The Week That Was: November 30, 2019

– Brought to You by The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Quote of the Week:
“In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.” –Charles Mackay (1841)

Number of the Week: 63.6% of US electricity.

Dear Reader of The Week That Was,

The Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) is a 501-c-3 organization, incorporated in Virginia. Its Federal I.D. Number is 54-1645372 and donations are US tax deductible. Established in 1990 by S. Fred Singer to challenge government environmental policies based on poor science, SEPP stands for objective science, based on physical evidence and rigorous adherence to the scientific method.

No matter how elaborate, results from numerical models that are not thoroughly tested against physical evidence are speculative and cannot be relied upon. Testing the results from using parts of a model against the results from the entire model is a ruse used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC. Major government policies based on speculation and misleading “modeling” are a waste of resources.

Our founder, Dr. Singer, is Chairman emeritus. Physicist Dr. Thomas Sheahen is Chairman. Other distinguished scientists serve on the board of directors. Ken Haapala continues as president and oversees general operations. We continue to be very productive.

Two prevalent myths are damaging our economy and hurting the less fortunate: 1) greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, are causing dangerous global warming; and 2) wind and solar can easily replace fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro in electricity generation. Both are false, yet widely accepted. We continue to contest these myths, and others, with hard evidence.

In collaboration with like-minded groups, we produce hard-hitting comments for the public record and provide scientific testimony on Federal government climate and energy policy. We are actively attempting to eliminate or change the EPA’s endangerment finding, despite a lack of physical evidence, that carbon dioxide, CO2, poses a danger to public health.

In 2007, SEPP established NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) to respond to the false claims of the UN-IPCC, and its followers, who claim, without hard evidence, that the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, will lead to climate disasters. The Heartland Institute continues the NIPCC efforts with well-attended sessions of the International Conference on Climate Change and the NIPCC reports at
http://www.NIPCCreport.org…

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

Yellow Turned Green? In the late 1800s, particularly in New York City, competition for circulation between Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal led to an era known as yellow journalism, where the newspapers presented little or no legitimate, well-researched news and relied upon eye-catching headlines, exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or outright sensationalism to increase sales. How the term originated is in dispute, but the characteristics of the journalism are not. These include scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news, extensive use of dramatic pictures, or imaginary drawings, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and false knowledge from so-called experts.

Separating actual knowledge from mere speculation can be difficult. It is similar to distinguishing science from science fiction. Just like science, science fiction can be wonderfully imaginative, and incredibly complex, and it can use mathematics, the language of science. What separates science from science fiction is physical evidence. When mathematics is used to create complex models, the models must be tested against all relevant physical evidence. Failure to do so is to ignore the scientific method. And the model, when failing basic testing, becomes science fiction.

Particularly in its summaries and special reports the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is advancing ideas assumed to be scientific, while ignoring the real science, the scientific method of testing models assumptions, and concepts against data, physical evidence from observations and experiments. The IPCC emphasizes the parts of its claims that adhere to the scientific method, while downplaying the alarming portions of its claims that fail basic testing. The evidence presented by the IPCC is often contradicted by other evidence, frequently more compelling and dominant. To achieve their goal of stopping use of fossil fuels, on the claim that it will cause dangerous global warming, the IPCC and its followers have adopted the characteristics of yellow journalism.

Environmental (green) organizations have aligned themselves with the IPCC and are heavily supporting the goals of the IPCC. In short, the characteristics of yellow journalism are found in much green journalism, of which the IPCC special reports and summaries are a part.

Thus, the war on fossil fuels has taken on a double irony. The CO2 emitted during combustion is greening the earth, and at the same time, is causing plants to use water more efficiently. Environmentalists who are opposed to coal, oil, and natural gas are thus opposed to improving the health of the environment.

The fear of carbon dioxide, as promoted by the IPCC and the “greens”, is a fear of life itself. The propaganda run up for the next Twenty-fifth annual Conference of Parties (COP-25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starting December 2 in Madrid can be viewed as an attack on life itself. It is doubtful that President George H.W. Bush recognized what the agreement he signed would become. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide, and Problems in the Orthodoxy.

Book Review – “Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People”: Roy Spencer is the former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Spencer wrote an exceptional book on the issues between knowledge and speculation as applied to climate science. Well written and easy to understand, the book discusses basic components of the major issues. It presents evidence from both sides, emphasizing that the greenhouse effect is well established, but the positive feedbacks are not. The fear of CO2 as promoted by the IPCC and others is attributed to the feedbacks. The book briefly discusses the benefits and costs of increasing CO2, with the costs lacking physical evidence, such as increasing sea level rise and ocean acidification.

Spencer cites the observations by Charles Mackay used in the Quote of the Week. It fits the current era in climate science very well. He asks five big questions:

1) “Is warming and associated climate change mostly human caused?
2) Is the human-caused portion of warming and associated climate change large enough to be damaging?
3) Do the climate models we use [to] proposed energy policies accurately predict climate change?
4) Would the proposed policy changes substantially reduce climate change and resulting damage?
5) Would the policy changes do more good than harm to humanity?

“The answers to all five questions need to be ‘yes’ in order to make substantial changes to our energy policies beyond what free market forces dictate. Yet, it is not obvious to me that the answer to any of the five is ‘yes.’”

Among the many issues he raises are the accuracy of natural energy flows, which are not well known. Without compiling knowledge from measurements, not calculations used in unvalidated models, we cannot establish that the warming from a doubling of CO2 will be different than a modest 1.2 º C, far less than claimed by the IPCC.

TWTW Comment: This estimate is consistent with estimates by William Happer, van Wijngaarden, and others. To achieve a doubling of CO2 from the current level of slightly over 400 parts per million (ppm) would require burning more fossil fuels than are known to exist in the world. Furthermore, it is doubtful that even this would be sufficient to prevent an inevitable future ice age, a true killer climate.

Spencer points out that just because a research paper assumes the cause of warming is CO2, it is not necessarily true, then states:

“Why don’t more papers tackle the thorny issue of determining how much warming is natural versus anthropogenic? For at least three reasons:

1) We cannot separate human from natural causes of warming (there are no human fingerprints).
2) We have only a poor understanding of natural causes of climate change.
3) We cannot compute how strong human-caused warming is from first physical principles (the climate sensitivity problem, discussed later).

Chapter 13; Why is Warming not Progressing as Predicted? addresses the big problem of IPCC’s reliance on climate models in its policies.

“Climate models [in use today] probably over-predict warming because they[the models] produce too much positive feedback, which is necessary for high climate sensitivity. The small amount of direct warming from a doubling of CO2 (a little over 1 deg C) is magnified by about a factor of three in climate models due to warming-induced changes in clouds and water vapor, while the [actual] observations suggest there is little magnification at all.

“The positive feedback processes contained in climate models are very uncertain, yet are responsible for most (about 2/3) of the warming the models produce.

While the models are indeed mostly made up of fundamental physical principles that are pretty well established, it is these few poorly known feedback processes that determine how serious the global warming problem will be. Out of hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code making up the models, it could be that only a few lines of code representing very uncertain assumptions about the climate system are mainly responsible for producing too much [predicted] warming.

“This is why I call the climate research community’s defense of the current climate models as ‘bait and switch’. The well-understood basic physical principles the models are built on produce only about 1 deg. C of warming in response to 2Xco2, [a doubling of CO2] while the additional 2 deg. C of warming they produce from positive feedbacks is very speculative. They sell you on the well understood physics supporting the 1 deg. C of direct warming, but then switch to the full 3 degrees of warming the models produce as similarly reliable.

“How clouds might change with warming (cloud feedback) is particularly uncertain, a fact that is admitted by modelers. The climate models cannot include the actual physics of cloud formation and dissipation because computers ae not nearly fast enough to be run with the fine detail contained in clouds. In fact, we don’t even understand some of the microphysical details of what happens in clouds, preventing us from modelling them even if computers were fast enough.”

According to Spencer the models have clouds forming at a humidity as low as 85% but in reality, they require a relative humidity of 100%. This is but one of many issues with the efforts to model the climate. To depend on the results of such modeling in establishing energy policy is absurd.

There are a number of good books on the weaknesses of climate science proclaimed by the IPCC and its followers. This is one of the finest.

As an aside, using Spencer’s numbers and IPCC’s logic one could say that the IPCC’s science is one-third science and two-thirds science fiction. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

Life at Its Limits: Two papers, both published by the Nature group, bring up the extremes at which life on earth can exist. Both papers dealt with highly acid waters, far beyond any acidity caused (actually lowering of alkalinity) by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. One paper dealt with hydrothermal vents in ocean shallows and how life changed after an earthquake and a typhoon changed the warm sulfur-rich waters with possible recovery within two years. Only a few specialized animal species such as crabs, snails and bacteria live in the immediate vicinity of these vents.

The second paper dealt with one of the hottest, most acidic places on earth, the polyextreme geothermal Dallol–Danakil area in Ethiopia, where life has adapted to living with truly acidic waters, with highly positive Magnesium ion- and Calcium ion-dominated brines with a pH of approximately zero. It is not clear how the pH is measured, but highly diverse ultra-small archaea [single-cell life forms] were found. The persistence of life is amazing, contrary to claims that increasing CO2 endanger life on this planet. See links under Acidic Waters.

Death of a Glacier: In a publicity stunt in August, green groups mourned the passing of a glacier in Iceland. Breitbart reports that David Gunnlaugsson, Iceland’s prime minister from 2013 to 2016, thought differently about the passing:

“’Our climate changes, but humans adapt. Instead of scaremongering, we should approach this situation on a scientific and rational basis,’ Gunnlaugsson writes in the latest issue of the Spectator.”

“’When the glaciers were expanding, laying waste to what had previously been green meadows and farmlands, the people who lost their homes would hardly have been grief-stricken by the thought that one day that trend might be reversed,’ he proposes, noting that when Iceland was first discovered it was completely covered in forests.”

“’We Icelanders have witnessed severe changes to our natural environment,’ he says. ‘Iceland is a country of remarkable natural alteration, and we’ve had to adapt to that fact. We realise that humans need to respect natural forces, but history has also shown us the power of human ingenuity and our ability to survive.’”

It is doubtful that Mr. Gunnlaugsson will join the COP-25 party to save the planet.

Tipping Points: The Nature Group published another paper about Tipping Points, apparently beyond which changes to the climate system cannot be stopped. Since the earth’s climate has been warming and cooling for hundreds of millions of years, with wide differences in temperatures, it appears the latest is another exercise designed to frighten children. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate or be Vague? and Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Additions and Corrections: Last week’s TWTW, discussed that the 2019 US crop yields were below the trend-line for the first time in six years. William Dwyer wrote that a benefit of this poor harvest may be the working down of some of the surplus of stocks from recent years. There is considerable tonnage of corn and beans remaining in storage silos from recent past years.

In discussing “protection insurance” last week, TWTW left out a key clause establishing the analogy. When gangsters offer “protection insurance” they usually have real control over the thugs that destroy businesses. In its demands of a $100 billion a year into its “Green Climate Fund”, the UN is implying it can stop CO2 emissions thereby stop dangerous climate change. The UN has no control over China’s CO2 emissions and CO2 is a bit player in climate change. Thus, the UN cannot control either and no one should feel compelled to pay for protection. See above discussion on Roy Spencer’s book and links under After Paris!

Number of the Week: 63.6% of US electricity. According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2018 fossil fuels were used to generate 63.6% of US electricity, with natural gas generating 35.2%, coal 27.5%. Nuclear power generated 19.4%. Renewables generated 16.9%, with hydropower at 7%, wind at 6.5%, solar at 1.5%. biomass at 1.4%, and miscellaneous.

According to a chart used by CNN, the power sector demand for coal is projected to drop in 2020 to the lowest level since 1978. In the late 1970s, the US government banned the use of oil and gas for power plants, promoting coal as the replacement. It took ten years but eventually the US government realized the folly of banning oil, and especially gas, for power plants. Green groups promoting renewables often fail to mention their opposition to hydropower, which is included as a renewable.

See links under Energy Issues – US and
https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq….

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Climategate Continued

Ten Years After Climategate, the Scientists Have Won—But What About the Rest of the World?
By Brian Kahn, GIZMODO, Nov 20, 2019
https://earther.gizmodo.com/ten-yea…
[SEPP Comment: Won what? The IPCC still uses science fiction to frighten people.]

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Scientists Slam Free Science Speech Bullying… Dr. Benny Peiser: “We Are Living A Very Tragic Time” In Germany!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 26, 2019
https://notrickszone.com/2019/11/26…
“This past weekend in Munich, the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) held its 13th annual climate and energy conference. According to EIKE, over 200 attended, making it the most successful so far.”

Climate Scientists Reduced to Hiding from Climate Thuggery in Germany
By James Taylor, Townhall, Nov 22, 2019
https://townhall.com/columnists/jam…

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013
https://www.heartland.org/media-lib…
Summary:
http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/…

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014
http://climatechangereconsidered.or…
Summary:
https://www.heartland.org/media-lib…

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019
http://store.heartland.org/shop/ccr…
Download with no charge:
http://climatechangereconsidered.or…

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015
http://climatechangereconsidered.or…
Download with no charge:
https://www.heartland.org/policy-do…

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
http://www.sepp.org/publications/ni…

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data
By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019
https://www.heartland.org/_template…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Clive James, Legendary Author, Poet, Humorist & Climate Sceptic Has Died
By Staff, GWPF, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/clive-james…

Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People
By Roy Spencer, Kindle Edition, 2018
https://www.amazon.com/Global-Warmi…

Is Rising Atmospheric CO2 Causing Dangerous Global Warming?
The Absence of a Climate Catastrophe
By Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Nov 25, 2019
Transcript:
http://www.co2science.org/…
Video:
http://www.co2science.org/…

Apocalypse Deferred
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Nov 27, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
“This discussion with Mark Steyn is the only time Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, and Anthony Watts have appeared together on stage.”

There is no climate emergency – the truth that drove a Lib Dem doolally
By Harry Wilkinson, The Conservative Woman, Nov 28, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk…

Former Prime Minister of Iceland: ‘Melting Glaciers are Nothing to Panic About’
By Thomas Williams, Breitbart, Nov 22, 2019 [H/t Paul Homewood]
https://www.breitbart.com/environme…

New Video: The Low CO2 Climate Of 1921
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Nov 29, 2019
https://realclimatescience.com/2019…
[SEPP Comment: Meteorological Mumps?]

Defending the Orthodoxy

‘All guns blazing’ as Madrid races to host climate summit
By Diego Urdaneta, Madrid (AFP) Nov 22, 2019
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/A…

COP25 Press Release: The UN Push for an All-Powerful Global Carbon Market
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 29, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
Link to press release: COP25 to Be the Launchpad for Significantly more Climate Ambition
By Staff, UNFCC, changed to United Nations Climate Change, Nov 29, 2019
https://unfccc.int/news/cop25-to-be…

Earth System Alert
By Johan Rockström (PIK), Joyeeta Gupta and Dahe Qin, Project Syndicate, Nov 29, 2019
https://www.project-syndicate.org/c…
In areas where intergovernmental negotiating bodies – such as the United Nations Conventions on Biological Diversity, Combating Desertification, and the Law of the Sea – are already working to establish science-based targets, the coalition will support this work.
[SEPP Comment: The UN fails to acknowledge that additional CO2 is greening the planet and making plants more efficient in using water.]

UN Panic Button: Mass Extinctions By 2100 Even with Paris Agreement Climate Pledges
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 26, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
Link to report: Emissions Gap Report 2018
By Staff, UN Environment Programme, 2019
https://www.unenvironment.org/resou…
[SEPP Comment: The UN continues to assume that it has produced the physical evidence firmly establishing a link between CO2 and global temperatures while excluding natural variation. As stated above, it has not..]

The five corrupt pillars of climate change denial
By Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science, UCL, UK, Via The Conversation, Nov 28, 2019
https://theconversation.com/the-fiv…
“The fundamental question is why are we allowing the people with the most privilege and power to convince us to delay saving our planet from climate change?”
[SEPP Comment: According to the author’s numbers, the total annual climate lobbying spending of the five largest publicly-owned oil & gas companies is $201 million. No guess of the billions spent each year by government and green groups to falsely claim that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Why Apocalyptic Claims About Climate Change Are Wrong
By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, Nov 25, 2019
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michae…

The very small crisis
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Nov 27, 2019
https://climatediscussionnexus.com/…
“With radiative forcing we’re in the latter situation. It would take 550 years at the current rate of human emissions for the increase in radiative forcing to be larger than the range of measurement error.
“So you can see why we have difficulty believing there’s an emergency.”

The Great Global Warming Swindle
If we’ve heard only one side of a debate, we can’t claim to be fully informed.
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Nov 27, 2019
https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/201…
[SEPP Comment: Includes Tim Ball and Nir Shaviv.]

Global Warming’s Apocalyptic Path
It comes in waves, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen after the current wave of increasingly unhinged climate change activism breaks.
By Rael Jean Isaac, The American Spectator, Nov 21, 2019
https://spectator.org/global-warmin…

The Climate Con
By Dave Ball, American Thinker, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.americanthinker.com/art…

After Paris!

China says it’s already met 2020 climate goals
By Staff, New York Post, Nov 27, 2019
https://nypost.com/2019/11/27/china…

China Proves It: Obama Really Was A Sap
Editorial, I & I, Nov 29, 2019
https://issuesinsights.com/2019/11/…

Europe Is Losing The Climate Wars As China Demands $100 Billion
By Staff, Business Times, Via GWPF, Nov 29, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/europe-is-l…

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Our Greening Planet… German Science Magazine: Satellite Imagery Proves “World’s Vegetation Expanding Since Decades”
An “unusual greening of the planet,” reports German science magazine Wissenschaft. “A paradox.”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 28, 2019
https://notrickszone.com/2019/11/28…
[SEPP Comment: A commentator on the article states: “…the translator obviously didn’t read the article carefully. One of the conclusions is, that at some point the growing CO2 part in the air will kill the plants. It is absolutely consistent with the narrative of climate alarmism.” But at what point – 40,000 parts per million (ppm), 100 times today’s concentration or 400,000 ppm, a thousand times today’s concentration?]

Problems in the Orthodoxy

EU’s carbon border tax will damage global climate change efforts, China says
Countries ‘need to prevent unilateralism and protectionism from hurting global growth expectations’, China’s vice-minister for the environment says
The new tax is aimed at protecting European firms from unfair competition by raising the cost of products from countries that fail to take action on climate change
By Staff, Reuters, South China Morning Post Nov 27, 2019
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/dip…

EU Consensus Broken As 225 MEPs Vote Against ‘Climate Emergency’
Press Release, European Climate Realist Network, Nov 28, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/eu-consensu…
[SEPP Comment: Another failure of the 97% consensus?]

Seeking a Common Ground

Climate migration myths
By Ingrid Boas, Carol Farbotko, and Mike Hulm, Nature Climate Change, Nov 26, 2019
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41…
“First, research and research funding must enable the assumption that climate change causes mass human migration to be interrogated, rather than simply reinforcing it. There is already considerable evidence that migration is not solely driven by climate change.”

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

A Simple Visual Display of CO2-Induced Wheat Biomass and Water Use Efficiency Increases
Li, P., Hao, X., Aryal, M., Thompson, M. and Seneweera, S. 2019. Elevated carbon dioxide and nitrogen supply affect photosynthesis and nitrogen partitioning of two wheat varieties. Journal of Plant Nutrition 42: 1290-1300. Nov 25, 2019
http://www.co2science.org/articles/…

Measurement Issues — Surface

More Real Data Totally Contradict Fake Media… Show Scandinavia, Ireland NOT WARMING Over Past Decades
By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 27, 2019
https://notrickszone.com/2019/11/27…

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

Greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere reach yet another high
UN WMO Press Release, Nov 25, 2019
https://public.wmo.int/en/media/pre…
[SEPP Comment: Typical UN chart with the base at 340 ppm rather than zero!]

Changing Weather

Just The Facts On Hurricanes
By Roger Pielke, Forbes, Nov 24, 2019
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerp…

Cherries in the rain
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Nov 27, 2019
https://climatediscussionnexus.com/…
Link to paper: Assessing changes in US regional precipitation on multiple time scales
By Ross McKitrick and John Christy, Journal of Hydrology, November 2019
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien…

A Bomb Cyclone Will Hit the Southern Oregon Coast
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Nov 25, 2019
https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2019…
“An explosively developing bomb-cyclone will hit the southern Oregon coast tomorrow, with hurricane-force wind gusts, towering waves, and lots of precipitation.
“The term ‘meteorological bomb’ is given to a midlatitude cyclone whose central pressure declines by more than 24 millibars (or 24 hPa) in 24 hours (there is a latitude dependence of the criterion, but this is close enough). This storm is going to blow that criterion away.”
[SEPP Comment: At least Mass explains the “headline grabbing” vocabulary. Later posts show the severe storm occurred.]

Climate Emergency Tour: Hurricane Edition
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Nov 27, 2019
https://climatediscussionnexus.com/…

El Nino seeing extreme swings in the industrial age
By Staff Writers, Atlanta GA (SPX), Nov 25, 2019 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/E…
Link to paper: Enhanced El Niño‐Southern Oscillation variability in recent decades
By Pamela Grothe, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, Oct 25, 2019
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley…
From the abstract: “Here, we reconstruct the strength of ENSO variations over the last 7,000 years with a new ensemble of fossil coral oxygen isotope records from the Line Islands, located in the central equatorial Pacific. The corals document a significant decrease in ENSO variance of ~20% from 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, coinciding with changes in spring/fall precessional insolation. We find that ENSO variability over the last five decades is ~25% stronger than during the preindustrial.”

Whole of NSW coast shrouded in dust and smoke, 47C in Hunter Valley (75 years ago)
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 25, 2019
http://joannenova.com.au/2019/11/wh…

Changing Seas

Venice and Unenlightened Climate Fearmongering
By Jim Steele, Landscapes and Cycles, Nov 17, 2019
http://landscapesandcycles.net/veni…
[SEPP Comment: A more complete analysis of Venice, with maps, than presented in TWTW last week, explaining why the government response to the 1966 floods did not work. Governments now blame their incompetence on climate change.]

New Paper Presents Photo Evidence Affirming Equatorial Region Sea Levels Have FALLEN Since The 1600s
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 29, 2019
https://notrickszone.com/2019/11/29…
Link to paper: Biology and Shore Morphology: Keys to proper reconstruction of sea level
Changes
By Nils-Axel Mörner, Journal of Marine Biology and Aquascape, Mar 6, 2019
https://www.auctoresonline.org/imag…

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

New Study: 6500 Years Ago The Western Barents Sea Was Ice-Free And 10°C Warmer Than 2015
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 25, 2019
https://notrickszone.com/2019/11/25…
Link to paper: Postglacial paleoceanography of the western Barents Sea: Implications for alkenone-based sea surface temperatures and primary productivity
By Magdalena Łącka, et al. Quaternary Science Reviews, Nov 15, 2019
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien…

Shock News–The Arctic Is Freezing In Winter!!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 27, 2019
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor…
“It is sad that NASA’s reputation, hard earned over the years, is being trashed by a small minority who are more interested in propaganda.”

Remember traditional knowledge?
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Nov 27, 2019
https://climatediscussionnexus.com/…
[SEPP Comment: The Inuit may know more about polar bears than the experts.]

Changing Earth

Three Times Tectonics Changed the Climate
Fifty years after the birth of modern plate tectonics theory, a group of researchers highlights three key examples of how our planet’s shape-shifting outer layer has altered our climate.
By Javier Barbuzano, EOS, Nov 22, 2019
https://eos.org/features/three-time…
During the Pliocene, about 3 million years ago, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were similar to what we are experiencing today. Then, the temperature was 2°C warmer, and the sea level was 15 times higher.
[SEPP Comment: Sea level was 15 times higher!!! ]

Acidic Waters

Scientists find a place on Earth where there is no life
Press Release, FECUT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, EurekAlert, Nov 22, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
Link to paper: Hyperdiverse archaea near life limits at the polyextreme geothermal Dallol area
By Jodie Belilla, et al., Nature, Ecology & Evolution, Oct 28, 2019
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41…

Life under extreme conditions at hot springs in the ocean
By Staff Writers, Kiel, Germany (SPX), Nov 22, 2019
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/L…
Link to paper: Earthquake and typhoon trigger unprecedented transient shifts in shallow hydrothermal vents biogeochemistry
By Mario Lebrato, et al. Nature, Science Reports, Nov 15, 2019
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41…

The Total Myth of Ocean Acidification
By David Middleton, WUWT, June 6, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06…

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Indian Farmers Rejoice as Best Monsoon in 25 Years Vanquishes Climate Fears
By Vijay Jayaraj, Cornwall Alliance, Nov 21, 2019
https://patriotpost.us/opinion/6691…

Un-Science or Non-Science?

Stalled weather patterns will get bigger due to climate change
Study uncovers relationship between jet stream, atmospheric blocking events
Mathematical formula relates size of atmospheric blocking events to the jet stream.
By Staff, NSF, Nov 21, 2019
https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/dis…
Link to paper: Size of the Atmospheric Blocking Events: Scaling Law and Response to Climate Change
By Ebrahim Nabizadeh, Pedram Hassanzadeh, Da Yang & Elizabeth A. Barnes, Geophysical Research Letters, Nov 9, 2019
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley…
“Using data from two sets of comprehensive climate model simulations, Rice scientists Ebrahim Nabizadeh and Pedram Hassanzadeh and colleagues found that the area of blocking events in the Northern Hemisphere will increase by as much as 17% due to human-caused climate change.”
[SEPP Comment: Climate models cannot simulate the current atmosphere, but it is claimed they can simulate much more? See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?]

Lowering Standards

NOAA Blocks Access To Their Temperature Data
By Tony Heller, Real Climate Science, Nov 27, 2019
https://realclimatescience.com/2019…
[SEPP Comment: Accessed Nov 29, the latest update stated:
“Status of the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily
“(Additional information on GHCNd is available in the readme.txt file.)
“November 20, 2019
“Internal hardware issues have prevented daily updates to GHCNd since 17 November 2019. The issue is being addressed and an update is expected early on 21 November 2019.
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/daily/
[SEPP Comment: Given the history of NOAA’s adjustments to the US database, there is solid reason to be highly skeptical.]

UN report: Unprecedented measures needed to avoid worst effects of climate change
By Miranda Green and John Bowden, The Hill, Nov 26, 2019
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-e…
The link to the report leads to an article in the Washington Post with no link to the report

In bleak report, U.N. says drastic action is only way to avoid worst effects of climate change
“We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated,” a top official says.
By Brady Dennis, Washington Post, Nov 26, 2019
https://www.washingtonpost.com/clim…
No link to the report

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate or be Vague?

A battle for the jet stream is raging above our heads
By Tim Woollings, The Conversation, Nov 14, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
https://theconversation.com/a-battl…
Link to book: Jet Stream: A Journey Through our Changing Climate
By Tim Woolings, Oxford University Press, To be published
https://global.oup.com/academic/pro…
“So, the jet may not become more erratic as the Arctic warms, but it may well change profoundly. And one thing is clear: the stress of increased temperatures and altered rainfall patterns from our destabilising climate will leave us even more vulnerable to the weather patterns brought by the whim of the wandering jet stream.” [Boldface Added]
[SEPP Comment: Exactly when has the climate been stable? During Ice Ages?]

Climate Change To World: “Honey, I Shrunk The Jet Stream!”
By Jaime Jessop, Climate Scepticism, Nov 25, 2019 [H/t Paul Homewood]
https://cliscep.com/2019/11/25/clim…
“Personally, I’m not convinced by either. There certainly is a battle for the jet stream but it’s not raging overhead, as suggested by Woolings at the Con, it’s raging in climate alarmist world to see who can ‘prove’ first that global warming is altering the jet stream ‘dangerously’ to give us more frequent and severe extreme weather, in both winter and summer.”
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

Guardian Climate emergency: world ‘may have crossed tipping points’
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 27, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
Link to paper: Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against
The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.
By Timothy M. Lenton, Johan Rockström, Owen Gaffney, Stefan Rahmstorf, Katherine Richardson, Will Steffen & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Nature, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41…

Harrabin’s Tipping Point Junk Science
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 28, 2019
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor…
“If these imaginary tipping points really existed, the world would have undergone runaway warming then.”
[SEPP Comment: Or runaway cooling. See links immediately above]]

Global Warming Claim: More Blockbuster Snowstorms, Less Snow
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 28, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Nov 27, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…

Alarmist Propose Rebranding ‘Climate Change’ for Greater Shock Value
By Thomas Williams, Breitbart, Nov 29, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
https://www.breitbart.com/environme…

‘Climate change is a disability rights issue’
Press Release, University of Konstanz, EurekAlert, Nov 26, 2019, [H/t WUWT]
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_rele…

Environmental change in Africa: Will it lead to a drying Lake Victoria?
Researchers develop model to project levels in world’s largest tropical lake
By Staff, NSF, Nov 21, 2019
https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/dis…
“Lake Victoria gets most of its water from rain — about 55 inches each year. The sediment analyzed from locations along the lake shows that rainfall levels 35,000 to 100,000 years ago were about 28 inches, or almost half what they are today.”
[SEPP Comment: When the earth was in the midst of an ice age with fresh water locked up in thousands of feet of ice, rainfall was less. Will we get the same results from global warming as from global cooling? See link immediately below]

Victoria Falls Drying Up–Latest BBC Fake News
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 27, 2019
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor…
See link immediately above

Losing Nemo: clownfish ‘cannot adapt to climate change’
By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Nov 26, 2019
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/L…
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year warned that under 1.5C of warming Earth would lose at least 70 percent of its coral reefs.
“Under 2C of warming coral, and the vital ecosystems it supports, would be virtually wiped out.”
[SEPP Comment: As discussed in TWTW last week, Jennifer Marohasy has filmed live corals where they were supposedly wiped out.]

The year in review in advance
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Nov 27, 2019
https://climatediscussionnexus.com/…
“See, we’re anti-science. We have the trial first and the verdict later.”

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Dumb poll, fake headline: Not climate change, 70% of Australians want cheap reliable electricity, 61% biggest worry is “cost of living”.
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 27, 2019
http://joannenova.com.au/2019/11/du…

98% of air passengers don’t care enough about climate change to buy a carbon offset
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 27, 2019
http://joannenova.com.au/2019/11/98…
“The researchers believe that climate change and the resulting loss of ecosystem services will affect the world’s disabled populations disproportionately by exacerbating inequalities and increasing marginalization.”

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda

Tipping point in civilization: Experts say “listen to children” (sure, the adults are wrong)
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 29, 2019
http://joannenova.com.au/2019/11/ti…

Climate Activists Aren’t Joking
Saving the planet: the all-purpose, never-ending justification for more taxes, control, and deprivation.
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Nov 25, 2019
https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/201…
“A headline in the India Times declares Greta ‘The Role Model Everyone Needs.’
“An employee of the David Suzuki Foundation, writing in Canada’s largest newspaper, says Greta is ‘an inspiration to millions of people for a multitude of reasons.’
The founder of Women Who Sail says Greta ‘is the great saint of our time.’
“In every corner of every local, provincial, national, and international organization, Greta’s worldview is being promoted. Climate activists are working tirelessly, behind the scenes, to make it everyone’s reality.
“These people don’t value human accomplishment or technology. They don’t value your time. Nor do they value your freedom. They’re extremists who are prepared to sacrifice everything ‘for the good of the planet.’”

FT: Chinese Nationalists Turn on Climate Messiah Greta Thunberg
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 25, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…

Communicating Better to the Public – Protest

Huge Disruption As 10.000 Farmers & 5000 Tractors Shut Down Berlin
By Staff, GWPF, Nov 26, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/huge-disrup…

French Farmers Descend on Paris in Fresh Revolt Against Globalist Regulations
Tractors block roads in protest against agricultural industry being blamed for climate change.
By Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars.com, Nov 27, 2019 [H/t Joe Tomlinson]
https://www.infowars.com/french-far…

Farmers bring central Dublin to a halt with tractor protest
By Padraic Halpin, Reuters, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-…

Extinction Rebellion Are ‘Destructive’ And ‘Unsupportive’, Royal Academy of Engineering Warns
By Staff, The Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/extinction-…

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Climate emergency: EU is governed by trash
By Lubos Motl, The Reference Frame, Nov 29, 2019
https://motls.blogspot.com/2019/11/…
Link to Adopted Text: Climate and environmental emergency
European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment
emergency (2019/2930(RSP))
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo…

Questioning European Green

Extreme Green Poverty: Germans Face €44 Billion Bill For Electricity Alone In 2020
By Staff, GWPF & BDEW, Nov 29, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/green-pover…

Government should lead by example and target net-zero pre-2050, MPs urge
By Staff, Edie Newsroom, Nov 5, 2019 [H/t Dennis Ambler]
https://www.edie.net/news/11/Govern…

Questioning Green Elsewhere

No Plan B for Planet A
Replacing fossil fuels with “renewable” energy would devastate the only planet we’ve got
By Paul Driessen, WUWT, Nov 25, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…

Green Energy Studies: Consulting, or Advertising?
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.americanthinker.com/art…

New York State’s Plan Uses 63% Unreliable Source
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 26, 2019
https://ddears.com/2019/11/26/new-y…
“New York State’s plan for eliminating GHG will result in a huge increase in the cost of electricity and will force residents to depend on unreliable sources for their electricity.”
[SEPP Comment: Governor Cuomo’s energy plan may be from a song by Frank Sinatra: “Call me irresponsible, call me unreliable; Throw in undependable too.”]

Sacrificed on Victoria’s Green Altar
By Alan Moran, Quadrant, Nov 27, 2019
https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doo…

Green Jobs

Increasingly Powerful Headwinds Ahead: Germany’s Wind Industry Faces Extinction …”Several 10,000 Jobs Lost “
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 24, 2019
https://notrickszone.com/2019/11/24…
[SEPP Comment: Hard to establish the difference between special pleading by the wind industry and actual losses that may occur.]

Funding Issues

IPPR: UK should pay £20bn into UN climate fund
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 29, 2019
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor…
[SEPP Comment: A problem with the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) and many others promoting green goals is that not everyone thinks and believes as they do, thus they cannot understand it possible that others do not support their policies.]

US, EU ‘Owe Half The Cost’ of Repairing Climate Damage
By Staff Writer, The Globe Post, Nov 25, 2019 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
https://theglobepost.com/2019/11/25…
[SEPP Comment: Send invoices to the rest of the world for improvements to life from the use of fossil fuels and electricity.]

The Political Games Continue

No Amount Of Disastrous Failure Can Kill The Fantasy Of A Government-Directed “Great Society”
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Nov 25, 2019
https://www.manhattancontrarian.com…

Litigation Issues

[Supreme Court Justice] Alito pens fiery dissent after court declines to hear dispute between climate professor, National Review
By Tyler Olson, Fox News, Nov 26, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/al…
“Mann’s case against the magazine stems from his creation of the infamous ‘hockey stick graph’ and a central role in the ‘Climategate’ scandal — in which his employer, Penn State University, eventually cleared him of wrongdoing.”

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Science and economics trump government mandates with climate change
By Richard Rahn, Washington Times, Nov 25, 2019
https://www.washingtontimes.com/new…

EPA and other Regulators on the March

DOE should revive the Office of Policy Analysis
By David Wojick, CFACT, Nov 29, 2019
https://www.cfact.org/2019/11/29/do…

Energy Issues – Non-US

Montney Python’s Frac’ing Circus [Canada]
By David Middleton, WUWT, nov 26, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…

Fraaack, what?
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Nov 27, 2019
https://climatediscussionnexus.com/…

Energy Issues – Australia

Class action win: 2011 floods were man-made — seemingly managed as if “the dams would never fill”?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 30, 2019
http://joannenova.com.au/2019/11/cl…

Energy Issues — US

What’s Driving Wholesale Power Price Changes? Not What You Think
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Nov 27, 2019
https://www.powermag.com/whats-driv…
Link to report: Impact of Wind, Solar, and Other Factors on Wholesale Power Prices: An Historical Analysis—2008 through 2017
By Andrews Mills, et al. Berkley Lab, Nov 2019
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/im…
From the abstract: “We show that wind and solar have contributed to reductions in overall average annual wholesale electricity prices since 2008, but that natural gas prices have had the largest impact. More notable is that expansion of variable renewable energy has led to significant changes in locational, time of day, and seasonal pricing patterns in some regions. These altered pricing patterns reflect a fundamental shift and hold important implications for the grid-system value of wind and solar, and for other electric-sector planning and operating decisions.”
[SEPP Comment: Not listed among the price drivers are subsidies and mandates. If electricity generators pay to have someone take their electricity, then their subsidies are far too high. This is occurring in Texas.]

Carbon intensity of power sector down in 2019
By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Nov 28, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
[Note the link to EurekAlert! is not correct. It linked to an essay stating:” Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists.” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-11/uoe-nct112519.php]

‘It will be hard for people’; Coal plant near Lake Powell stops production after nearly 50 years
By Felicia Fonseca, AP, Via St George News, Nov 19, 2019 [H/t Steve Scare]
https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/a…

More Than 50 Coal Companies Have Been Wiped Out Since Trump’s 2016 Victory
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Nov 23, 2019
https://dailycaller.com/2019/11/23/…

Solar, wind and hydro power could soon surpass coal
By Matt Egan, CNN Business, Nov 26, 2019
https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/26/busi…

Massachusetts Town Votes for Freezing in the Dark
Brookline, in a State which already has the second most expensive residential electricity prices in the Lower 48, wants to force its residents to switch from heating with natural gas to heating with electricity generated from Russian natural gas…
By David Middleton, WUWT, Nov 25, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11…
[SEPP Comment: Doubt that those voting understood where Brookline gets its electricity.]

Return of King Coal?

Once a clean energy leader, China is now reviving coal
The world’s biggest carbon emitter is doubling down on coal, a new report finds, and global investment in clean energy is faltering.
By Alex Fox, The Hill, Nov 25, 2019
https://thehill.com/changing-americ…

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: November 25, 2019
By John Droz, Master Resource, Nov 25, 2019
https://www.masterresource.org/unca…

Carbon Schemes

Department of Energy Announces $43 Million to Develop Carbon Capture and Storage Technology
By Staff, DOE, Nov 14, 2019 [H/t WUWT]
https://www.energy.gov/articles/dep…

Health, Energy, and Climate

Mikko Paunio: The Lancet Countdown Report Is Dangerous Nonsense
By Mikko Paunio, MD, MHS adjunct professor in epidemiology at the University of Helsinki, Via GWPF, Nov 25, 2019
https://www.thegwpf.com/the-lancet-…

Can You Trust What Medical Journals Publish?
By John Dale Dunn, American Thinker, Nov 29, 2019
https://www.americanthinker.com/art…

Climate Change Is also a Health Crisis
By Maria Neira, Project Syndication, Nov 29, 2019
https://www.project-syndicate.org/c…
[SEPP Comment: Electricity from fossil fuels creates a crisis for human health?]

Other Scientific News

In possible climate breakthrough, Israel scientists engineer bacteria to eat CO₂
Decade-long research at Weizmann Institute could pave way for low-emissions production of carbon for use in biofuels, food, and help remove excess global warming CO₂ from air
By Sue Surkes, The Times of Israel, Nov 28, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-po…

Scientists sequence genome of devil worm, deepest-living animal
By Brooks Hays, Washington (UPI), Nov 22, 2019
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/S…

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Beavers brought in to beat flooding in Britain
By Staff Writers, London (AFP), Nov 20, 2019
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/B…
[SEPP Comment: Beavers building dams upstream will remove the need for dredging downstream? What about the trees the beavers will remove?]

An engineer has devised a way to stop Arctic ice from melting by scattering millions of tiny glass beads to reflect sunlight away
By Aylin Woodward, Business Insider, Oct 26, 2019 [H/t Joe Tomlison]
https://www.businessinsider.com/ice…

We’re all going to die: Alarmists in our midst
By Steven Boykey Sidley, Daily Maverick, Nov 27, 2019 [H/t GWPF]
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opi…

ARTICLES

1. Why Our Electrical System Isn’t Ready for a Lower-Carbon Future
By Jason Bordoff, WSJ, Nov 27, 2019
https://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2019/…

TWTW Summary: After discussing the California blackouts, the former senior director of the National Security Council and energy adviser to President Obama writes:

“California isn’t alone, as widespread power outages have left millions without power in recent years from India to Japan to Puerto Rico—the last causing triggering [sic]a humanitarian crisis.

“As harmful as these power cuts have been, their impact has been limited by the fact that electricity isn’t used more widely. The lights go out but our cars and trucks can usually keep moving. This will change if we move to electrify more of the economy in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change without properly investing in our electric grids.

“Climate change is already a severe and escalating threat, and stronger action to address it likely involves widespread (though not 100%) electrification of the economy, including transportation and buildings, and a dramatic increase in the share of electricity that comes from zero-carbon sources. [TWTW questions the assumption that climate change is a severe and escalating threat.]

“Electricity supplies, while highly reliable in the U.S., are still prone to outages, as California’s experience reminds us. To be sure, the situation in California is extreme. The necessity for power cuts to reduce fire risk follows years of underinvestment in equipment and safety at PG&E. But issues with electricity reliability are not unique to California. Customers in Maine and Florida, for example, averaged 40 hours of power cuts in 2017. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, there will be a nearly $95 billion investment gap in electricity grid modernization across the U.S. by 2020, increasing the risk of blackouts.

“Of course, fuel supplies are vulnerable, too. Pipelines can rupture, hurricanes can damage offshore platforms, and geopolitical instability can disrupt oil flows. Locally, when the power goes out, gas pumps stop pumping. Indeed, when the fuel supply is disrupted, the most frequent cause is loss of electrical power, which is why New York recently required gasoline stations to have backup generators.

“Still, the shift to electrification can exacerbate some of these fuel-supply vulnerabilities. It would be far more difficult to power electric vehicles with generators in an emergency than gas stations, for example, given that they are charged more diffusely at homes than at centralized charging stations. Moreover, the average car with a full gasoline tank can run for twice as long without refilling as an average fully charged EV.

“Oil shortages of the 1970s are a far more remote possibility in today’s highly interconnected global oil market. Furthermore, unlike electricity, when gasoline and diesel supply in a certain location is disrupted, other supplies may be brought in by other means like truck or barge from neighboring areas—assuming price signals provide the right economic incentive. Battery technology has improved dramatically, but electricity is more expensive and difficult to transport and store than liquid fuel for long periods.

Let’s remember as well that climate change is a global problem. A ton of greenhouse gas emissions contributes equally to the problem regardless of where it comes from. This means that keeping temperature rise in check will require widespread electrification of transportation not just in the U.S., but around the world. And the electricity system in many emerging markets is far less reliable than it is in the U.S. If you think recent power cuts may pose a barrier to electric vehicle uptake in California, imagine being a driver in Pakistan where electricity outages average more than 13 hours per day.

To be clear, electricity reliability concerns are not a reason to delay the electrification of transportation, buildings and other parts of the clean energy economy. Rather, California’s electricity crisis is a reminder that policymakers and industry need to prioritize improving electricity system reliability and resilience.

Following the oil shortages of the 1970s, countries came together and agreed to hold oil in strategic reserves to prevent similar supply crises in the future. Replacing strategic crude and refined product stocks with electricity storage of equal capacity is neither feasible nor cost-effective.

Rather, policymakers need to prioritize closing the current grid investment shortfalls and boosting reliability and resilience by building new transmission lines to relieve system bottlenecks and eliminate single points of system failure; expanding the use of microgrids and energy storage; leveraging grid modernization technologies; creating incentives for demand-side management and distributed generation; improving maintenance and system operation; and introducing new modeling and technology tools (such as artificial intelligence) to predict problems before they occur. [Boldface added.]

Electrifying the transportation sector will not happen if motorists worry that they won’t be able to reliably fuel up their cars. Assuaging those concerns requires regulators to prioritize investments to modernize our grids to improve our energy security. Northern California’s decade of planned blackouts should serve as a wake-up call to regulators everywhere to redouble efforts to boost the reliability and resilience of the electricity system in order to support the low-carbon transition.

[SEPP Comment: We cannot predict the weather, why assume we can predict weather dependent electrical generation?]