide Observation Satellite (TANSAT)
    By Xi Wang, Zheng Guo. Yipeng Huang, Hongjie Fan, Wanbiao Li, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, Dec 14, 2016…

    Obama’s National Monument Designation: Second-Term Environmental Policymaking at Its Worst
    By William Yeatman, CEI, Dec 29, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Is this the way that certain outgoing administrations punish the public for not continuing their ways?]

    Scientists discovered an absurdly easy way to seem convincing
    By Kevin Loria, Business Insider, Dec 25, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    [SEPP Comment: Maybe this is why the EPA claims its endangerment finding is supported by basic physics, without providing the data.]

    Discussion thread – Social Cost of Carbon
    By David Wojick, Climate Etc. Dec 30, 2016…

    Polar Bear Population Is Rising, Despite Green Fears
    By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Dec 22, 2016…

    After Paris!

    Here’s why the Senate should help Trump repudiate the Paris climate agreement
    By Marlo Lewis, Fox, Dec 20, 2016…

    After US Election — Favorable

    New EPA Head a Welcome Political Climate Change
    By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Dec 19, 2016…

    Republican attorneys general eager to dismantle Obama climate agenda under Donald Trump
    Democratic states now vow to challenge a GOP-ruled Washington on environmental issues
    By Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times, December 26, 2016…

    Trump Versus The Green Blob: The Battle That Will Define His Presidency
    By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Dec 19, 2016…

    Trump should adopt these climate-related reforms to make America great again
    By H. Sterling Burnett, Orange County Register, Dec 16, 2016…

    Seeking a Common Ground

    The latest climate ‘conspiracy theory’
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 15, 2016…

    Was 2016 the Best Year Ever?
    By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Dec 26, 2016…

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    Parts of Asia Were Warmer During the Holocene Than They Are Now
    Aizen, E.M., Aizen, V.B., Takeuchi, N., Mayewski, P.A., Grigholm, B., Joswiak, D.R., Nikitin, S.A., Fujita, K., Nakawo, M., Zapf, A. and Schwikowski, M. 2016. Abrupt and moderate climate changes in the mid-latitudes of Asia during the Holocene. Journal of Glaciology 62: 411-439. Dec 30, 2016…
    “And this finding suggests that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the air temperatures that are currently being observed around the world. In fact, it actually supports that fact.”

    Two Thousand Years of Solar Forcing of Chinese Temperatures
    Tiwari, R.K., Rajesh, R. and Padmavathi, B. 2016. Evidence of Higher-Order Solar Periodicities in China Temperature Record. Pure and Applied Geophysics 173: 2511-2520. Dec 22, 2916…

    Climatic Effects of Methane Emissions from Alaska’s North Slope
    Sweeney, C., Dlugokencky, E., Miller, C.E., Wofsy, S., Karion, A., Dinardo, S., Chang, R.Y.-W., Miller, J.B., Bruhwiler, L., Crotwell, A.M., Newberger, T., McKain, K., Stone, R.S., Wolter, S.E., Lang, P.E. and Tans, P. 2016. No significant increase in long-term CH4 emissions on the North Slope of Alaska despite significant increase in air temperature. Geophysical Research Letters 43: 6604-6611. Dec 21, 2016…

    Models v. Observations

    Internal climate variability as a confounding factor in climate sensitivity estimates
    By Frank Bosse, Climate Etc. Dec 29, 2016…

    Model Issues

    The art and science of climate model tuning
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Aug 1, 2016…
    Link to manuscript, The art and science of climate model tuning
    By Haurdin, et al. American Meteorological Society, July 29, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Simply because global climate models can reproduce 20th century surface warming, does not mean they are suitable for prediction of global warming from greenhouse gases. The warming occurs in the atmosphere. The models fail to predict what occurs in the atmosphere.]

    Changing Weather

    First Week of 2017: Record Cold, 48 States Going Below Freezing
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Dec 28, 2016…

    The heat is on again as 2017 set to be one of the warmest on record
    By “Staff Writers, AP, Dec 20, 2016…
    “Next year will be among the warmest on record but is unlikely to beat 2016′s record temperatures, the Met Office has said.
    “Global average temperatures in 2017 are expected to be about 0.75C above the long-term average of 14C seen between 1961 and 1990, according to analysis using the new Met Office supercomputer.”

    Changing Earth

    Molten iron river discovered speeding beneath Russia and Canada
    By Andy Coghlan, New Scientist, Dec 19, 2016…
    Link to paper: An accelerating high-latitude jet in Earth’s core
    By Philip W. Livermore, Rainer Hollerbach & Christopher C. Finlay, Nature Geoscience, Dec 19, 2016…

    Acidic Waters

    The ‘Ocean Acidification’ Narrative Collapses Under The Weight Of New Scientific Evidence
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 29, 2016…

    Lowering Standards

    How to communicate science
    What makes influential science? Telling a good story
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 16, 2016…

    Study: Hollywood-like dramatic style, not science content, brings citations to climate change papers
    By Luboš Motl, Reference Frame, Dec 17, 2016…

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

    Global Warming’s Fingerprints Seen in 24 Weird Weather Cases
    By Seth Borenstein, AP, Dec 15, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    Link to report: Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective
    This BAMS special report presents assessments of how climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events.
    By Staff Writers, American Meteorological Society, Dec 2016…

    Questioning European Green

    The cost of climate change policies: over £300 billion
    By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Dec 18, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Where does the public get a refund for inferior government mandated products?]

    ‘Manager Magazin’ Reports How Renewable Electricity Is Taking Germany On A Wild Ride
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 28, 2016…

    Questioning Green Elsewhere

    More bad luck for South Australia, yet another blackout, 300 powerlines down, 125,000 homes cut off
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 28, 2016…

    Subsidies and Mandates Forever

    Energy Subsidies
    By Chris Edwards, Downsizing the Federal Government, Dec 15, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
    [SEPP Comment: The article does not consider the hidden costs of solar and wind, and in the US dam subsides are rare, if any. DOE research in energy efficiency and electricity storage are desirable, but results should focus on what is affordable and practical. For example, pumped storage hydro is the most practical form of electricity storage available. But, in the US it runs afoul of the EPA water and land regulations.]

    U.K. Clean Energy Sector Shrinks After Government Subsidy Cuts
    By Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg, Dec 16, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Surprise? The fast growth is not self-sustaining?]

    EPA and other Regulators on the March

    NOAA approves Mid-Atlantic deep-sea coral canyons for protection
    By Tamara Dietrich, Daily Press, VA, Dec 15, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    “NOAA Fisheries has designated the region the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep Sea Coral Protection Area, after the late New Jersey senator who spearheaded ocean conservation legislation. It’s the largest protection area in U.S. Atlantic waters.”

    Washington’s Control of Energy

    WSJ: Obama’s ‘Permanent’ Drilling Freeze Won’t Be Permanent
    Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Dec 22, 2016…

    Obama’s Last-Minute Offshore Drilling Ban Could Be Illegal
    By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Dec 22, 2016…

    This nifty map shows why coal power is struggling, Trump notwithstanding
    By Warren Cornwall, Science, Dec 16, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: According to this article, there is no reason to implement the Administration’s costly power plan. Of course, the hidden costs of unreliable wind are not in the calculations.]

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    The $3.5 Trillion Fracking Economy Is About To Get A Lot Bigger
    By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Dec 17, 2016…
    Link to paper: Fracking, Drilling, and Asset Pricing: Estimating the Economic Benefits of the Shale Revolution.
    By Gilje, Ready, and Roussanov, National Bureau of Economic Research, Dec 2016…

    Unravelling the US Shale Productivity Gains
    By Trisha Curtis, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Nov 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    Study suggests hydraulic fracturing boosts local economies
    By Vicki Ekstrom High,, Dec 23, 2016…
    Link to paper: The Local Economic and Welfare Consequences of Hydraulic Fracturing
    By Bartik, Currie, Greenstone, and Knittel, (University affiliations: MIT, Princeton, Chicago, plus National Bureau of Economic Research) Dec 23, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…
    Abstract: Exploiting geological variation within shale deposits and timing in the initiation of hydraulic fracturing, this paper finds that allowing fracking leads to sharp increases in oil and gas recovery and improvements in a wide set of economic indicators. At the same time, estimated willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the decrease in local amenities (e.g., crime and noise) is roughly equal to -$1000 to -$1,600 per household annually (-1.9% to -3.1% of mean household income). Overall, we estimate that WTP for allowing fracking equals about $1,300 to $1,900 per household annually (2.5% to 3.7%), although there is substantial heterogeneity across shale regions.
    [SEPP Comment: The article has errors in its numbers, which, if corrected, would increase the beneficial impacts.]

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    Japan pulls plug on troubled fast breeder reactor
    By Staff Writers, Tokyo (AFP), Dec 19, 2016…

    Oh Mann!

    I’m a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump.
    By Michael Mann, Washington Post, Dec 18, 2016…
    “The fate of the planet hangs in the balance.”
    [SEPP Comment: Based on Mr. Mann’s opinion, we should accept his statistical methods that produce biased results, and global climate models that are not supported by the most relevant data?]

    Other Scientific News

    How Data Become Science
    By Julianna LeMieux, ACSH, Aug 5, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: If the editors of the journal are biased, then the entire process is thrown into doubt, as happened with Science Mag.]

    Review: ‘Getting Risk Right,’ by Dr. Geoffrey Kabat
    By Josh Bloom, ACSH, Dec 19, 2016…
    “Why do things that are unlikely to harm us get the most attention?”

    France unveils the world’s first (and probably last) solar panel road
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 23, 2016
    Link to newspaper report: France unveils the world’s first solar panel road: Half-mile stretch could provide enough energy to power entire village’s street lights
    By Libby Plummer, Daily Mail, Dec 23, 2016…

    Limestone Dust: The Latest Climate Geoengineering Favourite
    Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 16, 2016…

    Ready, aim …
    by Staff Writers, Climate Change, Dec 30, 2016…

    “Atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen would like to save the world and darken your day. He proposes in this month’s journal Climatic Change that to screen ourselves from global warming, humans could use heavy artillery to lob huge explosive shells laden with sulphate particles high into the stratosphere.

    “A potent mix of pollutants would scatter the incoming sunlight and bounce more sunbeams back into space. Bingo, you’d lower the rate of global warming and give the fossil-fuel industries more reason to push hydrocarbons.”

    From Sun Herald (Australia) 6 Aug 2006 – screen copy held by the website


    The Week That Was: 2016-12-24 (December 24, 2016)
    Brought to You by SEPP
    The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard Feynman

    In celebration of this holiday season, there will be no TWTW this weekend.

    The election of Donald Trump is an upheaval against the Washington establishment, regardless of political party or ideology. His early actions indicate that the turmoil will continue. The resulting disorder provides an opportunity to insist that environmental and energy policies be based on empirical science, not scientific speculation or political fad. SEPP has long advocated that these policies be based on empirical science – including both experimental and field observations.

    We request your support in these interesting times. Please make a generous, tax-deductible donation to SEPP, an IRS recognized 501(c)3 organization. There is much to be done to undo the damage caused by misguided policies and to help guide future policies.

    Please address your check to:

    P.O. Box 1126
    Springfield, VA 22151

    Alternatively, you may donate through PayPal. See Donate at

    SEPP is a 501(c)3 organization incorporated in Virginia with the Federal Tax ID of #54-1645372. The donated funds will be used exclusively in furtherance of SEPP’s charitable purpose and will not be used to fulfill any pledge, personal obligation, or lobbying activities. SEPP provides no direct benefit to donors as a result of their donations.

    TWTW has been accused of bias, correctly. It is focused more on what scientists can demonstrate by using evidence – hard data, and not so much on what they can think or speculate.

    Thank you. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or other holy days during this time, we wish you and your family happiness in this blessed season and a joyful new year.

    Kenneth Haapala, President
    Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)


    The Week That Was: 2016-12-10 (December 10, 2016)
    Brought to You by SEPP
    The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    “In God we trust, all others bring data.” – Motto of the Apollo team.

    Number of the Week: 99.98%

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

    Deliberate Ignorance – Where’s The Data? As discussed in the past few TWTWs, the 1979 Charney Report to the National Research Council of the US National Academy of Sciences articulated that there were two components to possible global warming from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The first component is a warming directly from CO2. The warming takes place in the atmosphere. Based on laboratory experiments, this warming would be modest, highly logarithmic, and likely beneficial. The second component was proposed by those creating global climate models. This warming is from an increase in atmospheric water vapor, and far more powerful than warming from CO2. At the time, there was no data to confirm or deny this warming from an increase in water vapor.

    Based primarily on calculations with global climate models, the Charney report estimated that “the most probable global warming for a doubling of CO2 to be near 3ºC with a probable error of ±1.5ºC.” Since the Charney Report, we have had five reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, and several reports for the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), under various names. Generally, they repeat the findings in the Charney report. Except for the discredited Santer “hotspot” which depended on eliminating data that was inconsistent with the assertion, these reports produce no atmospheric data to confirm or deny the second component of the warming, the more powerful warming from water vapor.

    Now, we have comprehensive data of atmospheric temperatures dating from December 1978, independently confirmed by data from weather balloons. In his February 2, 2016, testimony, John Christy, a co-discoverer of the method of calculating atmospheric temperatures from information collected by satellites, produced excellent summaries of the data from satellites, particularly between the surface to 50,000 feet where both components of the greenhouse gas warming should take place, and compared them with global climate models. In general, the models overestimated atmospheric warming by 2.5 times and by 3 times over the tropics, where the water vapor warming should be more pronounced.

    As discussed in last week’s TWTW, in making its finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health and welfare (Endangerment Finding), the EPA produced no data, instead relied on three lines of evidence: 1) understanding of the physics of greenhouse gases; 2) a questionable study that late 20th century warming was unusual; and 3) global climate models. The evidence is woefully incomplete.

    Further, any warming of the surface is not the same as a warming of the atmosphere, and can be highly influenced by other human activities such as change in land use, change in instrument locations, and change in instrument types. An example of the last type, is a switch in instruments used to measure surface ocean temperatures. Earlier methods were instruments located on ship water intakes, well below the surface of the water, the current method is to use instrument buoys at the surface. The latter is subject to direct warming from sunlight, unrelated to and CO2 – caused warming. For example, see NIPCC 2008, p. 19 & 20.

    To build a reliable database, any such changes must be carefully calibrated. For surface temperature measurements, all too frequently changes in instruments have not been carefully calibrated. For example, in the US, the use of mathematical adjustments for land surface records is highly questionable, because the results are inconsistent with the historic records of high temperatures.

    For satellite measurements, the changes in instrumentation are carefully calibrated, errors are quickly corrected, and deviations are noted. Now, three independent, competitive groups analyze the same data when received.

    It is time to petition the EPA for a reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding, stating that there are no data supporting the second component of the global warming theory and that its reliance on global climate models is not scientifically based, because the greatly overestimate atmospheric warming. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, and Defending the Orthodoxy.

    If Not CO2, then What? One of the most scientifically vacuous arguments advanced by the IPCC and its advocates is: “If CO2 has not caused late 20th century warming, then what?” The paper by Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo provides the “what” – changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Others, including Ian Plimer of Australia and de Freitas et al. of New Zealand, have suggested this may be the case. The Wallace et al. paper shows strong statistical relationships between changes in ENSO events, coupled with the PDO, and changes in temperatures. The statistical relationships are far stronger than the one between CO2 and temperatures. The Wallace, et al. paper applies to both atmospheric and surface measurements.

    This research is being confirmed by other independent research by other groups.

    The IPCC has considered the ENSO as weather events, too short for consideration for climate change. But, the changes in the frequency of ENSOs and changes in the PDO are not too short for climate events influencing global temperatures.

    Of course, correlation is not causation. This adage came with the development of statistical techniques in the early 20th century, when efforts to use correlation to assert causation produced foolish results. Conversely, without correlation causation is difficult to establish, because many other influences may dominate. That appears to be the case in the CO2 – temperature relationship, particularly for surface data. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Challenging the Orthodoxy.

    Acid – Alkaline Balance: A great misnomer in studies of the influence of increased atmospheric CO2 is ocean acidification. The term is alarming and wrong. The corrosiveness of a water-based solution is measured by its pH. A pH below 7 is acidic, a pH above 7 is alkaline, which can be very corrosive. The closer the pH is to 7, the less corrosive the solution. SEPP has reviewed no empirical studies which assert that with increasing atmospheric CO2, the pH of the oceans will drop below 7 – become acidic.

    Yet, we have numerous laboratory studies in which the researchers drop acid, such as hydrochloric acid, into tanks with marine life and consider the results as credible.

    Such actions would horrify some tropically fish fanciers who bubble CO2 through their aquariums to lower the pH below 7, to promote coloration in Amazonian fish such as discus. They would not consider pouring hydrochloric acid in the aquarium, which would kill the life.

    That said, increasingly, there are studies showing seasonal, and daily variations in pH, without harm to marine life, such as corals. Some coral reefs have pH gradients with depth or exposure to natural CO2 seeps.

    As stated in the NIPCC Report on Biological Impacts: “Caution should be applied when interpreting results from laboratory-based studies … Rising atmospheric CO2 do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life … The natural variability of oceanic pH is often much greater than the change in pH levels forecast by IPCC…”

    The difference between the laboratory results and the field results illustrates the need to verify the results of the laboratory in the field. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science, both this week and in last week’s TWTW.

    Model Issues – Importance of Aerosols in Climate Models: One of the deficiencies in the IPCC approach to understanding climate, is basing the findings on runs of a suite of models. Often these model runs are singular. Yet, as explained by Fred Singer in a paper, model runs produce different results each time. Singer estimates that at least 10 different runs are needed for each model to obtain a reasonable approximation for the results of that model. This is not done.

    A second major issue creating significant uncertainty in the results of models is that often the models are run producing estimates for both warming from CO2 and cooling from aerosols, small particles in the atmosphere. This procedure makes as much logical sense as expecting that solving one simple linear equation with two unknowns will produce a unique solution. The range of solutions is infinite. If imaginary numbers are added, then the range of solutions is imaginary! Is there a difference?

    The important CLOUD experiment at CERN began to estimate a range of values for aerosols, an important beginning to arrive at empirical bounds for aerosols and for climate models. Until bounds are established, the certainty expressed by the IPCC, the EPA, and the Climate Establishment in these simply is not justified. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Model Issues.

    After the Election: An outpouring of outrage over the election of Donald Trump continues. One thing is clear: he is upsetting the Democratic establishment, the Republican establishment, and, above all, the Climate Establishment. His designation of Scott Pruitt for administrator of the EPA will not win accolades among green groups, but Trump did not receive their support in the election. Pruitt is the Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, and a litigant against the Obama administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan. Expect events to become quite heated in Washington for the remainder of the winter, even though actual Congressional sessions will be mostly symbolic rather than meaningful. It is impossible to predict what the outgoing administration will do. For a sampling of articles see links under After the Election –.

    Post-Election Predictions? Perhaps as a result of the election, in Polar Bear Science, Susan Crockford highlights several highly questionable assertions being made by “experts” on Arctic animals about the future. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

    Post-normal Science and Thinking: Writing in Power Line, Steven Hayward discusses what he calls “post truth” media. Hayward considers this concept as stemming from a remark by the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “there are no facts, only interpretation.” The concept was picked up by nihilist philosophers and continues today. Of course, post-normal view is rejected by empirical scientists who believe that facts stem from observations. Perhaps the view is the basis for some people, such as those who identify themselves as from the Union of Concerned Scientists, to label hypothesis testing as “cherry picking.”

    Quote of the Week: The quote of the week: In God we trust, all others bring data., was prominently displayed at NASA Space Flight Center near Houston, which controlled the Apollo missions. The activities of this center should not be confused with NASA-GISS, which focuses on surface temperatures. Gavin Schmidt, GISS director, is a listed expert reviewer of the Endangerment Finding and has produced slogans such as carbon dioxide is the “control knob” of the earth’s temperatures. The web site gives his office as on 2880 Broadway, New York, NY. The difference between the science behind NASA-GISS reports and the science behind Apollo missions is greater than the difference between Broadway and the Houston Space Flight Center. See…

    Number of the Week: 99.98% As stated in last week’s TWTW: According to reports, on Dec. 1, construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline will be all but finished. The only thing left to build, says its owner, Energy Transfer Partners, will be about 1,100 feet of pipe to be laid beneath Lake Oahe, a sliver of water south of Bismarck, N.D., that is man-created by a dam on the Missouri River. The pipe will be drilled underneath the river bed, and will not disturb it. Laying of the $3.5 Billion pipeline was 99.98% complete.

    This week, the administration killed construction by refusing to issue necessary permits, even though the pipeline developers won past court challenges.

    In addition to an enormous increase in National Debt, the US is in the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Is there any question why? See links under Washington’s Control of Energy.

    We ask you to make a generous, tax-deductible donation to SEPP, an IRS recognized 501(c)3 organization. There is much to be done, to undo the damage to the economy by the current administration.

    Please address your check to:

    P.O. Box 1126
    Springfield, VA 22151

    Alternatively, you may donate through PayPal. See Donate at
    Thank you — whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or other holy days during this time, we wish you and your family happiness in this blessed season and a joyful new year.

    Kenneth Haapala, President
    Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    SEPP is a 501(c)3 organization incorporated in Virginia with the Federal Tax ID of #54-1645372.

    The donated funds will be used exclusively in furtherance of SEPP’s charitable purpose and will not be used to fulfill any pledge, personal obligation, or lobbying activities. SEPP provides no direct benefit to donors as a result of their donations.


    Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt

    Dem senator: Trump’s EPA pick is ‘corruption’
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Dec 8, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: As corrupt as the “witch hunt” in which Sen. Whitehouse participated?]

    Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

    The disclosure that could end Eric Schneiderman’s career
    Editorial, New York Post, Dec 4, 2016…
    “A state judge ruled in favor of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank whose Freedom of Information request the AG had denied. That gave Schneiderman 30 days to cough up documents concerning his agreements with other states’ AGs, and with a group of green activists, about their joint persecution of ExxonMobile and other entities for supposed ‘climate fraud.’”

    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008…

    Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
    By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, July 2010…

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
    By John Christy, UAH, Feb 2, 2016…

    On the Existence of a “Tropical Hotspot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding
    By Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo, Independent Researchers, August 2016

    Finally there’s agreement: Ocean cycles are responsible for the missing warming since 2000
    By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (German text translated, edited by P Gosselin) No Tricks Zone, Dec 9, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Under: A Showerof Papers, New Climate Models, Show Natural Oceanic Cycles The Recent Major Climate Factor!]

    Latest on The Myth of More Severe Storms
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 9, 2016…

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment
    Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate
    By Jule G. Charney, et al, Climate Research Board, National Academy of Sciences, July 23-27, 1979…

    Endangerment and Cause or Contributed Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
    By Benjamin DeAngelo, et al. EPA – Includes Alan Carlin (an opponent of the finding)
    Expert reviewers include: William Emanuel, NASA, Thomas Karl, NOAA, Gavin Schmidt, NASA, Susan Solomon, NOAA, Dec 7, 2009…
    p. 47 (59 on my screen)
    5(a) Attribution of Observed Climate Change to Anthropogenic Emissions

    How to make climate progress with Trump in the White House
    By Daniel Cohan, The Hill, Dec 9, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: No demand to show the data that CO2 is the cause!]

    Leaked Transition Team Memo Outlines Trump’s Catastrophic Energy Agenda
    By Joshua Hill, Clean Technica, Dec 8, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: The author states: “I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket!”]

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    Clearing the air
    By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Dec 9, 2016…

    Has the AGW hypothesis been falsified again?
    By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Dec 10, 2016…
    Link to earlier article: Climate-cooling aerosols can form from tree vapors
    Pollution’s sulfuric acid not needed to make cloud-seeding particles in the air
    By Thomas Sumner, Science News, May 25, 2016…

    Trump Induced Panic Exposes Media Bias and Ignorance of Climate
    Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Dec 6, 2016…
    “It is not the same people who said tobacco was healthy. This is an apparent reference to the early attempt to link Fred Singer to the tobacco industry. Fred wrote a critical review of the terrible research in the original article claiming to link cancer to second-hand smoke. His review was later supported by others. Environmentalists used to claim Fred was paid by the tobacco companies and in favor of smoking. In fact, Fred has always actively and openly opposed smoking.”

    After Brexit!

    145 MPs warn Brexit should not lead to cull of climate laws
    Greener UK coalition of 13 civil society groups and a fifth of sitting British MPs urge government to safeguard climate and environment laws
    By Ed King, Climate Change News, Dec 8, 2016…

    After The US Election — Opposed

    EPA fears ‘unprecedented disaster’ for environment over Scott Pruitt pick
    Senate Democrats vow to fight Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA, a climate denier who has sued the agency multiple times as attorney general of Oklahoma
    By Oliver Milman, Guardian, UK, Dec 8, 2016…

    Trump pricks prominent climate skeptic as EPA chief
    By David Malakoff, Science Mag, Dec 7, 2016…

    Trump’s EPA pick may struggle to dismantle Obama’s environmental legacy
    By Valerie Volcovici and David Shepardson, Reuters, Dec 9, 2016…

    Greens slam Trump’s Interior Department pick
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Dec 9, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Will she stem the increase in government control of US lands?]

    If Trump wants to dismantle Obama’s EPA rules, here are all the obstacles he’ll face
    By Brad Plumer, Vox, Dec 8, 2016…

    Three Reasons Trump Doesn’t Matter To Energy Policy
    By Jeff McMahon, Forbes, Dec 7, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: According to the article: 1. Most effective energy policies are set at the state level, 2. Momentum favors clean energy, and 3. Technology trumps commodity. Why has the emphasis of the greens been on 1) Federal policy such as the Administration’s power plan and the EPA; 2) subsidies for wind and solar, and 3) ignoring that solar and wind power cannot be commercially stored.]

    Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy
    By Catherine Traywick and Jennifer Dlouhy, Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2016…

    Trump team wants names at DOE who worked on climate
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Dec 9, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Great propaganda photo of condensing steam from cooling towers. Could it be from a nuclear power plant?]

    Trump Team Memo Hints at Big Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy
    By Catherine Traywick and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2016…

    Trump and the End of the West?
    If America’s president-elect delivers on his promises, the long-term costs – both domestic and international – are likely to outweigh any short-term gains. If he fails to deliver, the long-term costs will fall due much sooner.
    By Staff Writers, Project Syndicate, Dec 9, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: A review “of the best thinking on current events and key trends.”]

    After US Election — Neutral

    Trump’s EPA pick will make Obama regret his environmental overreach
    By Patrick Michaels, The Hill, Dec 8, 2016…

    Pragmatic energy policy recommendations for the Trump administration
    By David Gattie, Climate Etc. Dec 8, 2016…

    “Post-Truth” Media Should Look in the Mirror
    By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Dec 6, 2016…

    After The US Election — Favorable

    How Trump’s Climate Skepticism Can Play a Crucial Role in Achieving His Larger Objectives
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Dec 9, 2016…

    Trump’s Election Means A Chance For “A Return To Reason In Climate Policy”, German Expert Writes
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 4, 2016…

    Trump EPA nomination a home run! Scott Pruitt tapped to reform EPA
    By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Dec 9, 2016…

    Rolling back environmental progress?
    Having achieved major goals, US should refocus EPA and other environmental agencies
    By Paul Driessen, ICECAP, Dec 4, 2016…

    Problems in the Orthodoxy

    SHOCK: The ‘Father of global warming’, James Hansen, dials back alarm
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 3, 2016…

    Seeking a Common Ground

    Climate Heretic: to be or not to be?
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 5, 2016…

    ‘Truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ in politicized scientific debates
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 3, 2016…

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    The Growth Benefits of Elevated CO2 Overwhelm the Growth Damages of Ozone on Wheat
    Rao, M.V., Hale, B.A. and Ormrod, D.P. 1995. Amelioration of ozone-induced oxidative damage in wheat plants grown under high carbon dioxide. Plant Physiology 109: 421-432. Dec 7, 2016…
    “In other words, the beneficial effects of elevated CO2 not only fully compensated for the dry weight loss due to elevated ozone, it completely overcame it as if this stress was never present! And driving this point home, Rao et al. write ‘we did not observe an adverse impact of O3 on the shoot biomass of wheat plants grown under high CO2.’”

    Massive Corals Can Adapt to End-of-Century CO2 Concentrations
    Wall, M., Fietzke, J., Schmidt, G.M., Fink, A., Hofmann, L.C., de Beer, D. and Fabricius K.E. 2016. Internal pH regulation facilitates in situ long-term acclimation of massive corals to end-of-century carbon dioxide conditions. Scientific Reports 6: 10.1038/srep30688. Dec 6, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Corals adapt to changing pH in natural CO2 seeps – indicating that experiments shocking life in aquariums by suddenly lowering pH are grossly misleading.]

    How Birds Regulate their Body Temperatures as Climates Warm
    Nilsson, J.-A., Molokwu, M.N. and Olsson, O. 2016. Body temperature regulation in hot environments. PLOS ONE 11(8): eO161481.doi:1371/journal.pone.0161481. Dec 5, 2016…

    Models v. Observations

    New Paper Debunks Ad Hoc ‘Explanation’ That Antarctic Sea Ice Has Been Growing Since ’80s Due To Human Activity
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 8, 2016…

    Model Issues

    CLOUD experiment sharpens climate predictions
    Press Release by Matthew Chalmers, CERN, Oct 28, 2016 [H/t Australian Climate Skeptics]…

    Measurement Issues — Surface

    Despite Denial, Global Temperatures Are Dropping Fast
    By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Dec 5, 2016…

    November 2016 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update
    By Bob Tisdale, Climate Observations, Dec 6, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…
    [SEPP Question: A gradual increase in sea surface temperatures, with lots of noise. Is the increase due to gradual warming or change in measurement techniques such as location of instruments?]

    Changing Weather

    Historic December cold and Lake-effect snows coming
    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, Dec 7, 2016…

    Changing Seas

    3 New Papers: Global Seas Now Rising About 2 Inches Per Century … Claims Of 1 Meter Rise By 2100 ‘Sheer Nonsense’
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 5, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: The most widely cited estimate suffers from the same problems many alarmist papers do, long-term projections from short-term trends, which may be from local conditions.]

    Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

    An El Niño year late start to freeze-up on Hudson Bay: bears gearing up to hunt
    By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 5, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: A growing cub population in the face of claimed eminent extinction?]

    NSIDC Confirm Low Arctic Ice Due To Influx Of Warm Atlantic Water
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 6, 2016

    Changing Earth

    Ancient eclipses show Earth’s rotation is slowing
    By Sid Perkins, Science Mag, Dec 6, 2016…
    Link to paper: Measurement of the Earth’s rotation: 720 BC to AD 2015
    By Stephenson, Morrison, Hohenkerk, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Dec 7, 2016
    “Overall, Earth’s spin has slowed by about 6 hours in the past 2740 years,”
    [SEPP Comment: Highly Doubtful!]

    Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

    Hudson Bay could be ice-free in winter within 5-10 years, says seal researcher
    By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 7, 2016…

    Polar bears that didn’t die from recent sea ice loss will die in 35 yrs, say ‘sperts
    By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 7, 2016…

    What The Weather Channel Don’t Want You To Know About Glaciers
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 7, 2016
    [SEPP Comment: Did the observed glacier melting start in the 1700s in anticipation of fossil fuel use by the industrial revolution (starting about 1850)?]

    Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope

    Pope Francis and climate politics
    How the pontiff argues that opposing the Paris treaty stems from profit seeking
    By E. Calvin Beisner, Washington Times, Dec 4, 2016…

    Questioning European Green

    “Climate-Saving” Green Energies In Germany “Also Useless In November”!
    A look at the “climate-rescuing” new energies
    By Helmut Kuntz, (Translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Dec 6, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: On-shore wind & solar]

    UK slashes number of Foreign Office climate change staff
    Cuts made to workforce at home and overseas despite ministers saying climate diplomacy should be a top priority
    By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, UK, Dec 7, 2016…

    Non-Green Jobs

    Shelter Ontario’s Citizens from Industrial-Wind’s Tempest: III
    By Sherri Lange, Master Resource, Dec 9, 2016…
    “Ontario now has 300,000 job losses in manufacturing in the last 8 years. Much of this is due to the high cost of power, advanced largely by the preferred access and lucrative subsidies to Green Energy, such as wind and solar.”
    [SEPP Comment: Part 3 of 3]

    The Political Games Continue

    Democrats Pay a Price for Being Green
    If the party was serious about winning back the Rust Belt, it would strike a smarter balance between the environment and the economy.
    By Josh Kraushaar, National Journal, Via GWPF, Dec 7, 2016…

    Subsidies and Mandates Forever

    Subsidy cash to fire up new dash for gas power
    By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Dec 3, 2016…
    “Instead, the big winners both times were existing coal, gas and nuclear plants – as well as an unexpected boom in new small diesel and gas engines.”

    Energy Issues – Australia

    South Australia: blackout costs $367m, normal electricity twice the price, reserve shortfalls coming in January
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 9, 2016…

    More blackout damage — Alcoa smelter to run at just 27% capacity for up to six months
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 5, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: When the power goes down in energy intensive industries, the damage can be extensive.]

    Green leader South Australia gets energy security the diesel way
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 5, 2016…

    Industry Warning: Unreliable Wind Energy Threatens South Australian Economy
    By Michael Owen and Greg Brown, The Australian, Dec 5, 2016…

    Energy Issues — US

    Shale Drillers All Set To Get Their Party Started
    Robin Pagnamenta, The Sunday Times, Via GWPF, Dec 4, 2016…

    Washington’s Control of Energy

    Environmental Fears over DAPL Overblown
    By Patrick J. Michaels, CATO, Dec 6, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: DAPL is Dakota Access Pipeline.]

    Five things to watch in Dakota Access pipeline fight
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Dec 5, 2016…

    How Trump could decide fate of pipeline dispute
    By Daniel A. Medina and Chiara Sottile, CNBC, Dec 5, 2016…

    Opponents seek to tie up Dakota pipeline for years
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Dec 5, 2016…

    The Real Dakota Access Pipeline Victim Is the Construction Company
    By William Yeatman, Foundation for Economic Education, Nov 23, 2016…

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    America can double its oil production, says fracking pioneer Harold Hamm
    By Tom DiChristopher, CNBC, Dec 1, 2016…

    US Shale Gas Is Powering Mexico
    By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Dec 1, 2016…

    Return of King Coal?

    Coal: Reports of its Death…
    By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Dec 8, 2016…

    Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

    Fracking-Contaminated Groundwater: The Myth that Failed
    By Timothy Benson, Real Clear Energy, Dec 6, 2016…

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    Tests confirm that Germany’s massive nuclear fusion machine really works
    Harnessing the power of the Sun.
    By Fiona MacDonald, Science Alert, Dec 6, 2016…
    Link to paper: Confirmation of the topology of the Wendelstein 7-X magnetic field to better than 1:100,000
    By T. Sunn Pedersen, et al, Nature Communications, Nov 30, 2016…

    Germany’s Wildly Complex Fusion Reactor Is Actually Working
    The Wendelstein 7-X reactor, which uses a complex design called a stellerator, is performing just like it was predicted to.
    By Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, Dec 6, 2016…

    Russia: Leader in Nuclear Power
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 6, 2016…

    Entergy to shutter Michigan Palisades nuclear plant in 2018
    By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, Dec 8, 2016…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

    Helicopter De-Icing For Wind Turbines
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 8, 2016

    New Research: Solar Panels Less Green Than You Think
    By Ben Webster, The Times, Via GWPF, Dec 7, 2016…
    Link to paper; Re-assessment of net energy production and greenhouse gas emissions avoidance after 40 years of photovoltaics development
    By Louwen, van Sark, Faaij & Schropp, Nature Communications, Dec 6, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: How long does the effective life of PV panels have to be before they pay for their “carbon debt”?]

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

    US Energy Dept. Toots Geothermal Horn, With Lithium Bonus
    By Tina Casey Clean Technica, Dec 2, 2016…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

    BMW CFO downbeat about electric cars and their ability to generate profit
    By Steve Hanley, Teslarati, Dec 7, 2016…

    Other Scientific News

    The real plague affecting science? It isn’t fraud
    By Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, Stat News, Dec 1, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…
    [SEPP Comment: Cutting corners may be the real problem.]

    Other News that May Be of Interest

    Don’t Cry Over Dead Trade Agreements
    Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Project Syndicate, Dec 8, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Are trade agreements obsolete in an era of free trade?]

    Time’s nearly up!
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change, Dec 7, 2016…

    “A major new report on global warming slated to be released Friday raises new fears that the earth’s climate is changing faster than anyone thought possible.
    Today, 500 of the world’s top scientists are meeting behind closed doors to finish a landmark report on global warming, and the picture they paint is not pretty.
    They say significant changes in the climate could start happening within the next 10 years.
    “We’re hoping that it will convince people, you know, that climate change is real,” said Kenneth Denman, co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
    The report predicts an increase in heat waves, intense tropical storms and hurricanes, a sharp rise in sea level and continued melting of the world’s snow and glaciers.”
    abcnews, 30 Jan 2007”
    [SEPP Comment: Still waiting for the melting of the Himalayas!]

    1. To Mars by Economy Class: A Perfect Project For Trump
    By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Dec 9, 2016…

    “President Trump can “make America great again” by planning a surprising and easily affordable human exploration mission to the red planet Mars and its two moonlets Phobos and Deimos: PH-D, for short. JFK is remembered by many people mainly for putting Americans on the Moon, but he really just initiated the program.

    “The two moonlets of Mars were discovered in 1877 at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. They are in near-circular, near-equatorial orbits around Mars. Deimos, smaller than the island of Manhattan, orbits at a distance of 6.9 Martian radii; Phobos, about five times larger than Deimos, is at 2.8 radii, with its orbit shrinking because of tidal friction; it will be gone in just a few million years. In past lectures, I have joked that the dinosaurs might have seen more Martian moons, now gone, “if they had had better telescopes.”

    “Notice that I did not suggest colonization of Mars — the current rage, a replay of the massive, wildly expensive and technologically infeasible Empire Project of the 1950s, envisioned by space pioneer Wernher von Braun. Unfortunately, this premature emphasis on colonization tends to color even realistic manned Mars projects as fantasy. Nor do I favor the business-as-usual continuation of unmanned missions to Mars, promising the eventual return of Mars samples for analysis in terrestrial labs.

    “The feds have traditionally supported exploration — including basic science, which does not promise an immediate pay-off. Indeed, that has been the rationale for building multibillion-dollar particle accelerators for high-energy physics and telescopes for astronomy. So the PH-D project, as I have nicknamed it, would fit right in — a combination of good science and high adventure. Even its cost is relatively modest — about $30 billion over 10-20 years, well within the current NASA budget, and about that of a half-dozen unmanned Mars missions. Its scientific return would be many times greater. Its public and international impact would be tremendous.

    No Showstoppers

    “The PH-D project is basically a manned transfer from Earth orbit to Mars orbit, taking about six months; there don’t seem to be any showstoppers at all. A rough calculation has convinced me that ordinary chemical propulsion is quite sufficient — no need for any exotic schemes that require lengthy development. Any simple fuel, like kerosene, suffices, and any of the available oxidizers can do the job. No special rocket engine is needed; existing ones will do -–as explained below. And propulsion is surprisingly cheap — only a few percent of the total project cost; more than 95% of the cost is engineering and design — and the US has many well- qualified engineers.

    “Electric power — again no problem. Of course, solar photo-voltaic becomes more difficult at Mars distance, where solar energy is less than half that at Earth orbit. But the Russians have space-tested nuclear reactors, and units are available for purchase. I estimate that 100 kilowatts should do nicely and would even provide an adequate reserve of power. [The U.S. uses plutonium electro-thermal generators on its deep-space missions.]

    “Other issues, relating to maintenance and life support of astronauts, present no problems either; they have been mostly solved in the International Space Station. As in the ISS, one would recycle liquid waste, but not solid waste. With cheap propulsion and essentially unlimited payload, one simply carries more food and water. The same argument applies to maintaining a healthy breathing atmosphere.

    “Radiation is usually cited as the major health risk; but propellants turn out to be the most effective shield, especially against heavily ionizing particles of the incident galactic cosmic radiation — GCR. Once the astronauts set up their base on Deimos, the preferred destination, they can construct also a more permanent shelter against the omni-directional cosmic rays, the unidirectional meteor showers, and the occasional solar eruptions that can lead to penetrating particle radiation. Note that none of that protection is present in the ISS, but Deimos itself provides shielding against unidirectional radiation; it is only necessary to move to the opposite side.

    “Absence of gravity can lead to long-term health problems. The answer here, as in the ISS, is regular exercise, aided by artificial gravity from a centrifuge; such a scheme should be tested in the ISS.

    Scenario of Deimos Base

    “Assemble propellants in low-earth orbit — LEO; then send to Deimos as “slow freight” – including a nuclear reactor, spare habitat, spare rocket engine, penetrators and rover vehicles equipped for return of samples; release penetrators that will provide also seismic data, and some rovers while underway to Mars. Send one habitat, two rovers and some of the propellant to Phobos — for use on the later sortie to Phobos and Mars surface.

    “Test the habitat-lab while in LEO with 5 astronauts aboard; then send them to Deimos on a “fast express” trajectory. Upon arrival, shield and activate the reactor; surround the habitat-lab with rocket propellants to provide additional shielding; set up a GPS system and weather satellites for Mars.

    “Start sample-return program, analyzing initial samples — and call for follow-up samples from different Martian locations or different depths, based on the initial analyses– all the while consulting with experts on Earth.

    Sortie to Phobos and Mars Surface

    “Two astronauts depart for Phobos and meet two rovers, collect samples of regolith and deeper, and send them back to Deimos base, then move on for a powered landing on a preselected Mars site, meet rover vehicle there, collect samples, set up an experimental equipment, and then take off for return to Phobos and thence to Deimos base. Note that take-off from Mars requires only our small rocket — while a direct return to Earth would have required a special, high-thrust rocket, capable of lifting the large propellant load necessary for transit to Earth.

    Deimos Base vs Mars Base

    “There is no question that a Deimos base is easier to set up, much cheaper, safer, and better in all respects than a base on Mars. Besides, it can be accomplished much sooner, perhaps within 10-15 years.

    “A Mars base does not confer mobility, does not provide a view of the rovers; from Deimos one can view the surface from pole to pole for up to 40 hours. [Deimos is in a near-synchronous orbit, with an orbital period of 30.3 hours, just a little longer than the spin period, 24.7 hours, of the planet.]

    “On Mars, because of its gravity field, meteor impacts are more frequent and also more energetic; there is interference from Mars’ atmosphere, from winds, and from dust storms—while on Deimos one gets a ‘free’ vacuum, essential for most lab instruments, such as mass spectrometers, electron microscopes, etc.

    Scientific Questions: Planetology (and learn also about the early history of Planet Earth)

    “The origin of Phobos and Deimos is a real puzzle: Initially, I applied a modified (‘push-pull’) tidal theory[1] to extrapolate their present orbits backward in time; but I do not believe they are captured asteroids — although that’s what many textbooks claim; it’s just too improbable. Nor were they formed along with Mars; it leads to an unstable solution. I now believe they are the remnants of a Mars-moon –M-m, captured gravitationally, akin to Earth-Moon, but into a retrograde orbit; the other, heavier fragments of the M-m have already spiraled in and disappeared, impacting on or near Mars’ equator.

    Some research questions — and learn also about the early history of Planet Earth

    1. Why do Phobos and Deimos, presumably related, look so different? Is it just the regolith and is it based on the difference in their orbits?

    2. Are Ph and D solid rock or rubble piles?

    3. Are there tiny moonlets orbiting Mars between Ph and D?

    4. Explore orbiting dust at Ph and D.

    5. Explore evidence for ancient impacts of fragments near Mars’ equator.

    6. Establish history of Mars’ obliquity by tracing W-182 tungsten isotope, from the radioactive decay of hafnium.

    7. Was capture of M-m essential in heating Mars by tidal friction to produce its iron core?

    Scientific Questions –Meteorology And Climatology — and test theories of causes of climate change and ice ages

    1. Test forecast models developed for Earth on Mars weather predictions.

    2. Test current climate models against Mars observations: predictions of dust storms; test analyses of Martian polar -layer deposits against ice-age theories and periods of oscillation of Mars obliquity, precession and orbit eccentricity.

    Scientific Questions — Crypto-Life And Paleo-Life

    “Is life unique to the Earth — as some believe? This is a very basic issue with philosophical and even theological overtones

    “Look for hidden life forms, taking into account that life may have developed several times, independently, at different locations, and been wiped out subsequently. These life forms may be ephemeral and unable to survive for more than a few hours — hence undetectable in Mars samples returned to Earth, as currently planned. It may be advisable to develop also techniques for detecting life in situ, for ultra-fresh sampling.

    “Ancient life, now dead, may be detectable in some sort of fossil form. Its formation likely required the presence of liquid water — i. e., survival of oceans, lakes, or simply pools of water for a sufficient length of time. Note that these life forms may not have been based on carbon, but possibly on silicon. Note also that use of a Deimos base minimizes chances of both forward and back-contamination of Mars with terrestrial biota.


    “We believe that the scientific yield of the PH-D mission more than justifies such a project. Its impact on the public here and abroad would be akin to the Apollo project and fully supports president Trump‘s goal of “making America great again.”

    2. A Lawyer for a Lawless EPA
    Scott Pruitt can restore respect for the states in environmental policy.
    Editorial, WSJ, Dec 7, 2016…

    The editorial states:

    “As Donald Trump rolls out his domestic-policy nominees, Democrats are discovering to their horror that more often than not he meant what he said. The latest evidence is the President-elect’s intention to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

    “There was a time when Republican EPA administrators were liberals in GOP power suits. Think William Reilly under George H.W. Bush or Christine Todd Whitman under George W. Bush. They more or less agreed with the left’s command-and-control model of environmental regulation, and they’d pile more costs on the private economy.

    “The Democratic Party’s green extremism, especially on climate change, has made such Republicans obsolete. President Obama couldn’t get his climate-change agenda through a Democratic Congress, so he ordered the EPA to impose it on the 50 states by diktat. The agency reinterpreted statute after ancient statute as its bureaucrats saw fit, daring the courts to stop them. Think of the Clean Power Plan to put the coal industry out of business, the carbon endangerment rule, grabbing authority to call any pond or puddle a “waterway,” and so much more.

    “Mr. Pruitt’s first job will be restoring respect for the Constitution and cooperative federalism in EPA rule-making. He knows how to do this because he led the legal charge by the states against EPA abuses, including the victory of a Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan as it moves through the appellate courts. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt could order the EPA’s lawyers to inform the courts that the agency no longer stands by the legal interpretation behind the Clean Power Plan.

    “Democrats will attack Mr. Pruitt as a climate-change “denier,” but his only offense is disagreeing with them on energy policy. The irony is that Mr. Pruitt will probably do more for the environment than Mr. Obama ever did because he will make sure that rules issued by the EPA are rooted in law and thus won’t be overturned in court.”

    3. Not So Risky Climate Business
    A new study dismantles the logic of oil and gas ‘systemic risk.’
    Editorial, WSJ, Dec 8, 2016…

    SUMMARY: (No link to the study) The editorial states:

    “Among the many doomsday scenarios floated by the climate-change lobby is a theory that asks: What if an abrupt change in policy strands fossil-fuel resources in the ground, which in turn crashes oil companies and then the global economy? IHS consulting recently released a rebuttal to this “carbon bubble” babble, and the dismantling deserves more attention.

    “Daniel Yergin and Elena Pravettoni of IHS looked at whether oil and gas assets pose a “systemic risk” to the world financial system, a danger floated by more than a few regulators. No less than Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned in 2015 that limits on carbon could crater asset valuations and “potentially destabilize markets,” as the damage rippled through insurers and banks with portfolios in oil.

    “Regardless of forced carbon reductions or temperature spikes, the switch to alternative fuels will take decades. For some perspective, the authors note that the oil industry started up in 1859 but did not overtake coal as the world’s largest energy source for about a century. Barring some technological breakthrough, no one expects oil to be a minority source of energy before 2050. Financial markets and insurance contracts can manage risks as they evolve year-to-year or even day-to-day.”

    “Perhaps the strongest evidence that oil companies won’t blow up the world economy is that they’ve been stress-tested by the recent crash in commodity prices. Some 82 global oil companies burned off 42% of their value between June 2014 and December 2015, or about $1.4 trillion in market capitalization. Yet the report notes that since oil dipped below $100 a barrel in 2014, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 6%.

    “The panic over climate risk is really a pretext for more regulation. Mr. Carney chairs the Financial Stability Board, an international outfit that exists to flag financial risks and offer itself as the answer. An FSB task force later this month will deliver “guidelines for voluntary disclosure” that could cover assets and risk practices for oil companies as well as their investors. The report will likely be submitted to major country financial ministers for approval.

    “Mr. Carney and the FSB are playing to climate activists, who want to use such disclosure as ammunition to pound pension and other investment funds to divest from fossil-fuel companies. Mr. Carney has also highlighted the climate-change free-speech probe led by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which is based on flimsier evidence than even Mr. Carney’s conjectures.

    “The real financial risks are from Mr. Carney’s attempt to turn certain kinds of legal investments into political targets. The political allocation of capital into housing was one of the root causes of the 2008 panic. Let’s not politicize energy investing in the same way.”


    The Week That Was: 2016-10-01 (October 1, 2016)
    Brought to You by The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    ”As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.” – Albert Einstein

    Number of the Week: 45,185 feet (13,772 meters or 8.56 miles)

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

    Hubris: Michael Kelly, Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology of Cambridge University has written an excellent, short book review of Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change by Michael Hart, a scholar who has spent a decade working on the book.

    Kelly’s comments reflect many of the views held by SEPP (British spellings):

    “[T]he global climate is changing, and has always been changing. The earth has warmed by 1C over the last 150 years. That is not the issue. The issue is whether the human emissions of carbon dioxide since 1850 are heralding an imminent and certain global climate catastrophe that could be averted by engineering projects.”
    To which SEPP would add…or require drastic national and international energy policy restricting the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Kelly goes on to state:

    “This is the most complete book to date that takes a critical look across the whole of the recent history of climate change as science, as input to policy, and as a driver of far-reaching societal change. My own interest in the subject starts from the totally unrealistic engineering outcomes being assumed and implied by a decarbonisation of the world economy by 2050, and even a simplistic attempt to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the decarbonisation project as far as engineering and technology will make a difference. The scale of the investment for the unknowability of the measureable outcomes implied by ‘solving the climate change problem’ represents hubris of the grandest order.

    “The opportunity costs dwarf any possible outcomes. If one then goes back into the ‘post-modern science’ from which the imperative to decarbonise originates, several cans of worms are waiting. I fear that when this whole enterprise collapses, as certainly as the tulip bubble evaporated in 1637, there will be a backlash against trust in science that will herald a dark age in which scientists are routinely regarded as untrustworthy shamans. My concern is that the integrity of science is under great threat and that my own subject, engineering, will get caught in the backlash, even though engineers have been among the most vociferous critics of the projects of imminent global catastrophe caused by humans. It is the human desires for comfort, secure and variable food, health, education, mobility, communications, defence and other fruits of the industrial revolution that lead to the scale of human emissions of carbon dioxide, and only a deep and dramatic curtailment of these desires by everyone, but especially those living in the developed countries, will reduce carbon emissions in the next 30 years.” [Boldface added.]

    Being able to distinguish between valuable science and the claims of untrustworthy shamans is a goal of SEPP, and TWTW, no matter how imperfectly accomplished. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

    Distinguished Opposition: TWTW is privileged to receive excellent criticism of its expressed views – criticism which supports the concept that human emissions of CO2 are causing significant climate change, which eventually will be dire. Physicist Donald Rapp is one such critic. He has written several accomplished books on the subject especially Assessing Climate Change: Temperatures, Solar Radiation and Heat Balance, which is now in its third edition. Rapp believes that we have sufficient data that rising CO2 produces warming. Even though the warming is “not susceptible to quantitative evaluation, could be significant, and we need to try our best to reduce emissions.” Rapp also finds that the data supporting the theory that climate is governed by galactic cosmic rays “are sparse and unconvincing. This might be a subordinate effect.”

    It is vital goal of SEPP to separate the views expressed by scientists such as Rapp from those by what Kelly calls “untrustworthy shamans.” To separate natural variation from human influence, including CO2 emissions, we need more data on what happens following an El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event, such the one occurring now. Given the sparse nature of surface data, and the relocation of instrumentation to urbanizing areas especially airports, it is unlikely that the influence of CO2 can be separated from the influence of urbanization in the surface data. That is one reason TWTW emphasizes the far more comprehensive satellite data.

    Tropical Hot Spot: Last week’s TWTW covered a paper by James Wallace, John Christy, and Joseph D’Aleo stating that, based on statistical analysis, if the ENSO effect is removed from over 50 years of balloon data, the claimed tropical hot spot cannot be found – pronounced warming trends centered at about 10 km (33,000 feet) over the tropics. As described in TWTW, this hot spot was featured in the EPA Endangerment Finding (EF) and in 1996 Assessment Report (AR-2) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    On the ICECAP web site, which featured the paper, several commentators claimed that the hot spot was not critical to the EPA’s endangerment finding. The authors of the paper addressed these claims. The new claim of insignificant is amusing. The advocates are in effect stating that the attorneys for the EPA convinced the US Federal Court of Appeals that its endangerment finding is significant science using so-called evidence considered trivial? See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

    Administration’s Power Plan in Court: This week the US Court of Appeals of the District Columbia Circuit heard arguments on the administration’s power plan, called the “clean power plan”, that requires significant change in the generation of electrical power, including from existing power plants. The court is the same one, but somewhat reconstituted, that heard the arguments for EPA’s endangerment finding.

    In a dramatic change in procedure, the entire court heard the arguments. Usually, a three-judge panel first hears the arguments and issues a decision. The losing side may appeal to have the entire court hear the arguments, which the court may or may not grant. The hearing is important for the administration because its power plan will not have the force of law without court approval, regardless of how many international agreements Mr. Obama may sign, if he does not receive approval from the US Senate for a treaty. The Senate does not seem inclined to grant treaty status to Mr. Obama’s agreements.

    The administration seems to be dismissing the importance of these proceedings or the so-called environmental benefits of the power plan. As stated by attorney Sam Kazman of CEI:

    “At a March 22 congressional hearing, one congressman stated: ‘I don’t understand–if it doesn’t have an impact on climate change around the world, why are we subjecting our hard working taxpayers and men and women in the coal fields to something that has no benefit?’

    “McCarthy’s answer: ‘We see it as having had enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership as well as garnering support around the country for the agreement we reached in Paris.’

    “But demonstrating leadership is not the law’s goal; the underlying statute, after all, is the Clean Air Act, not the Clean Air Politics Act.”

    The lead attorneys against the power plan include the Attorney Generals for West Virginia and Texas, Patrick Morrisey and Ken Paxton, respectively. A lead attorney in making constitutional arguments is Lawrence Tribe, Law Professor at Harvard and a liberal icon. The transcriptions of the oral arguments have not been posted as of October 1, and will be discussed in an upcoming TWTW.

    At a briefing prior to the court hearing, Paxton and Morrisey explained why they sued. They consider the administration’s plan to be a power grab that is in violation of the Constitution, has no basis in law, and violates the Clean Air Act. The fundamental, practical issues include that the administration’s actions will dramatically raise utility rates, have a negative effect on the economy, and that key pollutants are regulated under different regulations. These pollutants are called criteria pollutants, specified in the law.

    The administration of public utilities is the responsibility of the several states, and the states are responsible for delivering reliable electricity, which wind and solar generation are not. Further, it is a myth that the power plan gives the states flexibility. The attorneys stated that the law is so specified that the EPA cannot take the endangerment finding, which applied to mobile sources of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide), mostly from automobiles and trucks, and apply it to stationary sources such as coal-fired power plants.

    When asked by an attendee if the attorneys considered addressing the scientific foundations of the endangerment finding, which the questioner considered were imploding, the attorneys stated that the legal foundation is so strong, that they emphasized that. The number of pages that can be filed is very limited. According to the attorneys, if the EPA can regulate power plants, then it will be pipelines, the electrical grid, and all critical elements of power production in the US.

    According to the attorneys, it is unlikely the Supreme Court will take up the case until the fall of 2017, if ever. See Articles # 1 and # 2 links under The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis and The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

    Reliable Electricity – South Australia: The state of South Australia is more dependent on wind and solar than any other state in Australia. It has about 1,580 MW installed wind capacity. Shortly after 1500 (local time) on September 28, wind energy production went to zero and South Australia suffered from a state-wide black out. The finger-pointing continues. As Paul Homewood (based in England) relates:

    “SA’s 18 wind farms have a combined (notional) capacity of 1,580MW.

    On 28 September (aka ‘Black Wednesday’), as the wind picked up, output surges by around 900MW, from a trifling 300MW (or 19% of installed capacity) to around 1,200MW.

    As we explain below, electricity grids were never designed to tolerate that kind of chaos, but it’s what occurs in the hour before the collapse that matters.

    From a peak near 1,200MW, there are drops and surges in output of around 250-300MW (equivalent to having the Pelican Point Combined Cycle Gas plant switched on and off in an instant).

    At about 2:30pm there is an almost instantaneous drop of 150MW (1,050 to 900MW), followed by a rapid surge of around 250MW, to hit a momentary peak of about 1,150MW.

    Then, in the instant before the blackout, wind power output plummets to around 890MW: a grid killing collapse of 260MW, that occurs in a matter of minutes (it’s all happened before, as we detail below). That 260MW collapse was the deliberate result of an automatic shutdown of the wind farms based in SA’s mid-North, located in the path of the storm front: the final and total collapse in SA’s power supply follows immediately thereafter.”

    Will those who advocated wind production stand up? See links under Questioning Green Elsewhere and Energy Issues – Non-US

    Carbon Taxes: A special interest group called R-Street has called for a carbon tax in the US, with the revenues distributed to the general population. If carbon dioxide is causing harm, doubtful, then taxing it would be the most efficient way of addressing it, according to many economists. However, tax history calls this view of efficiency into question.

    The 100-plus year history of the modern US income tax is littered with dishonored promises. One party or the other has used the tax code to give favors to special interests. President Reagan thought he had a deal with the Democratic Congress to simplify the tax code and to cut spending. The code was simplified by eliminating special tax breaks and reducing tax rates, temporarily. Spending cuts were illusionary. Soon thereafter, special tax breaks appeared, for example, the wind power production tax credit.

    Also, special taxes are dishonored. The federal highway tax is a user tax to build highways. But significant funds (about 25%) are diverted for sound barriers, bicycle trails, and planning for public transit, which do not pay these taxes.

    Given this history, there is no logical reason to assume that the revenue from a carbon tax will be distributed as claimed.

    In an effective democracy, politicians must be held accountable for their actions. Visibility is an advantage of the income tax. The public can hold those in government accountable, however imperfectly. Invisibility is a severe disadvantage of a carbon tax. Politicians who enact and manipulate the tax will hide behind public utilities, blaming utilities for the punitive effects of political actions. See links under Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes.

    Oil Prices: An article in the Wall Street Journal has an excellent graph of estimated break-even prices for oil production in various areas of the globe, which is reproduced by the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF). Although not stated, usually these cost estimates include capital costs plus a small profit.

    Whether or not a new OPEC agreement holds up, it is becoming evident that US oil production from shale has changed the thinking of the Saudis that it can continue to undercut the US producers, as it did in the 1980s. The petro-states are losing too much money needed for government budgets.

    Assuming the estimate of $40 to $65 per barrel for shale holds, and world prices fall into this range, then the Middle-east and Russia will make significant profits, Venezuela and Nigeria lower profits, Brazil and Angola with deep-water ocean production will become marginal producers, and Canadian Oil Sands will be out in the cold. The shale oil drillers are still improving their techniques, so what their eventual costs will be remains to be seen.

    The price estimates do not include Kazakhstan and the Gulf of Mexico. Kazakhstan will be delivering oil in the near future, break-even price unknown. Most of the deep-water production in the Gulf of Mexico is by private, closely-held companies that do not reveal their costs. There are some suggestions that the break-even costs are about $50 per bbl. See Article # 3 (without graphs) and links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    Comprehensive Models? With these developments, it is becoming clear that the idea of “peak oil” is off by many years. Since first proposed about 1970, this theory became an accepted “consensus” of some scientific organizations and those who built “state-of-the-art” mathematical models on it, predicting the world would run out of oil by the end of the 20th century

    One of the excuses made for the failure of these models is that the modelers did not know of oil extraction by unconventional means. In other words, the models were not comprehensive. It is becoming increasingly apparent that global climate models are not comprehensive as well.

    A government should not base policy on mathematical models that have not been validated. Even the experts cannot understand, or know, what may occur in the future. Speculation, no matter how mathematically precise is still speculation. See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy.

    Travel: Due to travel, there will be no TWTW on the weekend of October 15. The October 8 TWTW will be brief.

    Number of the Week: 45,185 feet (13,772 meters or 8.56 miles) According to the above mentioned article in the Wall Street Journal, a natural gas well was drilled in Ohio that is 26,641 feet (8120 m or 5.05 mi) deep and 18,544 feet (5652 m or 3.51 mi) long. It is not clear if the vertical section is directly vertical or angled, and the actual depth of the horizontal section is not given. Regardless of the exact depth, the drill (bottomhole) assembly, with its sensors and guidance system, operated at high pressures and temperatures. The development of these miniaturized sensors and guidance systems is a significant accomplishment by the scientists and engineers who did so. See Article # 3.


    Science: Is the Sun Rising?

    Solar Arctic-Mediated Climate Variation on Multidecadal to Centennial Timescales: Empirical Evidence, Mechanistic Explanation, and Testable Consequences
    By Willie W.-H. Soon, Physical Geography, May 15, 2013…

    Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

    Test Driving the Solar Notch-Delay Model
    Guest essay by David Archibald, WUWT, Oct 1, 2014…

    Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt

    AGU Rejects #ExxonKnew Agenda, Email shows more implosions from within
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 26, 2016…

    Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

    Testimony of Ronald Rotunda, Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
    US House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology on September 14, 2016…

    Senate Dem Report Attacking EPA Critics Traced to Green Pressure Group
    Document scrubbed of traces to environmentalist group after Free Beacon inquiries
    By Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, Sep 28, 2016…

    The First Climate Change RICO Lawsuit is Filed by Editor
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 27, 2016…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change
    By Michael Kelly FRS, FREng, Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge, GWPF, Sep 30, 2016
    Review of book by Michael Hart…

    The Importance of the Tropical Hot Spot to EPA’s Endangerment Finding
    By James Wallace, ICECAP, Sep 30, 2016…

    A Devastating Reassessment of Alarmist Climate Science
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Sep 29, 2016…

    Old Tactics Revived as Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Deception Fails. An Open Letter to an Open Letter
    Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Sep 24, 2016…

    Political Science: A Reply to the 375 Concerned Members of the National Academy of Sciences
    By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, William M. Briggs, David R. Legates, Anthony Lupo, Istvan Marko, Dennis Mitchell, & Willie Soon, Breitbart, Sep 25, 2016…

    Alarmist Potsdam Climate Scientist Stefan Rahmstorf Extends “Incredible String Of Failures”
    Incredible String of Failures by Rahmstorf Continues: New Study Finds no Robust Relationship Between Shrinking Sea Ice and European Cold Waves
    By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Sep 30, 2016…

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    Why Obama Is Right on Clean Energy
    By William Ruckelshaus and William Reilly, NYT, Sep 25, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]…
    [SEPP Comment: Mr. Ruckelshaus banned DDT, claiming it may cause cancer in humans, without evidence. Thus, he began a tradition of EPA political popular bans, without evidence.]

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    What Ever Happened to Peak Oil?
    By Bill Murray & Carl M. Cannon, Real Clear Politics, Sep 28, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Do not base policy on mathematical models that have not been validated. Even the experts cannot understand, or know, what may occur in the future. Speculation, no matter how mathematically precise is still speculation.]

    Peak Oil Consensus 2008: Lesson for ‘Settled’ Climate Science
    By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Sep 29, 2016…

    92% in unhealthy air? Another example of a boy who cries wolf
    By Václav Klaus, Czech ex-president, with comments by Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Sep 28, 2016…

    Are The Promoters Of Global Warming ‘Catastrophe’ The True Deniers?
    By John Tamny Forbes, Sep 25, 2016…

    World Climate Measured in Foreign-Hype Decrees
    By Anthony J. Sadar, American Thinker, Sep 29, 2016…

    The polar bear problem no one will talk about – the downside to large populations
    By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Sep 28, 2016…

    After Paris!

    Climate change agreement crosses threshold
    By Staff Writers, WNN, Sep 22, 2016…

    Europe has a chance to be “out” when Paris comes to force
    By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Sep 24, 2016…

    Southeast Asian Nations Plan Huge Expansion Of Fossil Fuel Economy
    By John Constable, GWPF, Sep 26, 2016…

    The Administration’s Plan

    Judges probe legality of Obama’s climate rule
    By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Sep 27, 2016…

    The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis

    Both sides optimistic on EPA climate rule case
    By Timothy Cama, and Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 28, 2016…

    Obama’s climate legacy on trial
    By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Sep 25, 2016…

    The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

    It’s judgment day for the EPA’s clean power plan, America
    By C. Boyden Gray, Sam Kazman, Fox News, Sep 27, 2016…

    Obama’s climate change agenda faces crucial court hearing today
    By Joseph Smith, American Thinker, Sep 27, 2016…

    Seeking a Common Ground

    The Limits of Knowledge and the Climate Change Debate
    By Brian Berry, Jayshree Bihari, and Euel Elliott, Cato Journal, Via GWPF, Sep 24, 2016…
    Link to paper: The Limits of Knowledge and the Climate Change Debate…

    Review of Recent Scientific Papers by CO2 Science

    Barley Protein Production in a CO2-Enriched and Warmer World
    Ingvordsen, C.H., Gislum, R., Jorgensen, J.R., Mikkelsen, T.N., Stockmarr, A. and Jorgensen, R.B. 2016. Grain protein concentration and harvestable protein under future climate conditions. A study of 108 spring barley accessions. Journal of Experimental Biology 67: 2151-2158. Sep 29, 2016…

    Solar Activity Modulates the Frequency of Central European Floods
    Czymzik, M., Muscheler, R. and Brauer, A. 2016. Solar modulation of flood frequency in central Europe during spring and summer on inter-annual to multi-centennial timescales. Climate of the Past 12: 799-805. Sep 28, 2016…

    A New Refutation of Dangerous CO2-Induced Global Warming
    Gervais, R. 2016. Anthropogenic CO2 warming challenged by 60-year cycle. Earth-Science Reviews 155: 129-135. Sep 27, 2016…
    “And so it is that real-world data-based refutations of unsubstantiated climate-alarmist claims of impending catastrophic climatic consequences — which they associate with the burning of fossil fuels — continue to grow in number and refute the baseless climate-alarmist contentions, as ever more real-world observations that suggest just the opposite continue to find their way into the peer-reviewed scientific literature. And in light of these facts, Gervais concludes that ‘on inspection of a risk of anthropogenic warming thus toned down, a change of paradigm which highlights a benefit for mankind related to the increase of plant feeding and crop yields by enhanced CO2 photosynthesis is suggested.’”

    Juvenile Antarctic Rockcod Growing Up in CO2-Acidified Seawater
    Davis, B.E., Miller, N.A., Flynn, E.E. and Todgham, A.E. 2016. Juvenile Antarctic rockcod (Trematomus bernacchii) are physiologically robust to CO2-acidified seawater. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 1203-1213. Sep 26, 2016…

    Model Issues

    40 Earths: NCAR’s Large Ensemble reveals staggering climate variability
    Data set an instant hit with climate and Earth system researchers
    By Staff Writers, NCAR/UCAR Atmos News, Sep 29, 2016…
    Link to article: The Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble Project: A Community Resource for Studying Climate Change in the Presence of Internal Climate Variability
    By J.E. Kay, et al. AMS, Aug 2015…
    “We gave the temperature in the atmosphere the tiniest tickle in the model — you could never measure it — and the resulting diversity of climate projections is astounding,” Deser said. “It’s been really eye-opening for people.”
    [SEPP Comment: Pick the model that fits your needs!]

    Measurement Issues – Energy Flow

    Errors in Estimating Earth’s No-Atmosphere Average Temperature
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Sep 27, 2016…

    Changing Weather

    No big shift in U.S. flood patterns despite climate change: study
    By Ian Simpson, Reuters, Sep 28, 2016…

    Matthew to Arrive 4,000 days after Last Major Hurricane
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Sep 29, 2016…

    Tropical Storms Can Strengthen Over Land But Be Careful With Brown Ocean Claims
    By Marshall Shepherd, Sep 24, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…

    Coldest Perth September recorded in 120 years of records (must be climate change)
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 1, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Are records upside-down in Australia?]

    A Normal Summer
    By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Sep 24, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Normal over the western U.S.]

    A Weakening BLOB
    By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Oct 1, 2016…

    Changing Climate

    Ancient global cooling gave rise to modern ecosystems
    Sea surface temperatures dipped dramatically during a period from 7 million to 5.4 million years ago, a time of massive global ecological change.
    Press Release, Brown University, Sep 26, 2016…

    Changing Seas

    Latest Momentous Discovery – The “Parched” Earth Is Getting Wetter!
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 30, 2016
    [SEPP Comment: Has sea level rise been overestimated by alarmists?]

    Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

    Arctic Ice Extent Recovering At Record Pace
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 29, 2016

    Lowering Standards

    Arctic Melting Defies Scientists
    By Alex Kirby, EcoWatch, Sep 29, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    “Dramatic and unprecedented warming in the Arctic is driving sea level rise, affecting weather patterns around the world and may trigger even more changes in the climate system.
    “The rate of change is challenging the current scientific capacity to monitor and predict what is becoming a journey into uncharted territory.”
    “The Arctic is a principal, global driver of the climate system and is undergoing an unprecedented rate of change with consequences far beyond its boundaries,”
    [SEPP Comment: From the UN World Meteorological Organization and David Grimes, its president!]

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

    Climate Exaggeration is Backfiring
    By Robert Bradley Jr. Forbes, Sep 23, 2016…

    How to make climate graphs look scary — a reply to XKCD
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 25, 2016…

    It’s Official: Hydropower Is Dirty Energy
    By Gary Wockner, EcoWatch, Sep 30, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]…
    Link to WP article: Reservoirs are a major source of global greenhouse gases, scientists say
    By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, Sep 28, 2016…
    “Correction: A prior title of this article suggested that methane emissions from reservoirs are a “key new source of greenhouse gases.” In fact, scientific budgets of global methane emissions have included reservoir emissions in the category of lakes and rivers, according to Harrison. The new research, however, does suggest that reservoir emissions may have been underestimated in such budgets.”
    [SEPP Comment: The author of “River Warrior” did not give links to the paper, which may be as much an exaggeration on the presumed influence on methane as the presumed influence of methane is on global temperatures.]

    Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

    Nature paper pushes wild exaggeration of 7-13C “climate sensitivity”! Even Gavin Schmidt calls them out.
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 27, 2016…
    Link to paper: Evolution of global temperature over the past two million years
    By Carolyn W. Snyder, Nature, Sep 26, 2016…
    “(Did she study climate science by watching Al Gore?)”

    Study: Earth’s roughly warmest in about 100,000 years
    By Seth Borenstein, AP, Sep 26, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    [SEPP Comment: See link immediately above;]

    Spiegel: Experts Slam Proclamations Of An Anthropocene As “Political”… “Unscientific”…”Science Sloganeering”!
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Sep 28, 2016…

    In Miami, Green Party’s Jill Stein warns of ‘climate meltdown
    By David Smiley, Miami Herald, Sep 30, 2016…

    Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

    Despite record hottest year even a loaded vague climate survey shows 61% don’t agree with experts
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 26, 2016…

    Questioning European Green

    Renewable Energy Poses Growing Security Risk, GWPF Warns
    By Staff Writers, GWPF, Sep 29, 2016…
    Link to paper: UK Energy Security: Myth and Reality
    By Philipp Mueller, GWPF, 2014…

    Are We Heading for Blackout Britain?
    By Staff writers, Centre for Policy Studies, Sep 29, 2016…

    Questioning Green Elsewhere

    Wind Power, Eating the Seed Corn
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Sep 30, 2016…

    Renewables shift brings threat to power supply
    By Brian Robins, Sydney Morning Herald, Sep 15, 2016…

    South Australia pays the price for heavy reliance on renewable energy
    By Brian Robins, Sydney Morning Herald, Sep 28, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    The South Australian black out — A grid on the edge. There were warnings that renewables made it vulnerable
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 30, 2016…

    Ontario stops buying renewable energy
    By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC, Sep 28, 2016…

    The Political Games Continue

    Republicans Demand PROOF From Obama That Global Warming Is A National Security Threat
    By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Sep 26, 2016…

    Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

    A carbon bargain for conservatives
    By Catrina Rorke, R Street, Sep 28, 2016…

    The carbon tax is not just political; it’s ineffective, too
    By Benjamin Zycher, The Hill, Sep 28, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: No doubt an edict eliminating gasoline-powered automobiles and trucks would appease many fossil fuel opponents and bring claims of “green jobs” being created, without thought of economic consequences. Total control is their goal.]

    The Real Problem with Carbon Taxes
    By Bruce Everett, CO2 Coalition, Sep 28, 2016…
    Link to full essay: (5 pages)…
    “Economists have long recognized that taxation can be a useful means to discourage consumption if – and only if – there is a reason to do so. Without a clear and defined benefit, such taxes simply divert funds from consumers to the government. Regressive taxes, i.e., those that fall disproportionately on the middle class and the poor, reduce disposable income at a time when families are struggling to meet their needs. The issue is not can we impose a carbon tax, but why should we?”

    EU Lawmakers Divided on Post-2020 Emissions-Market Reform
    By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, Sep 29, 2016…

    Subsidies and Mandates Forever

    Analysis: New York’s Clean Energy Standard could pad utility bills by $3.4B
    By Robert Walton, Utility Dive, Sep 29, 20126…
    Link to report: Green Overload: New York State’s Ratepayer-Zapping Renewable Energy Mandate
    By Kenneth Girardin and Annette Brocks, Empire Center, Sep 27, 2016…

    New York City Sets Ambitious Citywide Energy Storage Target
    By Sonal Pat4el, Power Mag, Sep 29, 2016…
    “New York City is aiming to have 100 MWh of energy storage by 2020 under an unprecedented target set by Mayor Bill de Blasio on September 23.”
    [SEPP Comment: How long would it run the city in a black-out – in seconds?]

    EPA and other Regulators on the March

    EPA Finalizes Two Rules to Reduce Use and Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gases
    Press Release by Enesta Jones, EPA, Sep 26, 2016 [H/t Climate Depot]…

    Energy Issues – Non-US

    Change and Flexibility
    By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Sep 30, 2016…

    Russia Slams Door on US LNG to Europe
    By Jane Collin, Energy Intelligence, Sep 2016…

    Engineering experts deliver warning on smart meter design
    By Diarmaid Williams, Power Engineering, Sep…

    Another Statewide Blackout: South Australia’s Wind Power Disaster Continues
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 29, 2016

    Entire state of South Australia without electricity as storm hits
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 28, 2016…

    The South Australian Statewide Blackout
    By Terence Cardwell, Australian Climate Sceptics, Oct 1, 2016…

    Entire state of South Australia has power black-out because of flawed climate change energy policy
    Guest essay by Larry Hamlin, WUWT, Sep 28, 2016…

    Fracking Scare Stories Condemned By UK Watchdog
    By Ben Webster, The Times, Via GWPF, Sep 26, 2016…

    Get drilling! Fracking ‘could save UK industry’, says boss at major refinery after first shipment of American shale gas arrives in Britain
    By Jack Doyle, Daily Mail, UK, Sep 27, 2016…

    Energy Issues — US

    FERC Adopts GMD Rule and Says Farewell to Tony Clark
    By Kennedy Maize, Power Mag, Sep 26, 2016…

    Tribal Consultation At Heart Of Pipeline Fight
    By Leigh Paterson, Inside Energy, Sep 23, 2016…

    Washington’s Control of Energy

    U.N. steps into Dakota oil pipeline fight
    By Daniel J. Graeber, Geneva, Switzerland (UPI), Sep 23, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Now the UN wants to dictate energy policy to Washington?]

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    Resilient U.S. Shale Firms Ready to Pump More Oil
    By Lynn Cook and Bradley Olson, The Wall Street Journal, Via GWPF, Sep 28, 2016…

    OPEC’s ‘truce on oil prices’ could be quickly shattered by more shale production
    By Patti Domm, CNBC, Sep 29, 2016…

    How Actual Nuts and Bolts Are Bringing Down Oil Prices
    Forget shale. There’s a broader – much more boring – technological revolution sweeping oil markets.
    By Tracy Alloway, Bloomberg, Sep 28, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Using some of the techniques being used in shale development.]

    Addicted to Oil: U.S. Gasoline Consumption is Higher than Ever
    By Lucas Davis, The Energy Collective, Sep 27, 2016…

    Return of King Coal?

    China stokes global coal growth
    By Beth Walker, China dialogue, Sep 23, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    China tells mines to raise thermal coal output again – sources
    By Kathy Chen, et al, Reuters, Sep 28, 2016…

    Oil Spills, Gas Leaks, etc. & Consequences

    Oil and gas wastewater is changing the Earth’s surface, study finds
    By Maria Gallucci, Yahoo, Sep 22, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    [SEPP Comment: Wastewater disposal wells are causing problems, which the reporter exaggerates.]

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    Fourth Hongyanhe unit enters commercial operation
    By Staff Writers, WNN, Sep 20, 2016…

    Japan Kills Monju but Not Breeders
    By Thomas Overton, Power Mag, Sep 26, 2016…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

    Hillary’s Solar Future Has a Bad Past
    By Robert Bradley, Master Resource, Sep 28, 2016…
    “Yet after 40 years of government plans and incentives, the U.S. is not halfway to Bill’s one-million goal.”

    Carbon Schemes

    Does carbon capture & storage have a future in the UK?
    By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Sep 28, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Review of a political document encouraging a policy headed for failure.]

    California Dreaming

    Millennial’s May Have to Delay Buying First Home
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Sep 27, 2016…
    “California regulators are establishing rules so that every home built by 2020 is a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home. ZNE homes must not use more energy than they produce.”
    [SEPP Comment: If each home is a Zero Net Energy user, where does it get its energy from when needs it and where does the energy go when it produces too much?]

    Oh Mann!

    ‘Hide The Decline’ Unveiled: 50 Non-Hockey Stick Graphs Quash Modern ‘Global’ Warming Claims
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Sep 27, 2016…

    Environmental Industry

    The Next Environmental Scare?
    By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Sep 25, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Earth’s loss of O2?]

    Endangered species rule changed, angering environmental group
    By Lydia Wheeler, The Hill, Sep 26, 2016…

    Other Scientific News

    With solar storm in progress, regional impact forecasts set to begin
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 29, 2016…

    Peat bogs in northern Alberta, Canada reveal decades of declining atmospheric Pb contamination
    By William Shotyk, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, Sep 27, 2016…

    Other News that May Be of Interest

    The Green Universe: A Vision
    By Freeman Dyson, New York Review of Books, Oct 13, 2016…

    The Faster a Planet Rotates, the Warmer its Average Temperature
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Sep 28, 2016…

    How to constrain the abuse of science by Federal agencies
    By David Wojick, Climate Etc. Sep 28, 2016…

    Prostitution caused by man-made global warming
    By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Sep 27, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: According to US Rep. Barbara Lee (D, DC). Who has no vote.]

    Earth’s obliquity and temperature over the last 20,000 years
    By Anthony Watts, from Javier, WUWT, Sep 29, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: A cartoon.]

    Academic Absurdity of the Week: Fake Peer Reviews
    By Steven Hayward, Power Line,
    “The research team was able to influence the peer review process in one in four cases by throwing fake reviews into the mix, it said.” Sep 22, 2016…

    Climate change is all about walking on thin ice!
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change, Sep 21, 2016…
    The melting of the earth’s ice cover has already become a source of physical trauma. In Alaska, Inuits report an increase in accidents caused by walking on thin ice.
    From: “Climate Change and Human Health” Paul R. Epstein, M.D., M.P.H. The New England Journal of Medicine, 6 Oct 2005, Vol. 353 No. 14

    1. ‘Clean Power’ Plays and the Last Stand for Federalism
    What will be left of our constitutional order if the EPA’s plan passes judicial muster?
    By David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, Sep 25, 2016…

    These Constitutional attorneys state:
    “After Congress turned down President Obama’s request to enact a law regulating power plants’ greenhouse-gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency turned to the states—not with a request, but with instructions to carry out the president’s energy policy. The EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” now faces the scrutiny of the nation’s chief regulatory review court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    “If the Constitution’s federalism is to endure, the Clean Power Plan must be struck down.

    “The Constitution establishes a federal government of limited and enumerated powers while the states retain a plenary “police power,” subject only to the specific limitations of federal law. This is what Justice Anthony Kennedy called the Constitution’s “genius”: It “split the atom of sovereignty” to ensure accountability when meeting both local and national concerns, while fostering rivalry between the two levels to curb excessive political ambition that might threaten liberty.

    “Only in recent decades did politicians learn how to realize their ambitions through collusion. The federal government now entices states with transfer payments to establish and administer social-welfare programs. And, in schemes that the courts describe as “cooperative federalism,” it offers states the choice to regulate their citizens according to federal dictates, as an alternative to the feds regulating directly and having states get out of the way.

    “Even these approaches were not enough for the Obama administration to cajole the states to carry out its energy agenda. So it resolved to obliterate one of the last vestiges of the Constitution’s vertical separation of powers: the bar on federal commandeering of the states and their officials to carry out federal policy.

    “The Clean Power Plan is enormously complicated, but its overall approach is straightforward. Previous emissions regulations have focused on reducing emissions from particular facilities, but this one relies on shifting electricity generation from disfavored facilities (coal-fired power plants) to those the EPA prefers (natural gas and renewables). The EPA then determined what, in its view, is the maximum amount of such shifting that each of the nation’s regional electric grids could possibly accommodate and calculated the emissions reductions.

    “Parcel those figures out by state, factor in additional reductions due to estimated efficiency improvements at older plants, and the result is state-specific reduction targets. The states can elect to achieve those targets themselves—or, if they decline, the EPA will do it for them. “Textbook cooperative federalism,” says the EPA.

    “Not quite. Whether or not the states choose to implement the plan directly, it leaves them no choice but to carry out the EPA’s federal climate policy. That’s because the EPA can destroy but not create. It can regulate emissions of existing facilities, but it lacks the legal authority to facilitate the construction and integration of new power sources, which is ultimately the only way to achieve the plan’s aggressive targets.

    “That duty falls to the states, which the plan depends upon to carry out what the EPA calls their “responsibility to maintain a reliable electric system.” Doing nothing, as in the cooperative federalism scenario, is not an option.

    “So this is how the plan works: The EPA pushes coal-fired plants off the grid, and then counts on the states to ensure that the resulting reductions in capacity are matched by increases in EPA-preferred forms of power generation. State agencies will have to be involved in decommissioning coal-fired plants, addressing replacement capacity—like wind turbines and solar arrays—addressing transmission and integration issues, and undertaking all manner of related regulatory proceedings. All this to carry out federal policy.

    “The Clean Power Plan implicates every evil associated with unconstitutional commandeering. It dragoons states into administering federal law, irrespective of their citizens’ views. It destroys accountability, by directing the brunt of public disapproval for increased electricity costs and lost jobs onto state officials, when the federal government deserves the blame. And it subverts the horizontal separation of powers, by allowing the executive branch to act where Congress has refused to legislate.

    “One can only wonder what will be left of our constitutional order if the plan passes judicial muster.

    “The federal government would no longer be a government of limited powers, but instead be able to compel the states to do its bidding in any area. The states, in turn, would be reduced to puppets of a federal ventriloquist, carrying out the dirty work for which federal actors wish to avoid accountability. And the federal executive, in many instances, could effectively create new law by working through the states, free of the need to win over Congress.

    “So it is difficult to imagine a U.S. where the Clean Power Plan is the law of the land. It would not be the same country, or the same Constitution, that Americans have enjoyed all these years.”

    2. The ‘Clean Power’ Putsch
    A watershed case about democratic consent and the separation of powers.
    Editorial, WSJ, Sep 25, 2016…

    The Editorial states:
    “In the American system of cooperative federalism, the federal government is supreme and can pre-empt state laws, and it often does. The EPA has the power, for example, to impose efficiency improvements or air-quality standards on existing power plants. But with the CPP it is stretching this power to unprecedented levels and commandeering state resources.

    “At the heart of cooperative federalism is the right of refusal—states must retain the power to opt out of any federal scheme. If that scheme is grounded in a law passed by Congress, the feds can take over and regulate themselves. In this case the EPA has no authority to do anything of the kind.

    “Even if the CPP explicitly banned coal-fired power, the EPA cannot mandate that states switch to solar panels and wind turbines. The agency can destroy but it cannot create. Here the EPA is expecting that states will undertake the extensive and costly preparation and regulation to compensate for lost carbon power because they have no other choice to keep the lights on. The EPA is happy to let states take responsibility for problems the EPA is creating.

    The Supreme Court has often policed and struck down such commandeering. In 1992’s New York v. United States, the High Court invalidated a command to states related to low-level radioactive waste, while 1997’s Printz v. United States overturned a provision on background checks for gun purchasers. As recently as the ObamaCare cases of 2012, the Court ruled that the law’s Medicaid expansion was an unconstitutionally coercive “gun to the head” and gave states the right to opt out.

    The CPP is far more bullying than any of these examples. Redesigning state-based energy systems to replace fossil fuels is a capital-intensive and decades-long transition, to the extent it is possible. It requires power-plant retirements and upgrades, restructuring transmission lines, building new natural-gas pipelines. States must avoid blackouts and service disruptions to protect public safety and the economy.

    The EPA says the CPP is run-of-the-mill pollution regulation, but Mr. Obama held an East Room ceremony calling it historic and the rule is the heart of the U.S. commitment to the Paris climate accord. Both claims can’t be true. The EPA also claims the CPP “shows a deep respect for states’ sovereignty by giving them the opportunity to design an emissions-reduction plan that makes sense for their citizens.” In other words, as long as they are willing to suffer, they can suffer in their own way.

    Climate change has become religious faith on the left, and Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have packed the D.C. Circuit with liberals precisely to bounce cases like this one. The court is hearing West Virginia v. EPA en banc because of its extraordinary importance, and the 10-member panel is stocked with more liberals than conservatives. But liberal judges who care about the rule of law should also worry about the danger to the constitutional order and democratic consent from the EPA’s breathtaking power grab.

    3. Two Years Into Oil Slump, U.S. Shale Firms Are Ready to Pump More
    Shale industry has proved resilient despite low prices thanks to cost cuts, efficiency improvements
    By Lynn Cook and Bradley Olson, WSJ, Sep 27, 2016…

    SUMMARY: The reporters state:
    “When oil prices began to plunge two years ago due to a global glut of crude, experts predicted U.S. shale producers would be the losers of the resulting shakeout.

    “But the American companies that revolutionized the oil and gas business with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are surviving the carnage largely unbowed.

    “Though the collapse in prices caused a wave of bankruptcies, total U.S. oil production has only fallen by about 535,000 barrels a day so far this year compared with 2015, when it averaged 9.4 million barrels, according to the latest federal data.

    “As the oil markets ponder where production will resume when prices pick back up, one clear answer has emerged: America. Goldman Sachs forecasts the U.S. will be pumping an additional 600,000 to 700,000 barrels of oil a day by the end of next year—making up for every drop lost in the bust.

    “Few predicted that in the fall of 2014, when Saudi Arabia signaled that it wouldn’t curb its output to put a floor under crude prices. Oil pundits concluded that a brutal culling would force higher-cost players known as marginal producers—a group that includes shale drillers—out of the market.

    “But the greatest consequence of the Saudi decision and subsequent price drop is that it has delayed costly oil megaprojects, from deep-water platforms off Angola to oil-sands mines in Canada.

    “’The U.S. isn’t the marginal barrel but the most flexible,’ said R.T. Dukes, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie. ‘We’ll be the fastest to snap back.’

    “More than 100 North American energy producers have declared bankruptcy during this downturn, but even companies working through chapter 11 keep pumping oil and gas. Many exit bankruptcy stronger thanks to a balance sheet that has been wiped clean. SandRidge Energy Inc., which filed in May, will exit next month after erasing nearly $3.7 billion in debt.

    “Many shale operators are still struggling at current prices, drilling at a loss and tapping Wall Street for new infusions of cash. But the strongest producers, including EOG Resources Inc. and Continental Resources Inc., soon will be able to generate enough money to pay for new investments and dividends—as well as boost production—even at low prices, analysts say.

    “A big reason U.S. oil production has been so resilient is that U.S. producers found ways to cut costs and enhance efficiencies during the lean years. Those innovations are now poised to propel the industry’s resurrection.

    “In May, Halliburton Co. helped tap the longest shale well on record—26,641 feet deep and another 18,544 feet long—for Eclipse Resources Corp. in Ohio, 130 miles south of Cleveland.

    That well was fracked—the process of injecting water, chemicals and sand to coax out oil and gas—an extraordinary 124 times. Typical shale wells are fracked between 30 and 40 times, up from just nine fracks in 2011 at the start of the oil boom, according to Drillinginfo, a data provider for the energy industry.

    To put that engineering feat in Manhattan perspective, that is equivalent to burrowing down to the depth of 15 World Trade Centers at One World Trade Center, turning 90 degrees and drilling underground 3.5 miles to Grand Central station. Eclipse saved 30% by supersizing the well, said Chief Operating Officer Tom Liberatore


    The Week That Was: 2016-09-03 (September 3, 2016)
    Brought to You by The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Quote of the Week.
    “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

    Number of the Week: Up 18.6%

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

    Did Obama Sign? What? There were reports speculating that U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Junping would officially sign the Paris Climate Treaty (Agreement) when they met on September 3, ahead of the G-20 economic meeting in Hangzhou, China. As of midnight US Eastern Daylight Time on September 3, noon Hangzhou daylight time on September 4, there were no official reports that such a formal signing had taken place. Several news reports stated that both groups announced ratification of the treaty. However, there may be a language problem. According to the Constitution of the US, the President cannot ratify a treaty, ratification requires approval of two-thirds of the US Senate. In closing hours of the Paris Conference of Parties (COP-21) ending December 12, 2015, the US delegation insisted on changing the document so it would not appear to be a treaty but a non-binding agreement. No doubt, there will be several interpretations of the theater taking place in Hangzhou. It may be another version of theater dating back to the period of the Six Dynasties. See links under After Paris!

    The Balance Game: Writing in Climate Etc., global climate model commentator Nic Lewis addresses the recent claims that human influence on global warming/climate change started about 180 years ago, about 1830. The claims are based on very scanty data and use climate models that have not been validated. [Please note the correction at the end of his comments.]

    Very interesting is the statement by Lewis before the correction. “Ironically, should the study’s finding of anthropogenic warming starting as early as circa the 1830s be correct, it would imply that anthropogenic aerosol forcing is weaker than estimated in IPCC AR5, and therefore that observational estimates of climate sensitivity (both transient and equilibrium) based on AR5 forcing values need to be revised downwards. That is because total anthropogenic forcing would only have become positive enough to have had any measurable impact on temperatures in the 1830s if AR5 best estimates significantly overstate the strength of anthropogenic aerosol forcing.”

    The statement highlights flaws in what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, such as the EPA, offer as proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. The report discussed is the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013). The models simultaneously calculate possible warming influence of CO2 and the possible cooling influence of aerosols (fine liquid droplets or particles suspended in the atmosphere). Aerosols can be natural or human caused. Systematic measurement did not begin until the late 1970s when “the first satellite instrument capable of crudely monitoring aerosol optical depth from space—the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)—retrieved optical depth from measurements in the visible and near-infrared spectrum, beginning in the late 1970s.” As with satellite measurements of global atmospheric temperatures going back to December 1978, anything earlier is pure guesswork.

    Further, the calculation procedure itself is suspect. As explained in the Summary for Policymakers, the models work only if both natural and human forcings are used. They do not work using only anthropogenic (human) forcings. However, even assuming that the numbers used are appropriate, the procedure does not establish human cause. The procedure has been called circular reasoning or tautology. The procedure, itself, can lead to an unlimited number of solutions, not a finite range of solutions.

    For example, assume A plus B is equal to 10. There is no unique solution to A, without first determining a solution to B. In fact, the value of A may be positive or negative, yet fit the equation, depending on the value of B. Trying to trace influence of CO2 and aerosols on temperatures prior to solid measurements of both is a similar exercise with unlimited solutions. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy and Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

    Arctic Changes: The internet web site,, picked up on a paper indicating rapid change in Arctic sea ice related to Dansgaard-Oeschger (D/O) Events over the past 90,000 years. D/O events are described as rapid warming followed by gradual cooling. The strongest evidence has been from Greenland ice cores. The D/O events have been independently linked to Heinrich events [by Gerard Bond], which are demonstrated by deposits of rock mass on the bottom of the North Atlantic. When the ice sheets scraped the earth, they picked-up the rock mass and carried it to the sea where large sections broke-off forming icebergs. When melting, the icebergs deposited the rock mass originating on the continent on the floor of the North Atlantic.

    According to the new paper by Hoff, et al., the researchers obtained a marine sediment core near the Faroe Islands, in the Nordic seas. The researchers examined single celled algae, called diatoms, in the sediment core. The algae form under the sea ice, with the algae production dependent on the thickness of the ice – with thicker ice, the sun rays do not readily reach the algae for photosynthesis. Using the algae in the marine sediments, the researchers estimated the thickness of the ice over time. According to a hypothesis involving the Thermohaline Circulation, thick ice in the North Atlantic slows down the circulation. This may explain why the D/O events feature a gradual cooling. The cause of the rapid warming is not explained. However, these natural events may have contributed to what is claimed to be human-caused global warming. See links under Changing Cryosphere.

    Censorship: According to an article appearing in the student newspaper of the University of Notre Dame: “Three professors co-teaching an online course called ‘Medical Humanities in the Digital Age’ at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.”…“The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course …,”

    The email from the three professors also cites the made-up claim of “98% [97%] of climate scientists…” Since the topics involve “fracking” – hydraulic fracturing of shale for oil and natural gas – discussion of the solid evidence in supporting and opposing each position is in order. Following the above quote of the week from Einstein, perhaps the professors involved censor questions because they do not understand the subject sufficiently well to provide answers. See link under Censorship.

    Boring, But Important: Donn Dears has a succinct description on the levelized costs of replacing existing power plants with new wind and solar power plants. [Levelized costs are used in attempting to compare the costs of various forms of generating electricity over a period of time.] For example, Dears uses the estimate that an existing coal-fired power plant costs 4 cents per kWh, while a new typical wind turbine costs about 10.4 cents per kWh. Such high costs for renewables are being demonstrated in Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and the UK. Yet, politicians such as California Governor Pat Brown do not believe that replacing reliable, affordable electricity generation with unreliable, more expensive generation leads to job losses. Apparently, they believe that unreliable, expensive electric power is the path to prosperity. See Links under Energy Issues – US and California Dreaming.

    Who Benefits? The threats of litigation by various states’ attorneys general and US Senators against organizations who do not follow the declarations of these politicians on global warming seems to be imploding. The threats were built on largely unsubstantiated, and absurd claims that the views of many organizations are based on the comparatively few dollars a few organizations may have received from Exxon, etc. As discussed previously in TWTW, some of the academic instigators of potential litigation had visions of great windfalls similar to what occurred following the settlements with tobacco companies.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman Jenkins explains the distasteful behavior of these attorneys general and their supporters. The following day, the Journal has an editorial on the subject. Just before these, the Journal published an op-ed piece on who benefited from the billions in cash settlements the federal government extracted from major banks, in part from their participation in programs that the federal government encouraged or required. And many politicians wonder why the current economic period, following the much heralded Stimulus Bill”, is called the Great Recession.
    See Articles # 1, 2, & 3. [SEPP has not confirmed the recipients of the bank settlements.]

    Additions and Corrections: There were several errors and examples of poor wording in last week’s TWTW.

    Several readers pointed out the following statement is incorrect: What is very interesting is that, other than Canada, the largest receiver of US oil exports is Curacao in oil-rich Venezuela, with 54,000 b/d.

    Curacao is part of the Kingdom of Netherlands, but is located approximately 40 mi (65 km) north of the Venezuelan coast. The refinery there is operated by Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-owned oil company of Venezuela.

    Another reader asked: “Your last item about the 500,000 bpd exports of US oil to Canada begs an explanation. Is it that Canada has under used refining capacity that is not engaged with its own prodigious production from the oil sands, or is it mostly the logistics, without a west to east pipeline, preventing an economic means of transporting western crude to the refineries on the St. Lawrence seaway?”

    The oil to Canada is probably used mostly for blending with heavy Canadian crude and replacement of light oil from Libya. From EIA June 5, 2013, post:

    “Eastern Canadian refineries are increasing their use of U.S.-sourced crude oil …Canadian refineries, like those in the United States, are working to increase their use of growing production of crude oil from Texas and North Dakota. Monthly exports of crude oil from the United States to Canada have historically averaged 24,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and were principally delivered to refineries in central Canada. However, U.S. exports to Canada averaged nearly 100,000 bbl/d over the first 3 months of 2013.”…

    Also, the discussion on water injection causing earthquakes in Oklahoma and similar areas needs amplification. In certain areas, conventional oil wells often produce a great deal of surplus water under high pressure. Often, the produced water has a high salt content as well as other Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). A common practice has been to inject the produced water into sand-stone formations. The practice is leading to minor earthquakes.

    This is different than the process of using hydraulic fracturing of underground formations, principally dense shale, to produce oil and natural gas. The water used, mixed with sand and chemicals is often “slick-water.” SEPP does not know of an example where hydraulic fracturing, using “slick-water”, is causing earthquakes.

    Environmental Engineer Jeffrey Miller writes: “There was some good work in the mid 90’s that I was involved with, managing produced water from natural gas wells. The documents were Gas Research Institute (GRI) sponsored projects. Effectively treatment with Electro-dialysis (ED) was tested on brine water from the Lysite, Wyoming, gas field. There is some other work that was done, characterizing produced water from gas fields published in some papers.”

    These will be discussed in an upcoming TWTW.
    Another addition: Reader Clyde Spencer writes to Fred Singer concerning the Antarctic Ozone Hole (AOH).

    “I just read your article from the American Thinker. You may remember that we first exchanged email about 1996. I had built a computer model to try to predict surface UV [Ultra-Violet radiation] based on TOMS ozone data. To this day, I still have not seen any ground-based measurements confirming an increase in surface UV, despite all the Media warnings about cataracts and melanoma. Of course, one of the reasons is that the sun never gets above the so-called ‘ozone hole.” It always has a long slant range in September and October, passing through air that is rich in ozone outside the circumpolar vortex.

    “The AOH is a problem in search of validation.

    Unlike some professors at the University of Colorado, TWTW deeply appreciates meaningful questions and comments from its readers.

    Number of the Week: Up 18.6%. The web site, Climate Change reports on a 2005 two-day international discussion meeting held by the Royal Society entitled “Food Crops in a Changing Climate”, which was partially organized by the University of Reading. A press release announced the grim findings that, in-spite of carbon dioxide fertilization, climate change will cause yields of maize, rice, soybean and wheat to decline by as much as 20%. According to the World Bank, the average yield in cereals in 2005 was 3280 kg per hectare, in 2014 (the last year data is available) the yield was 3890 kg per hectare, an increase of 18.6%. See links under Below the Bottom Line and…


    Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

    New study suggests the Sun is even more important than we thought on Earth’s climate due to its impact on cosmic rays
    By Paul Dorian, Vencore Weather, Aug 29, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…
    Link to report; Cosmic Rays are Intensifying [Mar 2025 - Jan 2016]
    By Tony Phillips,, Jan 31, 2016…
    “The agreement between the two curves is remarkable [Bishop, CA, and Oulu, Finland.]. It means that the intensification of cosmic rays is making itself felt not only over the poles, but also over lower latitudes where Earth’s magnetic field provides a greater degree of protection against deep space radiation.”
    [SEPP Comment: It may be more correct to say small variations in the Sun are more important…]

    Climate science debates find their place in the Sun
    By Robert Matthews, The National, UAE, Aug 28, 2016…


    Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change
    ‘We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change
    By Kate Hardiman, Univ of Notre Dame, The College Fix, Aug 31, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    [From Spencer: Voltaire: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it.” How much we have changed!]

    Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

    Conservative Think Tank Sues New York Attorney General Over Exxon Documents
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute tries legal maneuver to uncover collaboration between AGs in their investigations of the oil giant.
    By David Hasemyer, Inside Climate News, Aug 31, 2016…

    RICO Charges Against ‘Climate Deniers’: A Case of Goose and Gander
    Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Aug 29, 2016…

    Journalist: #ExxonKnew is ‘completely unraveling’
    [WSJ video] interview with Business World Columnist Holman Jenkins Jr. of the Wall Street Journal on how #ExxonKnew “is completely unraveling.”
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 29, 2016…

    New York AG That Attacked Exxon Sued For Concealing Investigation
    By Kathryn Watson, Daily Caller, Aug 31, 2016…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

    Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
    The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
    By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
    Download with no charge…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
    Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013…

    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
    Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014…

    Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
    S. Fred Singer, ed., NIPCC, 2008…

    Challenging the Orthodoxy

    Assessing the causes of early industrial-era warming
    By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Sep 1, 2016…

    Was early onset industrial-era warming anthropogenic, as Abram et al. claim?
    A guest post by Nic Lewis, Climate Audit, Aug 31, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Some more detail than post in Climate, Etc. immediately above.]

    Reversing a Long Standing Wrong
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Aug 30, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: The Linear No-Threshold Model.]

    Mid-19th Century Warming Likely To Be Natural, Not Human-Induced, Says Independent Climate Scientist
    By Staff Writers, GWPF, Aug 31, 2016…

    People enhanced the environment, not degraded it, over past 13,000 years
    By Staff Writers, Waterloo, Canada (SPX) Aug 31, 2016…
    Link to paper: Intertidal resource use over millennia enhances forest productivity
    By Andrew Trant, et al. Nature Communications, Aug 30, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Results for a coastal section of British Columbia, Canada, should not be over-generalized.]

    Defending the Orthodoxy

    IPCC, 2013: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.
    Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. 2013…

    Why people can’t grasp climate change
    By Phil Plait, Dallas Morning News, Aug 30, 2016 [Clyde Spencer]…
    [SEPP Comment: A few problems with the “facts” as expressed by the author.]

    Questioning the Orthodoxy

    Refocusing the USGCRP
    By David Wojick, Climate Etc. Aug 29, 2016…

    A Brave New Epoch?
    By Doug Hoffman, The Resilient Earth (Dec 2010) Via GWPF, Aug 30, 2016…

    An Inconvenient Truth: Few Signs Of Global Warming In Antarctica
    By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller News Foundation, Aug 27, 2016…

    After Paris!

    President Obama and Chinese President Xi will officially join the Paris Climate Treaty on 3rd September
    By Myron Ebell, Global, Sep 2, 2016…

    Obama formally joins US into climate pact
    By Timothy Cama and Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 3, 2016…

    Paris deal will cost at least $1.28T — economist
    By Hannah Hess, E&E reporter, Aug 31, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    Hollande Admits Paris Climate Treaty Has a Long Way to Go
    By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Sep 1, 2016…

    Emergency Theater for Paris Agreement: China, US rush to sham ratification
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 28, 2016 [H/t Climate Depot]…

    A turning point looms for electricity and climate
    By David Fullbrook, Energy Post, Aug 31, 2016…
    “To prevent catastrophic global warming, the world may have to issue a moratorium on new fossil-fuel power plants, writes David Fullbrook,”
    “’…if [Asia] implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished,’ Jim Yong Kim, World Bank president, told Washington’s Climate Action Summit in early May.”
    [SEPP Comment: If they do not, declare war?]

    The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis

    The $8 Trillion Fight Over How to Rid America of Fossil Fuel
    Economists agree it can be done, but differ on how much it will cost.
    By Eric Roston, Bloomberg, Aug 30, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Will all who subscribe to the plan sign contracts that they will never use facilities, including hospitals, that use fossil fuels?]

    The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

    Where Climate “Let’s Pretends” Lead
    By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Sep 1, 2016…

    Failures and Fallout of Iran Nuclear Deal
    By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Aug 29, 2016…

    Obama shows what not to do on climate policy
    By Nicolas Loris, The Hill, Sep 2, 216…

    Social Benefits of Carbon

    Climate change has less impact on drought than previously expected
    Plants retain more moisture in high carbon dioxide conditions, keeping water on land
    By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Aug 29, 2016…
    Link to paper: Plant responses to increasing CO2 reduce estimates of climate impacts on drought severity
    By Abigail Swann, et al, PNAS, Aug 29, 2016…

    Problems in the Orthodoxy

    “Dominating Factor”…Leading Warmist Climatologist Concedes Natural Oceanic Cycles Directly Related To Troposphere Temperature
    By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 31, 2016…
    Link to paper: Decadal variability of tropical tropopause temperature and its relationship to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation
    By Wang, Matthes, Omrani, & Latif, Nature Scientific Reports, July 12, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Cooling of the stratosphere due to PDO, not CO2 or greenhouse effect?]

    Seeking a Common Ground

    Experiment Results Show a Cool Object Can Make a Warm Object Warmer Still
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 28, 2016…

    Simple Time-Dependent Model of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 30, 2016…

    Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

    Tree Range Shifts
    Malis, F., Kopecky, M., Petrik, P., Vladovic, J.,Merganic, J. and Vida, T. 2016. Life stage, not climate change, explains observed tree range shifts. Global Change Biology 22: 1904-1914. Sep 2, 2016…

    Modeling 12 Centuries of Northern Hemispheric Hydroclimate
    Ljungqvist, F.C., Krusic, P.J., Sundqvist, H.S., Zorita, E., Brattstrom, G. and Frank, D. 2016. Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries. Nature 532: 10.1038/nature17418. Aug 31, 2016…
    “And so it is that Ljungqvist et al. conclude that ‘much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately, and highlights the importance of using paleoclimate data to place recent and predicted hydroclimate changes in a millennium-long context.’”

    Elevated CO2 Stimulates the Growth of an Aquatic Fern
    Van Kempen, M.M.L., Smolders, A.J.P., Bögemann, G.M., Lamers, L.P.M. and Roelofs, J.G.M. 2016. Interacting effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment and solar radiation on growth of the aquatic fern Azolla filiculoides. Freshwater Biology 61: 596-606. Aug 29, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Using CO2 at 400, 1000 and 1600 ppm, Spring and Autumn growth is particularly impressive.]

    Model Issues

    Climate policy: Fake it ’til you make it
    By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Aug 30, 2016…
    “The economic models that are used to inform climate policy currently contain an unhealthy dose of wishful thinking.”

    Measurement Issues — Surface

    NOAA Adjustments Increase US July Warming By 1,000%
    By Steve Goddard, NYT, Via ICECAP, Aug 27, 2016…

    Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

    UAH Global Temperature Update for August, 2016: +0.44 deg. C
    By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Sep 1, 2016…

    Global Temperature Report: August 2016
    August 2016 and 2016-to-date are second warmest
    By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 1, 2016…

    Measuring Aerosols
    By Staff Writers, NASA Earth Observatory, Accessed September 4, 2016…

    Changing Climate

    Sea ice strongly linked to climate change in past 90 000 years
    By Staff Writers,, Aug 16, 2016…
    Link to paper: Sea ice and millennial-scale climate variability in the Nordic seas 90 kyr ago to present
    By Hoff, Rasmussen, Stein, Ezat & Fahl, Nature Communications July 26, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Indicates Dansgaard/Oeschger events.]

    Have precipitation extremes and annual totals been increasing in the world’s dry regions over the last 60 years?
    By Sebastian Sippel, et al. Physics.Geo, Sep 1, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]…
    [SEPP Comment: Choice of reference periods creates trends that do not apply to the complete dataset.]

    Clues in ancient mud hold answers to climate change
    By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Sep 1, 2016…
    Link to paper: A progressively wetter climate in southern East Africa over the past 1.3 million years
    By T.C. Johnson, et al. Nature, Aug 10, 2016…
    “Climate in this sector of eastern Africa (unlike northern Africa) evolved from a predominantly arid environment with high-frequency variability to generally wetter conditions with more prolonged wet and dry intervals.”
    [SEPP Comment: Some commentators apply the findings to all of Africa.]

    1200 years of climate change in the Bear River Basin, Utah
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 2, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: None!]

    The “Dantean Anomaly” Project: Tracking Rapid Climate Change in Late Medieval Europe
    By Dr. Martin Bauch, Historical Climatology, Aug 27, 2016 [H/t Climate Etc.]…
    [SEPP Comment: Would Dante’s third circle of hell be censored today?]

    Changing Seas

    30 Scientific Papers Reveal Inverse CO2 – Sea Level Signal: As CO2 Rises, Sea Level Falls
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Aug 29, 2016…

    New Papers Confirm Sea Levels Aren’t Rising Fast Enough — Coastal Land Area Growing, Not Shrinking
    By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Sep 1, 2016…

    Rising seas, by decade [From Space]
    By Staff Writers, Sea Level Change, No Date…
    [SEPP Comment: Dispute the statement: “…and the long term rise in global sea levels that is the result of human-caused warming.” Four hundred feet (120 meters) of long term rise in global sea levels occurred before man’s use of fossil fuels.]

    Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

    How bacteria, rust dust, and a murdered star may explain Earth’s Ice Age
    By Staff Writers, Yahoo, Aug 28, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    Link to press release: Detection of a time-resolved supernova signal in microfossils
    Interaction of Earth with supernova remnants lasting for one million years
    By Staff Writers, Technical University of Munich, Aug 10, 2016…
    Link to paper: Time-resolved 2-million-year-old supernova activity discovered in Earth’s microfossil record
    By Peter Ludwig, et al. PNAS, Au6 16, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Covers the period from about 2.8 to 1.7 million years ago. Does not explain later ice ages.]

    By Staff Writers, Nature Geoscience, No Date [H/t Climate Etc.]…
    [SEPP Comment: Series of research and comment pieces on the Arctic Permafrost.]

    An ice-free Arctic Ocean has happened before
    By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Aug 29, 2016…

    Matt Ridley: Ice Scares Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be
    By Matt Ridley, The Times, Via GWPF, Aug 29, 2016…

    German Scientists Slam Guardian’s Hyping Of A “Fringe Scientific Position” On Arctic Sea Ice
    Arctic sea ice more stable than thought: once again likely no new record melt
    By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (German text translated by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Aug 27, 2016…

    Technique could assess historic changes to Antarctic sea ice and glaciers
    Staff Writers,, Aug 30, 2016…
    Link to paper: Source identification and distribution reveals the potential of the geochemical Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25
    By S. T. Belt, et al., Nature Communications, Aug 30, 2016…

    Changing Earth

    Earth’s Surface Gaining Coastal Land Area, Despite Sea Level Rise
    Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Aug 30, 2016…

    NASA Study Solves Two Mysteries About Wobbling Earth
    By Carol Rasmussen, NASA, Apr 8, 2016…

    Pounding waves from weather bomb storm felt across continents
    By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 29, 2016…

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

    New map shows alarming growth of the human footprint
    By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Aug 24, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…
    Link to paper: Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation
    By Oscar Venter, et al. Nature Communications, Aug 23, 216…
    [SEPP Comment: According to the story, another 97% of something??? According to the abstract from 1993 to 2009: “We note that while the human population has increased by 23% and the world economy has grown 153%, the human footprint has increased by just 9%.]

    Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

    Studies blaming ailments on Pennsylvania fracking are flawed
    By Katie Brown, Energy In Depth, UPI, Aug 30, 2016…
    Link to defensive article: Fracking & health: What we know from Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom
    By Rasmussen, Schwartz, and Casey, UPI, Aug 25, 2016…
    “In their study claiming a link between fracking and sinus problems, migraines and fatigue, the researchers did not even ask the patients if they had migraines or fatigue before shale development.”

    Questioning European Green

    Comparative cost effectiveness of weather dependent Renewable Energy in the UK
    By Ed Hoskins, Edmhdotme, No Date [2015 data] [H/t Paul Homewood]…
    The late Professor David Mackay in his final interview with Mark Lynas in April 2016 stated that powering the UK wholly with Renewable Energy is an “Appalling Delusion”.

    Britain Likely To Miss Climate Target As Motorists Shun Electric Cars
    By Peter Campbell, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Sep 1, 2016…
    “Britain has a legally binding obligation to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels. To meet these targets, about 60 per cent of the cars and lorries on the roads must be electric by 2030.”

    Energy Issues – Non-US

    Chart: Which Countries Are Damaged Most by Low Oil Prices?
    By Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist, Aug 26, 2016 [H/t Market Watch]…
    [SEPP Comment: Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq and UAE lead the way in losses from export earnings.]

    EIA: OPEC oil revenue down nearly 50 percent
    By Daniel J. Graeber, Washington (UPI), Aug 26, 2016…

    France To Cut Nuclear Power By A Third
    By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 30, 2016
    “Which rather begs the question, where the hell will we [UK] get our electricity from, when we are reliant upon interconnectors to France and the wind is not blowing?”

    UK government looks to ‘the internet of energy’ to help keep the lights on
    By John Glenday, The Drum, Aug 31, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: All going back to wood & coal stoves and fireplaces for heat?]

    Energy Issues — US

    Boring, But Important LCOEs
    By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Sep 2, 2016…
    Link to report: The Levelized Costs of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources, 2016
    By Stacy and Taylor, IER, July 2016

    Five things to know about the Dakota Access Pipeline fight
    By Devin Henry, The Hill, Aug 27, 2016…

    NREL Study: Eastern Interconnect Would Strain If 30% Of Annual Electricity Was Solar And Wind
    By Ron Adams, Forbes, Aug 31, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…
    Link to study: Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study
    By Staff Writers, NREL, No Date…
    Using high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools, NREL shows the power grid of the Eastern United States—one of the largest power systems in the world—can accommodate upwards of 30% wind and solar/photovoltaic (PV) power.
    [SEPP Comment: If the speculative models do not work, does the grid work?]

    Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

    Proving Them Wrong: How The U.S. Oil And Gas Industry Survived
    By Stuart Burns, Oil, Aug 31, 2016…

    When Global Oil Prices Tanked, Shale Oil Production Didn’t. Here’s Why.
    By Thomas Covert, Forbes, Aug 31, 2016…

    Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

    Fracking Really Isn’t So Bad
    By James Conca, Forbes, Aug 28, 2016…
    Link to study: Point source attribution of ambient contamination events near unconventional oil and gas development
    By Zacariah Hildenbranda, et al. Science of The Total Environment, Dec 15, 2016 [sic]…
    …[studies using instruments] “suggest that contamination events from unconventional oil and gas development can be monitored, controlled, and reduced.”

    Nuclear Energy and Fears

    Nuclear power plants prepare for old age
    Materials research is at the heart of efforts to keep the world’s reactors running well past 2050.
    By Jeff Tollefson, Nature, Aug 30, 2016…

    Fusion facilities at PPPL and Culham, England, could provide path to limitless energy
    By Staff Writers, Princeton NJ (SPX), Aug 31, 2016…

    S. Korea succeeds in mass production of nuclear fusion fuel
    By Staff Writers, The Korea Times, Aug 25, 2016 [H/t Toshio Fujita]…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

    Offshore Wind’s $0.24/kWh: Deepwater Project Nears Launch (states, ratepayers take note)
    By Allen Brooks, Master Resource, Aug 31, 2016…

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

    World first for Shetlands in tidal power breakthrough
    Nova Innovation deploys first fully operational array of tidal power turbines in the Bluemull Sound
    By Severin Carrell, Guardian, UK, Aug 29, 2016…

    Why Are Early Adopters of Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing Getting Out of the Game?
    Sony and (maybe) Nissan are dropping their battery production as the industry matures.
    By Julian Spector, Green Tech Media, Aug 31, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: It may be that they no longer foresee high profit margins.]

    Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

    EVs: An Ancient, Not Infant, Industry
    By Robert Bradley, Master Resource, Aug 30, 2016…

    California Dreaming

    California Keeps its Dying Carbon Market on Life Support
    By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Aug 26, 2016…

    Gov. Brown: ‘Is Very Dubious’ that Global Warming Legislation Causes Job Loss
    By Eric Scheiner, CNS News, Aug 25, 2016…
    [SEPP Comment: Replacing reliable, affordable electricity generation with unreliable more expensive generation is the path to prosperity?]

    Environmental Industry

    How to Milk a Bull! Bad bee science and activist capture at the FT
    By Staff Writers, The Risk Monger, Aug 26, 2016 [H/t GWPF]…

    Other Scientific News

    Earth Just Narrowly Missed Getting Hit by an Asteroid
    The asteroid missed the Earth by less than a quarter of the distance to the Moon.
    By Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, Aug 30, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]…

    Commonly Cited Stat — 10 Bacteria For Every 1 Human Cell — Is Wrong
    By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Aug 26, 2016…
    Link to paper: Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body
    By Sender, Fuchs & Milo, PLOS Biology, Aug 19, 2016…

    Other News that May Be of Interest

    Chevron Paves The Way For Corporations To Fight ‘Shakedown Lawsuits’

    Editorial, IBD, Sep 2, 2016…

    Worse than we thought – global food production!
    By Staff Writers, Climate Change, Aug 31, 2016…

    “The impact of climate change on global crop production is likely to be worse than previously predicted, scientists said at a Royal Society discussion meeting partly organised by Reading scientists in London.

    “A two-day international meeting entitled ‘Food Crops in a Changing Climate’ brought together world-class scientists in the fields of meteorology, climate science and agriculture, to discuss the impacts of a changing climate on the productivity of staple food crops, grown throughout the world.

    “’Both these results show that we need to seriously re-examine our predictions for future global food production as they are likely to be far lower than previously estimated.’ said Professor Steve Long from Illinois University.”
    From: University of Reading, Impact of climate change on crops worse than previously thought, 27 Apr 2005

    1. How the Exxon Case Unraveled
    It becomes clear that investigators simply don’t know what a climate model is.
    By Holman Jenkins, WSJ, Aug 30, 2016…

    “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation of Exxon Mobil for climate sins has collapsed due to its own willful dishonesty. The posse of state AGs he pretended to assemble never really materialized. Now his few allies are melting away: Massachusetts has suspended its investigation. California apparently never opened one.

    “The U.S. Virgin Islands has withdrawn its sweeping, widely criticized subpoena of research groups and think tanks. In an email exposed by a private lawsuit, one staffer of the Iowa AG’s office tells another that Mr. Schneiderman himself was “the wild card.”

    “His initial claim, flounced to the world by outside campaigners under the hashtag “exxonknew,” fell apart under scrutiny. This was the idea that, through its own research in the 1970s, Exxon knew one thing about climate science but told the public something else.

    “In an Aug. 19 interview with the New York Times, Mr. Schneiderman now admits this approach has come a cropper. He reveals that he’s no longer focusing on what Exxon knew/said but instead on how it goes about valuing its current oil reserves. In essence, Mr. Schneiderman here is hiding his retreat behind a recent passing fad in the blogosphere for discussing the likelihood that such reserves will become “stranded assets” under some imaginary future climate regime.

    “His crusade was always paradoxical. The oil industry reliably ranks last in Gallup’s annual survey of public credibility. The $16 million that Exxon spent between 1998 and 2005 to support organizations that criticized speculative climate models is a minuscule fraction of the propaganda budgets of the U.S. Energy Department, NASA, NOAA, EPA, not to mention the United Nations’ climate panel, etc. etc.

    “The episode ends happily, though, if Mr. Schneiderman’s hoped-for political career now goes into eclipse. But we haven’t finished unless we also mention the press’s role.

    “The ‘Exxon knew’ claim, recall, began with investigative reports by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times, both suffering from the characteristic flaw of American journalism—diligently ascertaining and confirming the facts, then shoving them into an off-the-shelf narrative they don’t support.

    “We have since learned that both the L.A. Times (via a collaboration with the Columbia School of Journalism) and InsideClimate News efforts were partly underwritten by a Rockefeller family charity while Rockefeller and other nonprofit groups were simultaneously stoking Mr. Schneiderman’s investigation.

    “When caught with your hand in the cookie jar in this way, there’s only one thing to do, and last week the Columbia School of Journalism did it, awarding a prize to InsideClimate News.

    “For this columnist, however, the deeper mystery was cleared up last year when I appeared on the NPR show “To the Point” to discuss the subject “Did Exxon Cover Up Climate Change?” (Google those phrases) with ICN’s “energy and climate” reporter Neela Banerjee.

    “Ms. Banerjee has been collecting plaudits all year for her work. The work itself involved revisiting Exxon’s climate modeling efforts of the 1970s. Yet, at 16:28, see how thoroughly she bollixes up what a climate model is. She apparently believes the uncertainty in such models stems from uncertainty about how much CO2 in the future will be released.

    “’The uncertainties that people talk about . . . are predicated on the policy choices we make,’ namely the “inputs” of future CO2.

    “No, they aren’t. The whole purpose of a climate model is to estimate warming from a given input of CO2. In its most recent report, issued in 2013, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes a doubling of atmospheric CO2 and predicts warming of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius—i.e., an uncertainty of output, not input.

    “What’s more, this represents an increase in uncertainty over its 2007 report (when the range was 2.0 to 4.5 degrees). In fact, the IPCC’s new estimate is now identical to Exxon’s 1977 estimate and the 1979 estimate of the U.S. National Research Council.

    “In other words, on the crucial question, the help we’re getting from climate models has not improved in 40 years and has been going backward of late.

    “For bonus insight, ask yourself why we still rely on computer simulations at all, rather than empirical study of climate—even though we’ve been burning fossil fuels for 200 years and recording temperatures even longer.

    “OK, many climate reporters have accepted a role as enforcers of orthodoxy, not questioners of it. But this colossal error not only falsifies the work of the IPCC over the past 28 years, it falsifies the entire climate modeling enterprise of the past half-century.

    “But it also explains the non sequitur at the heart of the InsideClimate News and L.A. Times exposés as well as Mr. Schneiderman’s unraveling investigation. There simply never was any self-evident contradiction between Exxon’s private and public statements. In emphasizing the uncertainty inherent in climate models, Exxon was telling a truth whose only remarkable feature is that it continues to elude so many climate reporters.”

    2. Schneiderman’s Climate Secrets
    What is New York’s Attorney General trying to hide?
    Editorial, WSJ, Aug 31, 2016…

    The editorial states:

    “When Eric Schneiderman and 16 other Democratic state attorneys general announced in March that they were targeting Exxon Mobil for its alleged heresy on climate change, they called themselves “AGs United for Clean Power.” A better name would have been AGs United for More Power. To great media fanfare, they unleashed a series of broad subpoenas designed to intimidate dissenters from the Obama orthodoxy on climate change.

    “One such dissenter was the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank that was hit in April with a subpoena from Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker. Mr. Walker sought a decade’s worth of emails and donor names regarding the think tank’s climate and energy work. But CEI fought back in the press and in court, and Mr. Walker withdrew his subpoena after he was countersued.

    “That’s not the end of the story. CEI still doesn’t know how this campaign came to be—and where it might still be headed. So on Wednesday the group headed back in court, filing a suit under New York’s freedom of information law to ask the ringleader of the AG coalition—Empire State AG Schneiderman—to produce “any common interest agreements” he entered into as part of this effort.

    “Specifically, CEI wants to know about any deal the AGs made with groups such as the Eco-Accountability Project, the Center for International Environmental Law and others. In other words, CEI wants to know which “private activists” Mr. Schneiderman was working with and what the terms of the deal were when he launched this crusade. This relates directly to the political and economic motives behind this government power play.

    “So far Mr. Schneiderman’s office has refused to cooperate with the CEI request. CEI’s lawyer says this is nothing more than an attempt to hide what the AGs were up to behind “a shroud of secrecy.”

    “Let’s hope a judge agrees. Mr. Schneiderman, his fellow AGs and their activist pals have been trying to use the law to punish people, businesses and institutions over a difference of opinion. This is the kind of abuse that public transparency laws were designed to expose.”

    3. Look Who’s Getting That Bank Settlement Cash
    Tens of millions of dollars disguised as ‘consumer relief’ are going to liberal political groups.
    By Andy Koenig, WSJ, Aug 28, 2016…

    “Imagine if the president of the United States forced America’s biggest banks to funnel hundreds of millions—and potentially billions—of dollars to the corporations and lobbyists who supported his agenda, all while calling it “Main Street Relief.” The public outcry would rightly be deafening. Yet the Obama administration has used a similar strategy to enrich its political allies, advance leftist pet projects, and protect its legacy—and hardly anyone has noticed.

    “The administration’s multiyear campaign against the banking industry has quietly steered money to organizations and politicians who are working to ensure liberal policy and political victories at every level of government. The conduit for this funding is the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a coalition of federal and state regulators and prosecutors created in 2012 to “identify, investigate, and prosecute instances of wrongdoing” in the residential mortgage-backed securities market. In conjunction with the Justice Department, the RMBS Working Group has reached multibillion-dollar settlements with essentially every major bank in America.

    “The most recent came in April when the Justice Department announced a $5.1 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs. In February, Morgan Stanley agreed to a $3.2 billion settlement. Previous targets were Citigroup ($7 billion), J.P. Morgan Chase ($13 billion), and Bank of America, which in 2014 reached the largest civil settlement in American history at $16.65 billion. Smaller deals with other banks have also been announced.

    “Combined, the banks must divert well over $11 billion into “consumer relief,” which is supposed to benefit homeowners harmed during the Great Recession. Yet it is unknown how much, if any, of the banks’ settlement money will find its way to individual homeowners. Instead, a substantial portion is allocated to private, nonprofit organizations drawn from a federally approved list. Some groups on the list—Catholic Charities, for instance—are relatively nonpolitical. Others—La Raza, the National Urban League, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and more—are anything but.

    “This is a handout to the administration’s allies. Many of these groups engage in voter registration, community organizing and lobbying on liberal policy priorities at every level of government. They also provide grants to other liberal groups not eligible for payouts under the settlements. Thanks to the Obama administration, and the fungibility of money, the settlements’ beneficiaries can now devote hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to these activities.

    “The settlements also give banks a financial incentive to fund these groups. Most of the deals give double credit or more against the settlement amount for every dollar in “donations.” Bank of America’s donation list—the only bank to disclose exactly where it sends its money—shows how this benefits liberal groups. The bank has so far given at least $1.15 million to the National Urban League, which counts as if it were $2.6 million against the bank’s settlement. Similarly, $1.5 million to La Raza takes $3.5 million off the total amount of “consumer relief” owed by the bank. There are scores of other examples.

    “Our analysis of over 80 beneficiaries from Bank of America’s settlement shows that they received, on average, more than 10% of their 2015 budgets from the bank. When other bank checks are added, the amount funneled to these organizations is guaranteed to rise. And the banks have multiple years to pay their total penalties, meaning some liberal interest groups can count on additional funding for years—and election cycles—to come.

    “As part of their “consumer relief” penalties, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase must also pay a minimum $75 million to Community Development Financial Institutions—taxpayer-funded groups propped up by the Obama administration as an alternative to payday lenders. “Housing Counseling Agencies” also get at least $30 million. This essentially circumvents Congress’s recent decision to cut $43 million in federal funds routed to these groups through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    “The politicians who negotiate the settlements as part of the RMBS Working Group have also directed money to their supporters and states. Illinois’s Democratic attorney general Lisa Madigan announced she had secured $22.5 million from February’s Morgan Stanley deal for her state’s debt-ridden pension funds—a blatant payout to public unions. The deals with J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup yielded a further $344 million for both “consumer relief” and direct payments to pension funds.

    “New York hit the jackpot too. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, also a Democrat and chairman of the RMBS Working Group, arranged for Morgan Stanley to fork over $400 million to New York nonprofits and $150 million to the state.

    “Despite the best efforts of a few principled legislators late last year, Congress missed an opportunity to amend the Justice Department’s funding bill to stop further handouts. Lawmakers now have another opportunity as Congress enters budget negotiation for fiscal year 2017. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) introduced a bill in April that would prevent government officials from enforcing settlements that funnel money to third parties, and it needs to gain wider traction with his colleagues. The political shakedowns disguised as public service must end.”

    Mr. Koenig is senior policy adviser at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.