Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #393

The Week That Was: January 4, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way. – Richard Feynman (1966)

Number of the Week: 14°F – 28°F (8°C – 16°C) Change

Science Is Dynamic, Not Static: As articulated by Richard Feynman, the scientific method is an on-going process of trial and error correction. It is not imposed by any organization or political power. It is a process of evaluating various concepts, ideas, guesses. If the guesses agree with physical evidence, obtained by experiments and / or observations, then they are tentatively accepted. If the guesses do not agree with the physical evidence, then they are changed or discarded. Failure to do so leads to poor science.

Elaborate models always include many assumptions, and computational models produce sets of numerical calculations. For elaborate models, it can be impossible for third parties to evaluate the internal logic, including the validity of the assumptions. Thus, the ability to describe and predict is usually the key for evaluating complex models, such as climate models. For several decades, the US climate models have not been able to correctly describe the atmospheric temperature trends. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume these models can predict changes in trends far into the future. In the formation of government policies, they should be dismissed as having no importance.

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3 Crashes, 3 Deaths Raise Questions About Tesla’s Autopilot

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

Three crashes involving Teslas that killed three people have increased scrutiny of the company’s Autopilot driving system just months before CEO Elon Musk has planned to put fully self-driving cars on the streets.

On Sunday, a Tesla Model S sedan left a freeway in Gardena, California, at a high speed, ran a red light and struck a Honda Civic, killing two people inside, police said.

On the same day, a Tesla Model 3 hit a parked firetruck on an Indiana freeway, killing a passenger in the Tesla.

And on Dec. 7, yet another Model 3 struck a police cruiser on a Connecticut highway, though no one was hurt.

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Congress Says Nay to Expanding EV Tax Credits

By – Re-Blogged From The Truth About Cars

year-end tax package. Automakers were hoping that would include an extension of electric vehicle tax credits, but it was a doomed proposition.

An extension was initially included in the bipartisan Driving America Forward Act, which manifested this spring, before being incorporated into the Democrat-friendly GREEN Act (Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now). That got it through the House but not the Republican-controlled Senate, which wasn’t interested.

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Law Could Upend California’s Gig Economy

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

California law that makes it harder for companies to treat workers as independent contractors takes effect next week, forcing small businesses in and outside the state to rethink their staffing.

The law puts tough restrictions on who can be independent contractors or freelancers rather than employees.

Supporters say it addresses inequities created by the growth of the gig economy, including the employment practices of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft that use contractors.

But the union-backed legislation went far beyond demanding that drivers be treated like employees. In theory, it could extend to everything from hospice and home healthcare workers to babysitters to newspaper employees and even (depending on the laws) workers in the sex trade..

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Central Planning Vs. Economics

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We have spilled barrels of electronic ink, making the point that central banks are wreaking havoc. They hurt the poor, the middle class, and the rich. They hurt the wage earners, the business owners, the investors (aka the “rentiers”), and the pensioners. They have variously inflicted rising interest rates, too-high rates, falling rates, and too-low rates. They have imposed perverse incentives to destroy capital and consume wealth.

Those discussions focused on the specific injuries, their causes and effects. An analogy is studying the damage done to the body if it is cut by a sharp blade, bludgeoned by a blunt instrument, burned by a hot flame, or poisoned by a toxic chemical. One can study these things in excruciating detail, without considering one thing.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #392

The Week That Was: December 28, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

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

Quote of the Week: When asked, what he would tell a generation living 1,000 years from now, Bertrand Russell (1959) replied:

“I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral:

“The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this: When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed, but look only and solely at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.” – Bertrand Russell (1959)

Number of the Week: Three-Fold Increase in Fish

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British Police Admit Electric Vehicles are Useless for Police Work

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

h/t Breitbart; Police forces in Britain are facing questions over the waste of millions of pounds purchasing electric vehicles which are not up to the job of chasing criminals or responding to emergency situations.

Police ‘waste’ £1.5MILLION on electric cars that they admit are useless for chasing criminals because they ‘can’t go fast enough or far enough without a battery change’

  • Reports found cars do not meet demands of urgent response or pursuit driving
  • Forces have bought at least 448 environmentally-friendly vehicles to help them 
  • However almost all cars and vans are being used in non-emergency situations
UK Police Lego. Rob Young from United Kingdom [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons (image modified)

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