Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #263

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

False Precision: In their early education, many students of science faced the problem of significant numbers (digits). A useful rule of thumb was that the chain was only as strong as its weakest link. In measurement, the less precise instrument making the measurements determines precision of any dataset representing the measurements. A mathematical operation does not add precision to the instruments, or the dataset. For example, as discussed in the January 21 TWTW, the widely used Automatic Surface Observing System (ASOS) instruments at airports have a precision of plus or minus 1 degree C (1.8 F, correctly, 2 F). Surface datasets using these measurements cannot be more precise than these instruments. Yet, routinely, some government agencies report data, after mathematical manipulation, with far greater precision – to one-hundredths of a degree C. Such precision is false.

Writing in the non-conservative Boston Globe, columnist Jeff Jacoby gives a simple illustration on how small errors in measurement can compound in a computer model with many small errors. Any assumption that the errors will cancel each other out needs to be demonstrated. However, in the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, such cancellation of errors is not demonstrated.

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Two Trends That Will Force The Fed To Start Buying Stocks

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

While the Japanese and Swiss central banks have turned themselves into hedge funds by loading up on equities, the US Fed has stuck to supporting the stock market indirectly, by buying bonds. It’s worked, obviously, with all major US indexes at record highs. But it won’t work going forward, thanks to two gathering trends.

First, the main way bond buying supports equities is by lowering interest rates which, among other things, allows corporations to borrow cheaply and use the proceeds to buy back their own stock. Companies avoid paying dividends on the repurchased stock and the government gets capital gains tax revenue from a bull market. From a short-sighted Keynesian perspective, it’s a win-win.

Alas, this New Age public/private partnership on running out of steam. Interest rates have fallen about as far as they can fall and corporations have borrowed about as much as they can borrow. So the buyback binge is topping:

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The Futility of “Earth Hour”

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The winner for Earth Hour every year since 2003  – North Korea. Odds favor them to be the winner again this year.

satellite image of the korean penninsula at night, showing city lighting

“Earth Hour” –  Yawn.

Every year at Christmas, many newspapers reprint “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus“, this excellent essay by Ross McKittrick should be repeated on every blog on every observance of Earth Hour. Copy, paste, and share it widely. Better yet, turn on all your lights to celebrate, as Ross says below.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. – Ross McKitrick

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abusive Civil Forfeiture Law, Allows Police to Keep $201,000 in Cash from Legal Home Sale with No Proof of Criminal Activity

[Most Judges, including Supreme Court Justices, are appointed for life – during good behavior. The Justices who have refused to uphold the Constitution in this case are guilty of Bad Behavior, and they should be removed. – Bob]

By John Whitehead – RE-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

In refusing to hear a challenge to Texas’ asset forfeiture law, the U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Texas police to keep $201,000 in cash primarily on the basis that the seized cash—the proceeds of a home sale—was being transported on a highway associated with illegal drug trade, despite any proof of illegal activity by the owner. Asset forfeiture laws, which have come under intense scrutiny and criticism in recent years, allow the police to seize property “suspected” of being connected to criminal activity without having to prove the owner of the property is guilty of a criminal offense.

Lisa Leonard, the owner of the $201,000, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to compel Texas to return her money, given that she was innocent of any crime. In a written opinion that denounced the profit incentives that drive asset forfeiture schemes, Justice Clarence Thomas concluded, “This system—where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use—has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses.”

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Silver Miners’ Q4’16 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The silver miners’ stocks have had a roller-coaster ride of a year so far.  They surged, plunged, and then started surging again last week on a less-hawkish-than-expected Fed.  Such big volatility has spawned similar outsized swings in sentiment, distorting investors’ perceptions of major silver miners.  But their recently-reported fourth-quarter operating and financial results reveal the true underlying fundamental realities.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports.  Required by securities regulators, these quarterly results are exceedingly important for investors and speculators.  They offer a clear snapshot of what’s really going on fundamentally, in individual silver miners and this small sector as a whole.  There’s no silver-stock data I look forward to more.

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How Solid Are Canada’s Big Banks?

By Peter Diekmyer – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Originally posted at Sprott Money March 22, 2017

The World Economic Forum consistently ranks Canada’s banks among the world’s safest. Competent regulators have overseen stress tests, tightened lending standards and delinquency rates are low. Demographics are good and the country’s diversified economy is backed by a treasure of oil, wood, gold and other natural resources.

So the experts say.

Institutional investors, relying on the work of Jeremy Rudin, Canada’s chief bank regulator, agree. In fact, Canadian financials accounted for 35.5% of the market capitalization of the benchmark exchange (NBF February).

However this façade hides major uncertainties. Key concerns stand out, which if unaddressed, could spark solvency and liquidity issues in one or more of Canada’s Big Six banks.

The fragilities can be seen in an IMF report, which calculated that Canada’s financial sector accounted for a stunning 500% of GDP in 2012. Today, the assets of the Big Six banks alone are more than double the size of the country’s economy.

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Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm

Decommissioning of world’s first offshore wind farm offers an opportunity to see how industry costs have changed over the past 25 years.

By T. A. “Ike” Kiefer, CAPT, USN (ret.) – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm

Decommissioning has started at the 26-year old Vindeby offshore project, one of the world’s first The 4.95MW Vindeby offshore project was installed in 1991 using 11 Bonus 450kW turbines. It operated 1.5-3.0km off the southern Danish coast.

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