ClimateGate Continues – the Mann Hockeystick University of Arizona Emails Now Are Public

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

After years of trying to suppress their release, and finally being ordered to be released by a judge, they are now public, and we have them here. This will remain as a “top post” for a day, new stories will be below this one.

There’s quite a treasure trove, but also some duplications from previous releases.

First a look at the release letter from University of Arizona:

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Children’s Climate Court Case Pushing an Injunction Against Fossil Fuel Extraction

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Ninth Circuit is currently hearing an attempt by the Juliana v. United States plaintiffs to halt all fossil fuel extraction in the United States.

The kids suing the government over climate change want to halt fossil fuel extraction

The plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States say they’ve been denied their right to a safe and stable climate.

If the injunction is granted, it would lead to a nationwide moratorium on new fossil fuel permitting and leasing on federal lands and waters until the lawsuit is resolved. No small matter. However, existing mining and drilling projects would still proceed.

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Marine Le Pen Ordered To Take Psychiatric Tests For Opposing Jihad Terror

By Robert Spncer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

You thought it would stop with the defaming and deplatforming of foes of jihad terror? No. Soviet-style judgments of insanity are next. And what will come after that? The answer is clear enough.

The Local reported Thursday that French “far right” (i.e., opposed to mass Muslim migration and French cultural and political suicide) leader Marine Le Pen has been ordered by a French court to undergo a psychiatric examination in order to discover whether or not she “is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions.”

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Children’s Climate Case

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Don’t mention the “N” word – top economist Joseph Stiglitz has urged the US government to impose economically painful taxes to penalise fossil fuels, to facilitate a switch to renewables and energy efficiency technologies which have not yet been developed.

Nobel-Winning Economist to Testify in Children’s Climate Lawsuit

Joseph Stiglitz writes in a court brief that fossil fuel-based economies impose ‘incalculable’ costs on society and shifting to clean energy will pay off.

BY GEORGINA GUSTIN
JUL 11, 2018

One of the world’s top economists has written an expert court report that forcefully supports a group of children and young adults who have sued the federal government for failing to act on climate change.

Joseph Stiglitz, who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for economics in 2001 and has written extensively about environmental economics and climate change, makes an economic case that the costs of maintaining a fossil fuel-based economy are “incalculable,” while transitioning to a lower-carbon system will cost far less.

The government, he writes, should move “with all deliberate speed” toward alternative energy sources.

Stiglitz has submitted briefs for Supreme Court cases—and normally charges $2,000 an hour for legal advice, the report says—but he wrote this 50-page report pro bono at the request of the attorneys representing the children. It was filed in federal district court in Oregon on June 28.

Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11072018/joseph-stiglitz-kids-climate-change-lawsuit-global-warming-costs-economic-impact

Although the report repeatedly mentions and references former NASA GISS director James Hansen, who is a fan of nuclear power, Stiglitz himself does not directly mention the nuclear option, instead urging carbon taxes and “support” for the development of renewable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Moving the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels is both feasible and beneficial, especially over the next 30 years (as technological and scientific evidence discussed below makes clear). Defendants could facilitate this transition with standard economic tools for dealing with externalities, for example a tax or levy on carbon (a price on the externality) and the elimination of subsidies on fossil-fuel production. Relatedly, decisions concerning the transition off of fossil fuels can be reached more systematically and efficiently by revising current government discounting practices, the methodology by which future costs are compared to present costs. Current and historical government decision making practices based on incorrect discount rates lead to inefficient and inequitable outcomes that impose undue burdens on Youth Plaintiffs and future generations.

There are many reasons to be optimistic that emissions could be curtailed further than previously thought. These benefits are a result of continued technological development in the renewables sector. Because of technological improvements, the costs of renewables and storage are decreasing. The price of solar panels has dropped by more than half in recent years (80 percent reduction from 2008 to 2016). In 2016 alone, the average dollar capital expenditure per megawatt for solar photovoltaics and wind dropped by over 10 percent. As these technologies continue to improve and the efficiency increases, while manufacturing costs drop, these technologies will more easily substitute for existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

With the oil crises of the 1970s, recognition of the risks of dependence on oil was developed (though these risks were markedly different from those with which we are concerned today). Even then, it was clear that there were viable alternatives, and with the appropriate allocation of further resources to R&D, it is likely that these alternatives would have been even more competitive.

Read more: https://biotech.law.lsu.edu/blog/document_cw_01-2.pdf

In my opinion there is a lot wrong with Stiglitz’s effort – surprising given his reputation.

Stiglitz seems to be committing the economic sin of treating future projections of technological advances and climate impacts as if they were high confidence.

Extrapolating renewable costs into the future is risky. Renewables may never achieve anything resembling cost parity with existing technology, or even large scale viability. In 2014, Google researchers discovered to their horror there was no viable path to a 100% renewable future using anything remotely resembling current technology. Betting the future economic wellbeing of the nation on solving serious problems which may not be solvable is a wild gamble.

Stiglitz claims substantial fossil fuel “subsidies” are arising due to inadequate treatment of externalities. Externalities are costs which don’t show up on your balance sheet. For example if your business keeps costs down by dumping trash on your neighbour’s property, you aren’t paying the true cost of dealing with with the trash – the cost of dealing with the trash is an externality, because it doesn’t show up on your balance sheet, at least until your neighbour figures out who has been dumping trash on their property.

But the claimed externality costs of CO2 only apply if CO2 emissions cause future harm. We’re not talking about trash which causes an immediate smelly mess, we’re talking about an invisible trace gas which may or may not cause a future problem.

As climate scientists themselves occasionally admit, the climate models which predict future harm are not scientifically falsifiable – they cannot be adequately tested except by waiting to see if they do a good job of predicting the future. Older models are not doing a good job of predicting future climate – as the controversy over the failings of James Hansen’s models demonstrates, relying on expert opinion in place of scientific falsifiability simply isn’t good enough.

Stiglitz solutions, even if they were viable, would be economically painful. Carbon taxes hurt poor people worst of all – a fact Stiglitz admits, though he qualifies his admission with claims that short term harm is worth the future benefit.

Nevertheless short term harm is no laughing matter, particularly when the harm is visited on society’s most vulnerable. You would want to be absolutely certain of the desperate need to impose increased hardship on people who are already struggling, you would want to thoroughly explore possible alternatives to hurting poor people, before concluding hurting the poor was the only available option.

Which is why Stiglitz’s omission of direct mentions of nuclear power is puzzling.

France converted 75% of their electricity to nuclear power in the 1970s. They kept costs down by standardising and mass producing nuclear plant components, and reprocessing nuclear fuel. French electricity is affordable, dispatchable and produces very low CO2 emissions. The cost of low emission French power doesn’t hurt poor people.

According to the EIA, US power plants emitted 1744 million tons of CO2 in 2017. Nuclear power currently produces just under 20% of US electricity. Copying the 1970s French nuclear programme, raising nuclear power to 75% of US electricity production, would reduce power plant CO2 emissions to 1744 / 80% x (100% – 75%) = 545 million tons per annum, saving over a billion tons per annum of CO2 emissions.

For shame Joseph Stiglitz. If CO2 is the serious issue Stiglitz claims, ignoring the possibility of avoiding harm to poor people by converting US electricity production to affordable nuclear power seems a very curious oversight.

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California Ruling on Employment Hits at Gig Economy

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

In a big win for labor advocates, the California Supreme Court on Monday limited businesses from classifying workers as independent contractors who can’t receive key employment protections.

Experts expect the ruling to expand the number of workers eligible for minimum wage, rest breaks and other benefits under a state wage standard.

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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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False Charges Used to Punish Former Pastor for Political Speech

By Joe Scudder – Re-Blogged From http://politicaloutcast.com

A man is charged with jury tampering even though there was no jury involved in his action and there was no court case taking place. The man had no opinion about a trial that he could share with a jury member. Yet Keith Wood spent twelve hours in jail until he paid $15,000 to be released (10% of the $150,000 bond). He is facing a possible five-year prison sentence.

Michigan Live reports,

A 39-year-old former pastor was arrested and jailed in Mecosta County after he handed out fliers informing people about jury nullification in front of the county courthouse.

Keith Wood said he was handing out pamphlets from the Fully Informed Jury Association on Nov. 24 while standing on the sidewalks along Elm Street.

Wood said he was inspired by what he read online about the proposition that jurors can follow their conscience if they think a law or prosecution is patently wrong and refuse to find a defendant guilty regardless of instructions from a judge – a concept referred to as jury nullification.

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