Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #183

The Week That Was: June 13, 2015 – By SEPP (www.SEPP.org)

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

ICCC-10: Due to The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10), June 11 and 12, this week’s TWTW will be brief. The conference was co-sponsored by, among others, SEPP and the Virginia Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE), Next week’s TWTW will include material that was overlooked this week due to time constraints. The conference was sold out about one week in advance. Videos of the keynote speeches and the panel sessions are available at: http://climateconference.heartland.org/. It is our understanding that high resolution videos will be available shortly.

Political: The political high points of ICCC-10 were presentations by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Representative Lamar Smith (R-21st District of Texas). Senator Inhofe is chairman of the influential Environment and Public Works Committee and a Senior Member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

Rep. Smith is Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over programs of NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The committee oversees agency budgets of $39 billion, where the primary focus is on research and development. He also serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.

In their talks, both Senator Inhofe and Representative Smith focused on the steps they are taking to constrain the efforts by the Administration, particularly through the EPA, to expand executive powers over the American economy through the use of misleading or false scientific claims. Many consider this expansion of powers is beyond the authority granted to the executive branch by Congress and unconstitutional. The speakers outlined systematic strategies to stop the questionable political ambitions of the Administration. In the coming months and next year, we shall see how effectively these strategies will be. See the links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – ICCC-10.

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Quote of the Week:In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.” Frederick Seitz, WSJ – June 12, 1996 on IPCC AR-2, 1995, printed May 1996.

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Number of the Week: 71%

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Alice in Climateland: A high point in the conference for SEPP came during Thursday’s dinner when SEPP Chairman S. Fred Singer introduced Professor Will Happer, the recipient of the Frederick Seitz Memorial Award. Seitz, past Chairman of SEPP, was a distinguished solid-state physicist and long-term president of the US National Academy of Sciences, greatly expanded the role and influence of that group. Seitz questioned the ever expanding assertions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), often made without physical evidence, that humanity, particularly emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), was primarily responsible for 20th century temperature increases. Seitz challenged the processes used by the IPCC, calling the Second Assessment Report [1996] of the IPCC the worst abuse of the peer-review process he has observed in 60 years of science.

Physicist William Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett professor of physics (emeritus) at Princeton University, was the second recipient of the award. Among his other accomplishments, Happer pioneered the development of adaptive optics and invented the sodium guide star to eliminate astronomical imaging blurring due to atmospheric turbulence.

Professor Happer gave a very clever acceptance speech framing the climate change controversies with the Lewis Carroll’s (Charles Dodgson) play on logic and adult fairy tale “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Happer titled his talk as Alice in Climateland. Sections included “Down the Rabbit Hole”, changing size with models serving the function of mushrooms, the queen’s croquet, and the trial with Alice’s evidence – “off with her head” seems to be an all too familiar statement among those who dislike skeptics who point out the lack of physical evidence to support the contention that human CO2 emissions are causing dangerous global warming. See the links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – ICCC-10.

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General Comment: The 2013 and the 2014 reports of the independent Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) are slowly gaining popularity. This is particularly true for the report on the Biological Impacts, which is more readily understood by the general public than the report on the Physical Science. To recognize the benefits of carbon dioxide is revolutionary, after decades of demonization of CO2 by government entities and government supported entities. Use of the Biological Impacts can be a method of introducing the Physical Science by pointing out what else does government-sponsored research ignore.

Often overlooked, the report on Biological Impacts has a section of over 80 pages on Human Health effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Major findings include: warmer temperatures are beneficial to humanity colder temperatures are not (even if CO2 has little influence on temperatures), malaria will not expand as a result of increased temperatures, claims of increased vector borne diseases with temperature are unfounded, and increased CO2 can increase the medicinal substances found in plants. These findings are contrary to the findings of the US Global Change Research Program. See the links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC

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Strange things: SEPP prepared comments to the draft report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment by USGCRP’s Interagency Group on Climate Change and Human Health, which is part of the sustained National Climate Assessment and as called for under the President’s Climate Action Plan.

SEPP’s comments were a compilation of what has appeared in TWTW and other documents. They included the failure of the models to predict the current temperature trends, no rise; John Christy’s graphs; failure to advance science of understanding of climate sensitivity since the Charney Report (1979); and failure in logic. Specific examples included extreme weather & health effects; infectious diseases including vector borne diseases; food safety and nutrition. References included the 2013 and 2014 NIPCC Reports.

As stated in TWTW, the USGCRP website stated the comment period closed midnight Eastern Time, on June 8, and continued to do so on the morning of June 8. In preparing to submit the comments about 5:10 pm, SEPP discovered the comment period was moved up to 5pm. The system would no longer permit comments. Draw your own conclusions.

According to the USGCRP comment website, the draft report was submitted to the National Academy of Sciences for rigorous peer review. We shall see how rigorously today’s NAS reviews this deeply flawed report, including the importance of public health measures in controlling infectious diseases, the NIPCC reports, and other serious omissions in the USGCRP report. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.

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The Battle of the Gs? In preparing for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate UNFCCC in Paris, starting at the end of November, two sets of conferences were held, with two different sets of parties. One groups, the G-7, is comprised of finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major advanced economies: Canada, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The second group, the G-77 + founded in June 15, 1964, lists 134 member states, including India, China, Brazil, South Africa – most developing countries. Russia is not listed in either group. It is becoming increasingly evident that the goals of these two groups are not merging into a coherent whole for a major, universal agreement in Paris. And then, there is that pesky US Constitution, which many advocates wish to ignore, which requires that a treaty involving the US, to be enforceable, must have the approval of 2/3 of the Senate – a task that is becoming increasingly unlikely for this Administration. See links under On to Paris!, and Problems in the Orthodoxy.

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Number of the Week: 71%. According to reports 5 of the 7 G-7 countries (71%) burned 16% more coal in 2013 than in 2009 and are planning to further increase construction of coal-fired power stations. The countries are Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and France. Only the US and Canada reduced coal consumption since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009. Could insisting that other countries do as the G-7 says, not as it does, be a new form of neo-colonialism? See links under Problems in the Orthodoxy.

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ARTICLES:

Please note that articles not linked easily or summarized here are reproduced in the Articles Section of the full TWTW that can be found on the web site under the date of the TWTW.

1. Dirty Rotten Ethanol Scoundrels

The feds admit defeat on the mandate but pile on a new subsidy.

Editorial, WSJ, Jun 7, 2015

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dirty-rotten-ethanol-scoundrels-1433716070

SUMMARY: “Mark down May 29 as the date when the last tether connecting ethanol subsidies to reality came unhitched, and the fuel made from corn and tax dollars achieved a kind of postmodern perfection. On the same day the Obama Administration conceded that the U.S. auto fleet cannot practically consume enough ethanol to fulfill Congress’s quotas, it

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