Homogenization of Temperature Data Makes Capetown South Africa Have a Warmer Climate Record

By Philip Lloyd – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Playing around with my hometown data, I was horrified when I found what NASA had done to it.  Even producing GISTEMP Ver 2 was counterfactual.

homogenize-definition

The raw data that is fed to NASA in order to develop the global temperature series is subjected to “homogenization” to ensure that it does not suffer from such things as the changes in the method of measuring the mean temperature, or changes in readings because of changes in location. However, while the process is supposed to be supported by metadata – i.e. the homogenizers are supposed to provide the basis for any modification of the raw data.

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Letter to President Trump

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I sent a note to President Trump via http://www.Whitehouse.gov. Let’s see if he takes it to heart.

Dear President Trump,

The Dow Jones Average just passed 20,000 and it sounded like President Trump was taking credit for it. I think that was a mistake.

During the campaign, candidate Trump said, in no uncertain terms, that the stock markets were a great big bubble, and he was very right. The FED has continued to pump up the money supply. Though the FED stopped QE3 in 2014, it has been buying stocks with its printed money ever since.

After two rate increases, in Dec 2015 and in Dec 2016, interest rates still are historically low, causing massive distortions in our Economy. One distortion is that ultra low rates incentivize corporate bigwigs to buy back the company stock, pushing up the stock price and increasing the value of officers’ stock options.

The markets still are in a major stock bubble, even if there is some euphoria over President Trump’s moves so far. Part of what this means is that a major correction is not very far down the road.

I would suggest that Mr Trump “amplify” what he said about Dow 20,000. He should acknowledge that market players correctly are viewing his actions so far as bullish for the markets, but that the markets still are in a bubble. He could say something like, “The Dow easily could fall in half before the effects of my policies actually become apparent. So, the markets are going higher, but first they have to work off the froth caused by the FED’s stupid policies during the Obama years.”

It would be a shame for this Administration to take the (stock market) fall due to mistakes made under POTUS 44.

Silver Stocks’ New Upleg

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

The silver miners’ stocks have surged higher in this young new year, putting the Trumphoria general-stock rally to shame.  Following its fourth-quarter drubbing, this tiny contrarian sector is embarking on a major new upleg as traders return.  Silver-stock uplegs tend to grow to massive proportions, and silver-mining fundamentals remain strong today.  So odds are the silver stocks are going to power far higher in 2017.

Because silver stocks aren’t widely followed, most investors and speculators are unaware of this sector’s stellar upside potential.  Silver mining is a challenging business both geologically and economically, so there aren’t many primary silver miners out there.  And their stocks’ collective market capitalization is small, a rounding error compared to the broader stock markets.  That doesn’t leave much room for funds to buy.

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Beginning of the End of EPA

By Jay Lehr – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

At the Republican National Convention last summer, the GOP approved a platform that stated: “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.” It also says “We will likewise forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, something never envisioned when Congress passed the Clean Air Act.”

The GOP followed the lead of President Donald Trump, who in a March debate said he would abolish EPA, and in a May speech in North Dakota condemned “the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of totalitarian tactics” that has “denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet. This is your treasure, and you – the American People – are entitled to share in the riches.”

Trump and the GOP are saying, finally, what millions of people have been thinking for a long time: EPA has become the cause of, not the solution to, the nation’s major environmental problems. It’s time to end EPA.

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Apocalypse Cancelled

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Estimates of future atmospheric CO2 values as a result of future emissions, called “scenarios”, fall into two camps—demand driven, and supply driven. A recent paper entitled “The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: A supply-driven analysis” by J.Wang, et al., paywalled here, has a good description of the difference between demand and supply driven scenarios in their abstract:

ABSTRACT

Climate projections are based on emission scenarios.The emission scenarios used by the IPCC and by mainstream climate scientists are largely derived from the predicted demand for fossil fuels, and in our view take insufficient consideration of the constrained emissions that are likely, due to the depletion of these fuels.This paper, by contrast, takes a supply-side view of CO2 emission, and generates two supply-driven emission scenarios based on a comprehensive investigation of likely long-term pathways of fossil fuel production drawn from peer-reviewed literature published since 2000. The potential rapid increases in the supply of the non-conventional fossil fuels are also investigated. Climate projections calculated in this paper indicate that the future atmospheric CO2 concentration will not exceed 610 ppm in this century;

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When Did The Fed Start Buying Equities?

By Gordon Long – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

We see the forensic “finger prints” all over the economic and financial data that the Federal Reserve through a proxy likely Citadel Capital (or the Fed’s CBOE Volume Options Agreement) has highly likely been buying the US equity market since its QE 3 “TAPER” ended in October 2014.  We do know for a fact that the BOJ, SNB, PBOCNorwegian and other central banks have been doing this as matter of normal monetary policy for some time and that 80% of all these central banks said they plan on buying more stocks this year with a significant amount of that buying in US exchange traded equities.   To see the forensic economic evidence more clearly, consider the following US indicators:

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Trump’s First Executive Actions Put EPA, CDC, & Dakota Pipeline Into a Tailspin

Via Climate Nexus – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

EPA Faces a Freeze & Friendly Fire: The EPA has been ordered to freeze all its grants and contracts, including programs for climate research, environmental justice, and pollution prevention, according to internal communications leaked anonymously to several outlets Monday evening. It’s unclear if the freeze is permanent, and EPA staff are under orders to not discuss the move outside the agency, the sources told press. News of the freeze and gag order comes a day after Axios leaked details of the transition team’s “agency action” plan for EPA, which accuses EPA of “us[ing] regulatory policy to steer the science” and recommends that the agency stop funding science and overhaul its internal science advisory process “to eliminate conflicts of interest and inherent bias.” Axios also quoted a Republican lobbyist who flags “dozens” of EPA-related executive orders coming down the pike in the next month. Sources: (Grant freeze: Huffington Post, ProPublica, Washington Post $, The Hill. Agency action plan: Axios, The Hill. EOs: Axios. Commentary: Vox, Brad Plumer analysis, Buzzfeed, Dino Grandoni analysis)

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2017’s Real Milestone (Or Why Interest Rates Can Never Go Back To Normal)

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Forget about NAFTA or OPEC or TPP or crowd size or hand size or any other acronym or stat or concept that obsesses the financial press these days. Only two numbers actually matter.

The first is $20 trillion, which is the level the US federal debt will exceed sometime around June of this year. Here’s the current total as measured by the US Debt Clock:

To put $20 trillion into perspective, it’s about $160,000 per US taxpayer, and exists in addition to the mortgage, credit card, auto, and student debt that our hypothetical taxpayer probably carries. It is in short, way too much for the average wage slave to manage without some kind of existential crisis.

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Executive Orders: Use Them and Lose Them

By Jeremy Frankel – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

Article I of the Constitution gives the power to create and pass laws to Congress. However, Presidents have the power to sign executive orders, which are meant to give laws more specificity and to enforce existing law. However, when Presidents abuse this power, executive orders can become despotic, and the President can become a potential dictator. For example, former President Barack Obama abused his executive authority by frequently signing executive orders during his eight-year tenure, such as executive amnesty (which he had previously called “unconstitutional”), climate change regulations, and his seizure of millions of acres of state lands. The potential abuse of executive orders shows their negatives.

But now we have a new President in Donald Trump. Despite how dangerous executive orders can be, Trump’s only recourse to reverse Obama’s disastrous legacy is to implement executive orders of his own. Amazingly, Trump is using the pen and phone Obama left for him to reverse course and keep his promises. His orders have included reinstituting the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funding of international abortions; withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); imposing a hiring freeze for the federal government other than military, inevitably shrinking the government’s size; and easing the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare, including fiscal burdens such as taxes or penalties for individuals, health insurance companies, and others.

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ERM Power Criticised for Choosing $123m Fine Over Renewable Energy Certificates

By Australian Associated Press – Re-Blogged From The Guardian

Company says it’s cheaper to pay the penalty, but the move is branded as ‘undermining of the objectives’ of the renewable energy target

Wind farm
The Renewable Energy Target encourages investment in renewable power stations, such as wind farms. Photograph: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #255

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

False Precision – Hottest Year Ever? NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA-GISS) and NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) issued dramatic press releases that 2016 was the hottest year since instrument measurements began. Both organizations focus on surface data, which has far from comprehensive coverage. According to NOAA-NCEI, 2016 was 0.07ºF warmer than 2015.

David Whitehouse, Science Editor for the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), stated that “Peter Stott, Acting Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said in no uncertain terms that, ‘a particularly strong El Nino event contributed about 0.2°C [about 0.4 ºF] to the annual average for 2016.’” Thus, based on the comment by Stott, the contribution of the El Niño was about 5 times larger than the reported increase in global temperatures from 2015 to 2016. The tiny, calculated margin is hardly worthy of dramatic press releases.

The tiny, calculated margin does not account for lack of global coverage in surface measurements, questionable adjustments in the data, and limited accuracy of the instrumentation. As presented on page 9 of the 2008 NIPCC report, by 1997 the number of 5º by 5º global grid boxes with both minimum and maximum readings fell to about 100 out of more than 2500 possible.

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Italy’s Bank Rescue Foreshadows Nationalization Of More EU Banks

By John Browne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

On December 7, 2016, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned following defeat in a national referendum, that he had supported, that would have changed the country’s parliamentary system. The development, which represents just the latest sign of anti-EU sentiment spreading throughout Europe, was felt acutely by Italy’s troubled banking sector. In particular, the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MdP) has been teetering on the brink of collapse and now may stand as a case study that may be encountered by other EU member nations.

The advent of the euro currency allowed Eurozone member countries, even those with poor financial health like Italy, to borrow at far lower ‘Germanic’ interest rates than their respective national credit ratings would have allowed. In turn, national borrowers were able to tap into the vast sums of liquidity created under central bank quantitative easing (QE) programs at astonishingly low, and sometimes negative, interest rates. Predictably this has led to a massive misallocation of capital, and billions in potentially non-performing loans.

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Phasing Out Social Security

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Social Security is in trouble. Money going out should exceed money coming in within three years. Of course, the current income on the Treasuries in the Trust Fund are counted as real, even though those Treasuries are little more than IOUs from Uncle Sam’s left pocket into his right pocket. In real world terms, the Trust Fund already is in Deficit.

Even with the rosy Treasury assumption, the Trust Fund balance should be zeroed out within 15-20 years, depending on whose projections you use.

Image result for Social Security Deficit

Economics Professor Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University calculates that the actuarial deficit is around $100 Trillion, so anyone who says that we can tinker here and adjust there to save Social Security is just not living in the real world.

Social Security is dying. Social Security will end. The only question is whether it ends in a collapse – causing tens of millions of retirees to become destitute overnight – or whether Social Security is phased out, allowing current retires to get all they expect.

I suggest a phase out – a very long phase out.

  1. Today, end filing for early retirement for Social Security benefits. Seniors who already are receiving early benefits may continue, but no further applications will be accepted or processed. Transfer all non-retirement portions into one of the Welfare programs.
  2. For all Americans currently over 60 years of age, they may file and receive full Social Security benefits when they reach the current full retirement age.
  3. For all Americans currently under 60 years old, their full retirement age will be raised by one month for every two months until they reach 60. For example, a 50 year old has 120 months before he reaches 60, so his retirement age will be 60 months later than the current full retirement age.

    Image result for roth ira

  4. Americans under 60 may choose to opt out of Social Security. By opting out, they forfeit any accrued Social Security benefits. They will be allowed to deposit their FICA deduction tax free into a Roth IRA – that’s double Tax Free. The employer match, and self-employment tax, will continue to go into the Social Security Trust Fund. (This will cause large deficits near term but large surpluses down the road.)
  5. At some point, every American will be off Social Security, either by dying or by opting out. Any money remaining in the Trust Fund will go into the General Revenue Fund.
  6. Employer match after that point either:
    1. May be ended
    2. May go into the General Fund
    3. May by added to the employee’s Roth IRA

Image result for phase out

This phase out easily could take 60 years to complete. It will not be painless as the younger an American is, the less he will receive in benefits. But, it will put the burden where it can be handled most easily – with younger workers who have more time to plan. And, it sets up a system which still requires putting money aside for retirement, but that money is owned and controlled by each individual American worker.

It should be noted that Medicare is under the same pressures, also with a calculated actuarial deficit around $100 Trillion. A similar phase out for Medicare also makes sense.

 

The Cruelest Tax Of All

[This is a companion piece to the previous post.]

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A “progressive” tax is one where the wealthier you are the higher percentage of tax you pay. On the other hand, I’ve said before that a tax on energy, the so-called “carbon tax”, is one of the most regressive taxes available. It is the reverse of progressive, it hits the poor the hardest. This is because poor people spend a larger percentage of their income on energy than do rich people.

Someone challenged me on this claim about energy taxes the other day, and I realized I believed it without ever checking it … bad Willis, no cookies. So of course, having had that thought I had to take a look.

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Economic Cost Of The Social Cost Of Carbon

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From Skating Under The Ice

The unscientific enterprise called the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is a thinly disguised political attempt to justify some kind of a “carbon tax”. Of course calling it a “carbon tax” or the “social cost of carbon” is doublespeak, or perhaps triplespeak. It is doublespeak because the issue is carbon dioxide, not carbon. What they are talking about taxing is not carbon but CO2. (In passing, the irony of a carbon-based life form studying the “social cost of carbon” is worth noting …)

It is triplespeak because in the real world what this so-called “carbon tax” means is a tax on energy, since the world runs on carbon-based fossil fuel energy and will for the foreseeable future.

This energy tax has been imposed in different jurisdictions in a variety of forms—a direct carbon tax, a “cap-and-trade” system, a “renewable mandate”, they come in many disguises but they are all taxes on energy, propped up by the politically driven “Social Cost of Carbon”.

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Precious Metals Advantage

By Stinili Philbrick – Re-Blogged From Money Metals

A lot of folks took advantage of recently falling gold and silver prices to beef up their precious metals holdings.

Those adding to their investment portfolios understood the old adage of buying low and selling high. Unfortunately, others wait until dollar values of gold and silver have zoomed before deciding to convert their paper money.

Still, most make buying decisions for their own good reasons. They either have the confidence of their convictions, or they have good questions still unanswered.

One of the frequent questions we get at Money Metals Exchange is a good one – How would I go about “spending” my gold and silver assets in a barter-type economy?

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About Intellectuals and Climate Alarmism

By Frits Bolkestein – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

In the early seventies, the world must have looked frightening to Dennis Meadows and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when they dealt with limits to growth. This was the title of their study, which was released in 1972 and which has become known as “The Report to the Club of Rome”.

According to the Report the world was in a mess because of environmental degradation, excessive bureaucratization, unbridled urbanization, widespread unemployment, alienation of youth, inflation and rejection of value systems. Profound adjustments had to be made before it was too late.

The Report dealt with the interaction of five critical factors: population growth, food production, industrialization, natural resource depletion and pollution. The conclusion was that mankind was heading for a period of great suffering because of lack of food, lack of raw materials and too much pollution.

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Ireland’s Monetary Gold Reserves: High Level Secrecy vs. Freedom Of Information (Part I)

By Ronan Manly – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

This article and a sequel article together chronicle a long-running investigation that has attempted, with limited success to date, to establish a number of basic details about Ireland’s official monetary gold reserves, basic details such as whether this gold is actually allocated, what type of storage contract the gold is stored under, and supporting documentation in the form of a gold bar weight list. Ireland’s gold reserves are held by the Central Bank of Ireland but are predominantly stored (supposedly) with the Bank of England in London.

At many points along the way, this investigation has been hindered and stymied by lack of cooperation from the Central Bank of Ireland and the Irish Government’s Department of Finance. Freedom of Information requests have been ignored, rejected and refused, and there has also been outright interference from the Bank of England. Many of these obstacles are featured below and in the sequel article.

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Italy Referendum: ‘Period of Uncertainty’ Predicted After Matteo Renzi’s Defeat

Re-Blogged From The Guardian

Last month, Italy voted to reject changes to the country’s Constitution. The rejection was another step toward Italy leaving the EU and eventual breakup of the European Economic Community.

Trump Hits DC With $10.5 Trillion in Cuts

By Tim Brown – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Well, this certainly sounds promising, if it comes to pass.  Named and unnamed sources inside the Trump transition team have said that President Donald Trump has been working with others to bring about a massive reduction in spending.

The Hill reports:

“The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition.

“Similar proposals have in the past won support from Republicans in the House and Senate, who believe they have an opportunity to truly tackle spending after years of warnings about the rising debt.

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2016 Global Surface Temperatures

By Bob Tisdale – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Figure 1 presents two model-data comparisons for global sea surface temperatures, not anomalies, for the past 30-years. I’ve included a comparison for the global oceans (90S-90N) in the top graph and a comparison for the global oceans, excluding the polar oceans (60S-60N), in the bottom graph. Excluding the polar oceans doesn’t seem to make a significant difference. It’s obvious that global sea surfaces simulated by the GISS climate model were warmer than observed and that the GISS model warming rate is too high over the past 3 decades. The difference between modeled and observed warming rates is approximately 0.07 to 0.08 deg C/decade, more than 60% higher than the observed rate. And in both cases the 30-year average sea surface temperature as simulated by the GISS models is too high by about 0.6 deg C.

figure-1

Figure 1 – Global Oceans

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Students Defaulted Or Didn’t Pay Down Student Loan Debts

 By Seth Connell – Re-Blogged From http://blabber.buzz

If you thought the housing bubble was bad, just wait for the impending collapse of the student loan industrial complex.

Dept of Education Reveals HALF Of All Students Defaulted Or Didn’t Pay Down Student Loan Debts

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education released a memo stating that the department had overestimated the number of graduated students from colleges and trade schools actively paying off their loans.

The updated numbers provide a shocking view into the current economic situation, but also what will be coming in future years.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed the numbers released by the Dept. of Education, and found that the repayment rates were inflated in 99.8% of the schools analyzed.

Before going any further, just let that sink in for a moment. This was not a small technical glitch that skewed numbers in a couple of cases. No, the correct numbers were the stark exception to the rule, and that rule was that the true numbers of loan repayments were never reported truthfully.

Yet for the past several years, the Department has maintained that students are repaying their loans at a rate that is just dandy. Well, by the Department’s own admission, that is not the case (and I am not in the least bit surprised).

The new analysis shows that at more than 1,000 colleges and trade schools, or about a quarter of the total, at least half the students had defaulted or failed to pay down at least $1 on their debt within seven years.

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Climate Change Deciphered (The Real “Inconvenient” Truth)

[Here’s a study which indicates that SO2 in the atmosphere may be the global warming control knob – and NOT CO2 – at least in modern times. – Bob]

By Burl Henry

ABSTRACT

New observations conclusively prove that ALL of the anomalous warming that has occurred from 1975-to the present has been due to the removal of dimming Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) aerosols from the troposphere due to EPA-driven Clean Air efforts.

With all of the warming accounted for by the reduction in SO2 emissions, there can never have been any additional warming due to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) or other “greenhouse” gasses.

DISCUSSION:

Much has been written about the role of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse” gasses in causing the anomalous global warming that has occurred between 1975 and the present. However, recent observations conclusively prove that the none of the warming can have been due to “greenhouse” gasses:

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Trump Deficits Will Be Huge

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From Euro Pacific Capital

There is much we don’t know about how the Trump presidency will play out. Will the Wall get built? Who will pay for it? Will it have at least some fencing? Will repeal and replace happen at exactly the same time? Will Trump throw a ceremonial switch? Will there be a Trump National Golf Course in Sochi? It’s anyone’s guess. But of one thing we can be fairly certain. President Trump is very likely to preside over the largest expansion of Federal budget deficits in our history. Trump has built his companies with debt and I’m sure he thinks he can do the same with the country. His annual budget deficits are likely going to be huge. This development will make a greater impact on the investment landscape than most on Wall Street can imagine.

In the past half-century, Republican presidents have been the going away winners at the deficit derby, a fact that should make any true conservative blush. The sad truth is that annual deficits exploded under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and generally contracted under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Some of the explanation is just luck of the draw, some walked into office in the midst of recessions they didn’t create. But the better part of the explanation is baked into the political dynamics.

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New York Aims to Replace Nuclear Power With Clean Energy

[From the ‘Unclear on the Concept Department’ (Nuclear generates ZERO CO2 emissions!) – Bob]

By Jeremy Deaton – Re-Blogged From NexusMedia

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans this week to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which supplies electricity to New York City and surrounding areas. The plant’s two working reactors — which account for roughly 10 percent of the state’s power generation — are slated to go offline in 2020 and 2021, more than a decade ahead of schedule.

Some environmentalists celebrated the closure. Others lamented the loss of a carbon-free source of energy, despite nuclear power’s potential hazards to humans and wildlife.

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Judge EPA Rebuke

By John Raby – Re-Blogged From AP

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A judge has ordered federal regulators to quickly evaluate how many power plant and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling made the ruling after reviewing a response from outgoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

McCarthy had responded to the judge’s previous order in a lawsuit brought against her by Murray Energy Corp. that the EPA must start doing an analysis that it hadn’t done in decades.

Cost Of Carbon

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

I see that Andrew Revkin continues to try to keep the climate pot bubbling. In this case, he’s issued dire warnings about reducing the so-called “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC). He starts by defining the SCC

This value is the government’s best estimate of how much society gains over the long haul by cutting each ton of the heat-trapping carbon-dioxide emissions scientists have linked to global warming. balance-scale

Currently set at $36 per ton of carbon dioxide, the metric is produced using a complex, and contentious, set of models estimating a host of future costs to society related to rising temperatures and seas, then using a longstanding economic tool, a discount rate, to gauge how much it is worth today to limit those harms generations hence. (For context, the United States emitted about 5.1 billion tons of CO2 in 2015, out of a global total of 36 billion.)

Now that makes it all sound very scientific, but let’s be clear about these claimed “harms generations hence”.

The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is a GUESS about the unknown future economic effects that might or might not result from unknown future temperature changes that might or might not result from unknown future CO2 emissions changes that might or might not happen over the next century.

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Hard Brexit Cometh

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the UK will have a “Hard Brexit” and will leave the European Union’s single market while seeking a new arrangement on the customs union.

May warned EU politicians that the UK is prepared to crash out of the EU if it cannot negotiate a reasonable exit deal in a speech where her tough talking rhetoric prompted key figures in Brussels to say that the country was on track for a “Hard Brexit”.

The prime minister told EU counterparts that any attempt to inflict a punitive outcome on the UK would be an “act of calamitous self-harm” for the EU because the UK would retaliate and slash taxes to attract companies from across the world.

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Welcome To The Third World, Part 21: This Pension Thing Is About To Get Real

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

“The problem with police officers and firefighters isn’t a public-sector problem; it isn’t a problem with government; it’s a problem with the entire society. It’s what happened on Wall Street in the run-up to the subprime crisis. It’s a problem of people taking what they can, just because they can, without regard to the larger social consequences. It’s not just a coincidence that the debts of cities and states spun out of control at the same time as the debts of individual Americans. Alone in a dark room with a pile of money, Americans knew exactly what they wanted to do, from the top of the society to the bottom. They’d been conditioned to grab as much as they could, without thinking about the long-term consequences.”

Michael Lewis, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

Though it may not be instantly clear, in the above quote Michael Lewis is talking about public sector pensions and how over the course of several decades, mayors and governors across the US have colluded with police, firefighter and teachers unions to promise outrageously-generous benefits and then failed to put aside enough money to pay for them.

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An Interview With Scientist William Happer

Best known to the general public as a vocal critic of the U.N. IPCC “consensus” on global warming, he has been called frequently to give expert testimony before various U.S. congressional committees on the subject of global warming (climate change). In 2015, he found himself at the center of a new controversy involving a so-called “sting” operation organized by Greenpeace.

A list of some of Professor Happer’s major research publications may be accessed here.

These excerpts have been taken from the interview, and appear here without quotes. (h/t to WUWT reader Sasha)

william-happer-interview-740x416

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The Difference Between Energy, Work and Power – and Why it Matters to Climate Prediction

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

storm-cloud

How often have you heard claims that a warmer [climate] will be more energetic – that we shall all experience more violent storms, more rainfall, more storm damage, because the atmosphere is “absorbing more energy”?

Such claims are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of energy.

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BOEM rejects Atlantic G&G Permits

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

BOEM rejects Atlantic G&G permits amidst industry criticism

01/06/2017
Offshore staff
WASHINGTON, D.C. and HOUSTON – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has denied six pending geophysical and geological permit applications to conduct airgun seismic surveys in the mid- and south planning areas of the Atlantic Ocean.

The bureau said that the decision is based on a number of factors, including a diminished need for additional seismic survey information because the Atlantic program area has been removed from the 2017-2022 outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program.

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Markets – PMs vs Stocks

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Precious Metals have been referred to as the Anti-Stock Market. It’s easy to see, looked at over long periods of time, that when Stock indices are in Bull Markets, Gold & Silver generally move downward. And, when stocks go into Bear Markets, the Metals shine.

Surely, this relationship is not ironclad, but it does hold more often than not. So, looking at Stocks can provide an edge when trying to tell the future direction for Gold & Silver.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #254

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project www.SEPP.org

What Happens Now? Roy Spencer reported that the early calculations for atmospheric global temperature report from the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) show that 2016 was slightly warmer than the prior hot year of 1998 by a statically insignificant 0.02ºC. The earlier part of the year was warmer, but temperatures dropped in the latter part of the year. Spencer produces a table ranking the 38 years by the anomaly from the average: 2016 is now 1, 1998 is 2, 2010 is 3, 2015 is 4 and 2002 is 5. The top 2 years are about 0. 5ºC from the anomaly, and the departure from the anomaly lessens significantly after that. According to Paul Homewood, the UAH calculations were independently confirmed by data from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).

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Presidential Priorities

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Steve Forbes recently urged incoming President Trump to make tax cuts a priority for the first week or so of his administration. While I also would like to reduce the burden of government on the Private, Productive sector of our Economy, I think that Mr Forbes desire shows more sympathy for Keynesianism than for Free Market / Conservative Economics.

For those of you who may have forgotten, Keynesians champion the idea that government actions – such as putting more cash into the hands of consumers – can stimulate the Economy. Forbes is using the same tried and failed arguments as previous pols.

OK, so here’s the money quote: “There is no such thing as a Tax Cut without a Spending Cut!!!!”

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How Did We Get 2016 So Wrong?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Go through the late 2015/early 2016 articles published on this and similar sites and you’ll find a consensus that 2016 was going to be a really bad year. Corporate profits were falling, business inventories had spiked, and deflation was deepening in Japan and Europe. See More Ominous Charts For 2016 for a longer list of indicators that seemed, a year ago, to portend imminent recession if not full-blown financial crisis.

As David Stockman put it in a late-2015 prediction piece,

The Keynesian Recovery Meme Is About To Get Mugged, Part 1

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Energy and Society from now until 2040

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

ExxonMobil released its 2017 Outlook for Energy, A View to 2040 in mid-December. David Middleton has written that the report reveals wind and solar will supply a whopping 4% of global energy by 2040! He also reports that wind and solar capacity will grow, but we will only be able to utilize 30% of the wind capacity and 20% of the solar capacity due to their intermittent nature. This is true, but the report has much more to say and this year the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State makes it even more important. Here we will cover some the other numbers in the report.

The cost of energy is closely correlated to standard of living. In addition, it has often influenced major political decisions, like Germany’s decision to invade Russia or Japan’s decision to bomb Pearl Harbor in World War II. Figure 1 shows the relationship between per capita GDP (one standard measure of standard of living) and annual per capita electricity consumption for 218 countries in the CIA Factbook. Excluding the anomalous countries listed in the upper right of the figure the R2 is acceptable. The least squares line suggests that each 0.2 kWhr/person of electricity consumed annually can raise GDP by one dollar per person. Obviously, other factors are important also, but the trend suggests that per capita GDP is positively influenced by the electricity consumed or that countries with a higher standard of living use more electricity.

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Rules Still Matter

By Andy Sutton & Graham Mehl – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

While economics is a science and should be treated as such, economic forecasting is both a science and an art at the same time. However, anyone can forecast. Just like anyone can forecast the weather. To do so accurately and furthermore to do so frequently is a true talent. We think of it along the lines of the ability to hit a major league fastball; a gift granted to maybe 1 in 500 or a thousand babies each year. Then add to that the ability to hit a major league fastball for an average of .300 over an entire career and we’re talking a few babies in an entire generation.

Economic forecasting is no different. Anyone can take the classes, read the textbooks by all the proper authors, write the research papers, the thesis, and the dissertation, and still muddle around in the dark for the entirety of a career, issuing bum forecast after bum forecast. We would surmise at that point that there might be a problem with the assumptions going into the exercise of forecasting. Think of the scientist who starts conducting chemistry experiments without knowing Boyle’s Law or the Ideal Gas Law, etc. Or maybe has no clue about Avagadro, let alone the number ascribed to him. Your scientist is going to waste a lot of time and produce nothing of value.

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Modern Scientific Controversies Part 5: Common Elements

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

msc_smPrologue:  This is the fifth, and last, in a series of essays discussing ongoing scientific controversies—each one a so-called “science war”.  This essay attempts to illuminate the similarities that exist between the four previous topics and, of course,  the Climate Wars.

Warning:  This is not a short essay.  Dig in when you have time to read a longer piece.

So far in this series, I have written about The Salt WarsThe Great Barrier Reef Wars, The War on Sugar and most recently The Obesity Epidemic [aka The Obesity Wars].  At the end of each of these essays, I have encouraged readers not to get ahead of themselves by drawing parallels to the Climate Wars, promising that I will get to it in the end–this essay is that end.   What follows is my analysis of the core elements of Modern Scientific Controversies.

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Why Inflation Is Unlikely To Return

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Is it possible that wage inflation is re-emerging in the US after a 35-year hiatus? That’s what the experts seem to believe, but there are good reasons to think they will be wrong. Consider the substantial pay increase that minimum-wage workers received in many cities and states where this issue was on the ballot in November. In theory, they will have more money to spend, and this will push the prices of goods and services higher.  In practice, because their employers, particularly those in the fast food business and brick-and-mortar retail, are in a last-ditch fight for survival, it is far more likely that a vast number of low-wage jobs will be eliminated. Even now, we are seeing workers who received raises in 2017 ask their employers to reduce their hours so that they can continue to qualify for food stamps and Obamacaid.

This is the reality of the minimum wage world, and arbitrarily boosting hourly pay to $15/hour will only make things worse for employers and employees.  At best, the economic result will be a push with the broad benefits of higher wages offset by a reduction in entry-level and low-paying jobs. In any event, the day is surely coming when McDonald’s will be able to operate a busy franchise with just two or three employees behind the counter. Amazon is already making similar strides in the grocery-store business. And Uber, having already made taxicab medallions worthless in many cities, could someday displace half the taxi drivers in America with driverless fleets like the one they are testing in Pittsburgh.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #253

By Ken Haapala, Science and Environmental Policy Project (www.SEPP.org)

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:

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Is Climate Alarmism Governance at War with the USA?

[This is an IMPORTANT article – especially Section III. Please take the time to read. Thanks. – Bob]

By Leo Goldstein – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

My essay The Command & Control Center of Climate Alarmism discussed the centralized structure of climate alarmism, and introduced the term Climate Alarmism Governance (CAG) to define its command & control center. The fact that most alarmist groups and their multiple activities are centrally coordinated or even directed raises a natural question about their central motives and goals. The impression that these groups believe in the IPCC theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is contradicted by their widespread opposition to the use of nuclear power and to building new hydro power plants. Hydropower is obviously a renewable energy source.

The same groups oppose natural gas power, which emits 3-4 times less carbon dioxide per kWh compared with coal power. There are many more contradictions in the CAG’s statements and actions. It seems to be aware that its “scientific base” is fake, and purposefully makes illogical and impossible demands to thwart any serious consideration of technological or economic solutions for the alleged problem. Each time such economic or technological actions are seriously contemplated, somebody takes another look at the so-called “climate science” and finds a striking lack of actual science. Then it takes 5-8 years to explain the fraud away, and to raise alarm to new heights.

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Debt Surge Producing Fake Recovery

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

What do the following headlines have in common?

US wages grow at fastest pace since 2009

Euro area economy ended year with strongest growth since 2011

Surge in home prices is beating the one in mortgage rates

Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Fastest Pace in Two Years

German Inflation welcomed back

Obviously they’re all favorable, with the possible exception of German inflation – though even that is “welcome”. Taken together they paint a picture of a global economy that’s finally returning to the kind of solid growth and steady, positive inflation that most people consider both normal and good.

 

Unfortunately, the reason for the improvement is emphatically not good: In 2016 the world borrowed a huge amount of money and spent the proceeds. The result is “growth,” but not sustainable growth.

Consider:

Federal Debt in FY 2016 Jumped $1.4 Trillion, or $12,036 Per Household

(CNSNews.com) – In fiscal 2016, which ended on Friday, the federal debt increased $1,422,827,047,452.46, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.

At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of fiscal 2015, the federal debt was $18,150,617,666,484.33, according to the Treasury. By the close of business on Sept. 30, 2016, the last day of fiscal 2016, it had climbed to $19,573,444,713,936.79.

According to the Census Bureau’s latest estimate, there were 118,215,000 households in the United States as of June. That means that the one-year increase in the federal debt of $1,422,827,047,452.46 in fiscal 2016 equaled about $12,036 per household.

The total federal debt of $19,573,444,713,936.79 now equals about $165,575 per household.

(The News PK) – Global debt sales reached a record this year, led by companies gorging on cheap borrowing costs.

The bond rally that dominated the first half of the year helped entice borrowers that issued debt via banks to take on just over $6.6tn, according to data provider Dealogic, breaking the previous annual record set in 2006.

Companies accounted for more than half of the $6.62tn of debt issued, underlining the extent to which negative interest rate policies adopted by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, as well as a cautious Federal Reserve, encouraged the corporate world to increase its leverage.

Corporate bond sales climbed 8 per cent year on year to $3.6tn, led by blockbuster $10bn-plus deals to finance large mergers and acquisitions.

The remaining debt included sovereign bonds sold through bank syndication, US and international agencies, mortgage-backed securities and covered bonds. The figures exclude sovereign debt sold at regular auction.

“The low cost of financing with record-low interest rates simply made building up leverage tempting,” said Scott Mather, chief investment officer for core fixed income at Pimco.

(Reuters) – Global debt levels rose to more than 325 percent of the world’s gross domestic product last year as government debt rose sharply, a report from the Institute for International Finance showed on Wednesday.

The IIF’s report found that global debt had risen more than $11 trillion in the first nine months of 2016 to more than $217 trillion. The report also found that general government debt accounted for nearly half of the total increase.

Emerging market debt rose substantially, as government bond and syndicated loan issuance in 2016 grew to almost three times its 2015 level. China accounted for the lion’s share of the new debt, providing $710 million of the total $855 billion in new issuance during the year, the IIF reported.

To sum up: Emerging market borrowing in 2016 was triple the year-earlier level. Corporate borrowing was the highest since 2006. And the US somehow managed to add another $trillion of government debt in the late stages of a recovery, when tax revenues are usually strong enough to shrink or eliminate deficits.

Since every penny of that new debt was presumably spent, it should come as no surprise that the latest batch of headline growth numbers have been impressive. Which is the basic problem with debt-driven growth: The good stuff happens right away while the bad stuff evolves over time – in the form of higher interest costs that depress future growth – making it hard to figure out what caused what.

That’s bad for regular people who have to live through the resulting slow-down or crisis. But it’s fine for the people who made the borrowing decisions because they get credit for the growth pop but won’t be around – having retired with huge pensions and high prestige – before the secondary effects really kick in.

This time, however, the cause-and-effect dynamic is being accelerated by a spiking dollar and rising interest rates, both of which raise the cost of debts that are denominated in dollars and/or have to be refinanced in the year ahead. So the mother of all financial crises that has been inevitable for a couple of decades has, thanks to all this new debt, taken a giant step towards “imminent.”

CONTINUE READING –>

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Cold is Deadlier than Heat

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The New York Times has taken the unusual step of publishing something factual about the relative risks of cold and hot weather.

Beware: Winter Is Coming

By JANE E. BRODY DEC. 19, 2016

Most of the Northern Hemisphere is now in the throes of the deadliest time of the year. Cold kills, and I don’t mean just extreme cold and crippling blizzards. I mean ordinary winter cold, like that typically experienced, chronically or episodically, by people in every state but Hawaii from late fall through early spring.

While casualties resulting from heat waves receive wide publicity, deaths from bouts of extreme cold rarely do, and those resulting from ordinary winter weather warrant virtually no attention. Yet an international study covering 384 locations in 13 countries, including the United States, found that cold weather is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 17 times as many deaths as hot weather.

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EPA to Fine Alaskans Who Burn Wood to Stay Warm

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

As Alaskan winter temperatures drop below -30F, the EPA is considering fining and prosecuting entire towns for breaching clean air laws, because of smoke from residential fireplaces.

Alaskans’ Cost of Staying Warm: A Thick Coat of Dirty Air

“That guy has got an old stove, right there,” Dr. Jeanne Olson, a veterinarian and air quality volunteer, said on a recent afternoon, pointing from the cab of her four-wheel-drive Toyota toward a spiraling column of thick gray smoke from a homeowner’s chimney. The thermometer inside Dr. Olson’s cab said it was 30 below zero outside, which meant that lots of people in the vicinity were probably putting another log on the fire, or thinking about it, even as she spoke

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12 Financial Experts for 2017

By Daisy Luther – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

What lies ahead for the economy this year? Will the economy finally collapse as predicted by many or will the early positive signs in stock markets around the world continue and the global economy will flourish?

I’ve taken a lot of heat for being “gloomy” and for “fear-mongering” lately when I’ve said that President-Elect Trump is inheriting a mess of epic proportions and that we may still be in for a rough financial ride. While I do think that Trump is a far better choice than Hillary Clinton ever could have been, when a situation has been declining as long as ours has, it would take an absolute miracle to turn it around without some pain.

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Dangerous Manmade Global Voguing

By Michael David White – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

… Climategate in 2009 proved the scientists were “quite capable of deliberately selecting data in order to overstate the case for dangerous climate change.” [51] The leading scientists spoke openly about gatekeeping research journals “to deny publication of any material that goes against the orthodox dogma.” These are the actions of a person or group that is committing fraud.

To make your point or hide the truth you may change the representation of data…. In the Climategate emails we saw desperation to escape from data. The scientists saw the failure of climate models falsified their theory of dangerous manmade global warming.

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Child Labor

[Here’s an outside the box view from India. -Bob]

By Anoop Verma – Re-Blogged From http://www.thesavvystreet.com

According to some reports, there are more than 400,000 street children in India. An analysis of the crime records from 2011 reveals that, in India, 1,408 street children were killed and 1,408 others were raped in 2010. In that year, in the capital city alone 29 children were murdered and 304 were raped.

But these figures represent only a small fraction of the crimes committed against street children. Vast majority of the crimes against street children never get reported.

The world over, as per the estimates of the United Nations, there are up to 150 million street children. Almost every city in the world, even the biggest and most developed ones, have street children. These children are vulnerable to all forms of exploitation and abuse.

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