Climate Litigation: Big Oil Must Fight on the Science or Die

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged From WUWT

  • This will be a long posting. You have been warned.

The news that the Ninth Circus in California has decided that global warming is a State rather than a federal matter highlights a costly and now potentially ruinous strategic failure on the part of big oil.

Two loony-Left cities brought a case in the District Court for Northern California alleging that the oil corporations were causing a nuisance by engaging in their trade – a lawful and necessary trade at State as well as Federal law – of extracting, processing, distributing and selling petroleum products.

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The Scientific Case for Vacating the EPA’s Carbon Dioxide Endangerment Finding

From The Competitive Enterprise Institute

Patrick J. Michaels – Re-Blogged From WUWT

View Full Document as PDF

Executive Summary

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2009 “Endangerment Finding” from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases grants the agency a legal mandate that can have profound and far-reaching effects. The Finding is based largely on a Technical Support Document that relies heavily upon other mandated reports, the so-called National Assessments of global climate change impacts on the United States.

The extant Assessments at the time of the Endangerment Finding suffered from serious flaws. We document that using the climate models for the first Assessment, from 2000, provided less quantitative guidance than tables of random numbers—and that the chief scientist for that work knew of this problem.

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Ending Obama EPA Climate Deception

Let’s finally review Endangerment Finding used to justify trillions in climate and energy costs

By Paul Driessen Re-Blogged From WUWT

In December 2009, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency issued its Endangerment Finding (EF) – decreeing that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) endanger the health and welfare of Americans. In the process, EPA ignored the incredible economic, health and welfare benefits of fossil fuels – and the fact that (even at just 0.04% of the atmosphere) carbon dioxide is the miracle molecule that enables plants to grow and makes nearly all live on Earth possible.

EPA turned CO2 into a “dangerous pollutant” and ruled that fossil fuels must be eradicated. The agency subsequently used its EF to justify tens of billions of dollars in climate research, anti-fossil fuel regulations, and wind and solar subsidies; President Obama’s signing of the Paris climate treaty; and proposals to spend trillions of dollars a year on Green New Deal (GND) programs.

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Prodding Trump’s EPA to Reexamine Endangerment

By William L. Kovacs – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Campaign rhetoric strongly suggested that the Trump Administration would redress the Obama Administration’s insane attempts to regulate every aspect of society in a futile attempt to control nature and climate. President Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord, initiated repeal of the Clean Power Plan, sought a reasonable replacement for the plan, and turned off the regulatory fire hose. Great start!

But two years in, it is clear that the administration has stalled on dealing with the most significant part of Obama regulatory overreach: the 2009 Endangerment Finding – the Environmental Protection Agency’s declaration that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the health and welfare of current and future generations.

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Ending the ‘Secret Science’ at EPA is Long Overdue

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Administrator Pruitt initiates overdue changes to bring transparency, integrity to rule-making

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to end the longstanding EPA practice of using secretive, often questionable, even deceptive science to support agency policy and regulatory initiatives. His proposed rules will ensure that any science underlying agency actions is transparent and publicly available for independent experts to examine and validate – or point out its flaws.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #309


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

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

California Litigation, General: The public nuisance lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland against oil companies continue to attract attention by those interested in carbon dioxide (CO2)-caused global warming. Global warming is now generalized into climate change, as promoted by John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor. The change implies warming and cooling, although no one has advanced a credible hypothesis how carbon dioxide causes global cooling, other than by its absence.

Previous TWTWs discussed the filings by the two San Francisco Bay cities in the case, which is now before the US District Court for the Northern California District. The judge has ordered the parties to give a tutorial answering eight specific questions. In addition, various parties have filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs. Of particular interest for TWTW are two briefs: one filed on behalf of three distinguished physicists, Professors William Happer, Steven Koonin and Richard Lindzen; the second filed on behalf of Christopher Monckton, et al. This week, TWTW will discuss the brief by the three professors. It will discuss a minor, but valuable, criticism of the Monckton brief by Roy Spencer, and will discuss that brief more fully next week.

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Extinctions and Shutting Down the Gulf Stream

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

This is part four of our series on climate change costs and hazards. The first three parts were on humans and the environment, population and the food supply, and the cost of global warming. In this part we examine the assertion that man-made climate change, the growth of the human population, and other human activities are causing an increase in species extinctions. We also examine the polar bear controversy.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #296

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

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week.“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain [H/t WUWT]

Number of the Week: $56.60

Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions.

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Highlights of the 2017 Heartland Energy Conference

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

On November 9, 2017 Heartland held their “America First Energy Conference” in Houston, Texas. It was held in the JW Marriott Hotel next to the Houston Galleria. The venue and food were both very good. As a former employee (and sometime consultant) in the energy industry, I was very interested in what they had to say. In this post I will discuss what I considered the most important “take-aways” from the conference. There were two rooms and two simultaneous speakers at the conference most of the time, so this post only covers the talks I listened to.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #289

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.” – Albert Einstein

Number of the Week: $0.00? Zero?

Funding Climate Science: Internal to the globe, the earth’s climate is partially determined by the movement of two dynamic fluids: 1) the atmosphere; and 2) the oceans. Fluid dynamics is not thoroughly understood; thus, the actions of these fluids cannot be clearly defined.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #288

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

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week. “The modern world, after all, is not the product of a successful search for consensus. It’s what’s emerged from centuries of critical enquiry and hard clash.” – Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia

Number of the Week: 2.2 million workers needed to replace 52,000?

Letter To Scott Pruitt: On October 17, SEPP President Kenneth Haapala sent EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt a letter requesting action on two science-based petitions for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases, one filed by the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) and one filed jointly by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Science and Environmental Policy Project. The letter stated a willingness to assist in a new Endangerment Finding assessment that is carried out in a fashion that is legally consistent with the relevant statute and case law. The letter contained the names of over 60 supporters of the petitions with expertise in climate science and related science fields or energy, public health, and welfare.

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The Foibles of Climate Research

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Government Created Misuse of Climate Research; Even a Little More Government is Not the Solution.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to set up a Red and Blue team approach to climate research. It appears to be a commendable goal given the effective exclusion of one of the teams to date. The problem is it perpetuates another artificial division created by government involvement in climate science in the first place. David Middleton’s article comments on Pat Michaels’ proposed, “A Climate Roadmap for Pres. Trump” and identifies the legal problems of rescinding the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling on CO2 as a “harmful substance.” The EPA provided the ‘scientific’ definition used by SCOTUS, so the simple solution is for EPA to change it. Both stories miss the real issues. First, governments should not be involved in scientific research at all because, if nothing else, the freedom of the scientist bureaucrat is inherently compromised. Second, it doesn’t matter what process of analysis you establish, there is insufficient data to prove anything.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #276

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Week That Was: July 8, 2017 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org,

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Quote of the Week. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters: “– Albert Einstein

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Number of the Week: 39%

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New Atmospheric Data? Roy Spencer responds to the recent paper by Mears and Wentz, who are principals in Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), competitors with the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). As speculated in last week’s TWTW, this may be part of an effort to discredit John Christy’s effective testimony on Capitol Hill that global climate models greatly overestimate the warming trend of the atmosphere. Spencer states:

“Before I go into the details, let’s keep all of this in perspective. Our globally-averaged trend is now about +0.12 C/decade, while the new RSS trend has increased to about +0.17 C/decade.

“Note these trends are still well below the average climate model trend for LT [Lower Troposphere], which is +0.27 C/decade.” [Boldface was italic in the original.]

What we see is that extending warming trends for a century, the models calculate a century-long trend of 1 degree C above the RSS calculations and 1.5 degrees C above the UAH calculations. The so-called “corrections” of 0.5 degrees C to the RSS data are not that significant when compared with the overestimates of the average of the global climate models.

Among other points, Spencer discusses the different techniques used by the two groups to adjust for the error in the diurnal cycle (daily pattern) in the climate models. UAH uses empirically derived adjustments, RSS uses model derived adjustments. As Spencer states:

“In general, it is difficult for us to follow the chain of diurnal corrections in the new RSS paper. Using a climate model to make the diurnal drift adjustments, but then adjusting those adjustments with empirical satellite data feels somewhat convoluted to us.”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Surface Data: For some years, independent meteorologists such as Joseph D’Aleo have noticed a disturbing trend in historic data reported by certain government entities, such as NOAA, Ashville (previously called the National Climatic Data Center, now called the National Centers for Environmental Information). These historic data are used by NOAA, NASA and the Hadley CRU. Hadley CRU is a dataset developed at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England and the Hadley Centre (the UK Met Office). In general, multiple adjustments were made to the historic data that reduced past warm periods. The net effect was to give a greater present day warming trend, than in the past.

For example, in the US, many long-term records were set in the 1930s, but the current, adjusted data does not show that decade as particularly hot, when compared to today. And, the US was the world-wide gold standard for temperature measurements.

A new study by Wallace, D’Aleo, and Idso systematically analyzes the Global Average Surface Temperatures reported by NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU. The results are striking. For example, Figure IV-1 shows five different plots of 5-year temperature trends by NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies on Broadway) produced from 1980 to 2015. The period around 1940 became progressively cooler in these plots. Similar adjustments have been made to the other datasets as well as to datasets for specific locations.

The study recognizes that adjustments to surface data may need to be changed, but the overall trend reflected in the changes appears to create a bias in the data. Further, strong cyclical patterns that once appeared are muted. A comprehensive review of the adjustments is in order.

Side note: Some of those who established the standards for US weather stations, which became the world-wide gold standard, were members of the oldest science society of Washington. As a past president of that society, this author finds the tarnishing of that standard particularly disturbing. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Red Team / Blue Team: In several instances in congressional testimony, John Christy has called for a Red Team/Blue Team approach for addressing the US issues regarding climate science. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) are well funded by government. They attribute climate change to primarily human activities, particularly carbon dioxide emissions.

As Christy points out, what is lacking is a well-funded Red Team:

“…[to] look at issues such as natural variability, the failure of climate models and the huge benefits to society from affordable energy, carbon-based and otherwise. I would expect such a team would offer to congress some very different conclusions regarding the human impacts on climate.”

One can liken this approach to the adversarial arguments in a criminal court of law. (CO2 is a criminal?) The reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change were intended to have a Red Team approach. However, the publisher, The Heartland Institute and other groups, do not have the deep, multi-billion-dollar pockets enjoyed by the IPCC, USGCRP, etc.

This idea appears to be gaining attention. In Climate Etc. Judith Curry discusses the idea more fully. We have had decades of spurious claims about the dangers of carbon dioxide, which is essential for life as we generally understand it. Such an approach may help dispel decades of myths such as a 97% consensus, CO2 can be seen from smoke-stacks, etc. It would be important to establish solid rules of evidence, such as unvalidated models are not hard evidence, and to avoid dogmatic participants. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Seeking a Common Ground.

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Executive Actions: The Constitution is a practical guide for government, limiting the powers of its branches. From this comes the popular term “checks and balances.” Increasingly, some of the executive actions of the prior administration are being discarded. Since these actions are not law, there is no reason for the current administration to keep them, should it so choose to change them. Increasingly, the Trump administration is reversing executive actions under the Obama administration.

The same can be said for the Paris Accord (Agreement) which the Obama administration sold to the public as an executive action and did not send to the Senate for two-thirds approval, as required by the Constitution for a treaty. The cries of those who expected great sums of money through the Paris agreement, such as Christiana Figueres, formerly Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are not significant. They knowingly played a game, and lost. As discussed in last week’s TWTW, Ms. Figueres formed an organization expecting up to One Trillion Dollars a year. See Article # 1 and links under After Paris!

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Economic Return on Energy Investment: Writing for the Global Warming Policy Forum, Economics Professor Michael Kelly brings up an important concept that many writers on energy issues fail to consider: Economic Return on Energy Investment.

In the US, following the Civil War, fossil fuels such as coal quickly replaced biomass (wood) and muscle power (animal and human). The economy boomed. People found the care and feeding of a steam engine is much easier than the care and feeding of horses. City streets became much cleaner, and boots were no longer needed. What was important was not the number of people employed in a particular energy sector, but the employment the energy sector created in other economic sectors.

Kelly’s Economic Return on Energy Investment is a measure of the productivity of various energy types. He finds that 9% of the global GDP is tied up in energy, yielding a return of about 11:1. For coal and gas power plants, the return is about 50:1. For nuclear power plants it is about 70:1. The low values of traditional biomass, and other external issues bring the global value down to 11:1.

Applying this analysis to solar photovoltaics, he finds a return of less than 4:1; for wind power, a return of less than 8:1. In brief, there is not much opportunity for solar and wind to lift the third world to modern European standards. See links under Questioning European Green.

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Offshore Wind: Often, wind promoters claim offshore wind is reliable, even though it is becoming obvious that onshore wind is not. Writing in Energy Matters, Roger Andrews examines the validity of this claim for the world’s wind nation, Denmark, and finds it wanting – without considering added costs of salt water corrosion.

“Previous Energy Matters posts that highlight the difficulties of integrating intermittent wind power with the grid have been based dominantly on onshore wind data, but claims that offshore wind is significantly less erratic and will therefore be much easier to integrate with the grid have not been checked. This post reviews the question of whether it will. It finds that offshore wind is indeed less erratic than onshore wind but still nowhere near consistent enough to do away with the need for storage or conventional backup generation.”

Finding solid data is always a major problem for such studies, but he succeeds in finding a database for Denmark that separates onshore and offshore production. The analysis covers three years, 2014 to 2016. A small country, Denmark is ringed with offshore wind farms on three sides.

Rogers finds that offshore wind has a capacity factor of 43% as compared with onshore wind of 25%; but, also, that when wind dies onshore it does so offshore as well. Back-up is needed for both. Given that offshore wind costs about twice that of onshore, it is not much of a bargain. See links under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.

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Number of the Week: 39%: The island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands was to be a show-case of 100% wind power for electricity. Excess electricity would be used for pumped hydro storage, to be used when the wind failed to meet demand. After two full years of operation, the system provided 39.1% of the electricity needed. The balance came from diesel generators. The reservoirs are inadequate for the hydro component. But the circus continues with plans for wind supplying a higher percentage of total energy needs. Have those in the Pentagon who bragged about weather-dependent wind power helping the nation’s energy security heard of this island? See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.

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ARTICLES:

1. Pruitt’s Clean Water Break

Obama’s legacy of rule by decree is rapidly being undone.

Editorial, WSJ, July 2, 2017

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pruitts-clean-water-break-1499030184

The editorial states:

“President Trump is having a hard time getting legislation through Congress, but his Administration is moving fast to roll back Barack Obama’s pen- and-a-phone lawmaking. The latest example, which barely registered in the press, is the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision last week to rescind the unilateral rewrite of the Clean Water Act.

“The Obama EPA in 2015 redefined “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act to include any land with a “significant nexus” to a navigable waterway. Several arbitrary thresholds were used to determine significance, such as land within a 100-year floodplain and 1,500 feet of the high-water mark of waters under government jurisdiction. The rule extended the government’s writ to prairie potholes, vernal pools and backyard creeks.

“Thirty-one states sued the feds for violating the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined the rule nationwide. Now Administrator Scott Pruitt is putting the rule on ice while the EPA works up a replacement. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy muddied the waters with his controlling opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. U.S. case that conceived the new “significant nexus” standard, which the Obama EPA used as a pretext to pursue its water land grab.

Side comment: Piles of wet leaves have been arbitrarily been considered proof of “waters of the United States”, leaving the landowner with no recourse but seeking relief by expensive litigation.

“Mr. Pruitt said the EPA will propose a new rule ‘in accordance with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance, and longstanding practice’ that would ‘return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty.’ Consider it another lesson in the limits of pen-and-phone rule by decree.”

CONTINUE READING –>

Study Finds Temperature Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Climate Data

By Michael Bastasch – Re-Blogged From The Daily Caller

A new study found adjustments made to global surface temperature readings by scientists in recent years “are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

“Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published [global average surface temperature (GAST)] data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming,” according to a study published June 27 by two scientists and a veteran statistician.

The peer-reviewed study tried to validate surface temperature datasets managed by NASA, NOAA and the UK’s Met Office, all of which make adjustments to raw thermometer readings. Skeptics of man-made global warming have criticized the adjustments.

Climate scientists often apply adjustments to surface temperature thermometers to account for “biases” in the data. The new study doesn’t question the adjustments themselves but notes adjustments has increased the warming trend in published temperature records over the years.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #274

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Upheaval in Washington: One can describe the election of Donald Trump and the beginning of his administration as an upheaval against establishment Washington, including both political parties. Certainly, those expressing dissatisfaction at the early steps taken by the Trump administration are from multiple political alliances. Some political groups are outraged by the administration’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement (Accord), other groups are concerned that the Administration is moving too slowly. Each set has arguments that are, at least, partially right.

Some of those objecting to the US leaving the Paris agreement may have counted on lavish US spending on their pet schemes. As mentioned in June 10 TWTW, the Paris agreement involved side agreements that could be costly to the US taxpayer. For example, according to its defenders the Mission Innovation pact of 2015, involved a US commitment of over $6 billion in 2017 and increasing to over $12 billion in 2021. The purpose was to double expenditures on clean energy research and development, apparently without approval by Congress.

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EPA’s Suspect Science

By John Rafuse – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Its practices have defiled scientific integrity, but proposed corrections bring shock and defiance.

President Trump’s budget guidance sought to cut $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency’s $8.1 billion expectation. Shrieks of looming Armageddon prompted Congress to fund EPA in full until September 2017, when the battle will be joined again.

Then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would prioritize Superfund cleanups based on toxicity, health-impact and other factors. The ensuing caterwauling suggested that EPA had no priorities since Bill Ruckelshaus (EPA’s first administrator, 1970-1975). But consider some standard EPA practices:

1. EPA advocates claim the US is unhealthy and dirty. They won’t admit that US water quality has improved dramatically since 1970. They deny that factories, cars and power plants are far more efficient and clean. They ignore that, while most nations continue to cut down forest habitats for fuel, the Lower 48 states have more forest coverage than when the Pilgrims landed in 1620.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #268

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Recap of John Christy’s Testimony: Described in the April 1 TWTW, the March 29 written testimony of John Christy provides further physical evidence refuting the hypothesis encompassed in the 1979 Chaney Report that the modest warming, demonstrated by laboratory experiments, from a doubling of CO2 will be greatly amplified by processes in the atmosphere, namely by an increase in the flow of latent energy from the surface to the atmosphere.

The theory of latent heat is well tested. It is the absorption or release of energy through phase change of a substance. For example, liquid water at the surface is converted to a gas, water vapor, it absorbs heat, without necessarily increasing temperature. The heat absorbed changes the bonding energy among the molecules, resulting in the change of phase from liquid to gas. In the Charney hypothesis, the gas rises into the atmosphere until it condenses back to liquid water, releasing the energy as heat. The process will significantly amplify the warming caused by CO2. In the global climate models, based on the Charney hypothesis, the release of latent energy is centered over the tropics at about 10 km (33,000 feet), 250 to 200 mb of pressure. This is the so-called “hot-spot.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #267

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

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Joint Petition to Reconsider: Although not discussed in prior TWTWs, SEPP joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in filing a joint petition to the EPA to reconsider its 2009 finding that greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. The petition was filed on February 17, 2017, and slightly revised on February 23.

Such actions fall under the “right to petition” stated in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. The petition has added weight because both CEI and SEPP originally objected to the endangerment finding. The filing has been in the news, but TWTW has mentioned it only in passing. The legal issues were handled by CEI. The chance of success is not high, but the action is important.

By necessity the petition is short, and concise. It focuses on the strongest empirical science available in January, but not available in 2009, that contradicts the assertion that CO2 endangers public health and welfare. The testimony of John Christy on February 2, 2016, was chosen. [Christy’s written testimony to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on March 29, 2017, was even stronger evidence, but did not yet exist.]

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #264

By Ken Haapala, President www.SEPP.org

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Science or Dogma: In the 30 years between the 1979 Charney report to the National Academy of Sciences on an investigation of the possible effects of increased carbon dioxide on the earth’s temperatures to the 2009 EPA’s finding that carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, endanger human health and welfare; government-funded Climate Studies have largely turned from empirical science to dogma – a belief system unsubstantiated by physical evidence.

The Charney report included some of the nation’s best meteorologists and climate researchers and the report recognized that laboratory tests demonstrated that the direct influence on global temperatures from doubling carbon dioxide would be minor – possibly unmeasurable.

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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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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.

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #252

The Week That Was – Dec 16, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President Science and Environmental Policy Project

Data Manipulation: As twice-elected president of a science society formed in 1871, with early members important to the beginning of climate measurements covering the US, this author has been very concerned with the manipulation of historic data that seems to have taken place over the past few decades. In effect, a warming trend seems to have been established in the data where one did not exist before. As we saw during Climategate, the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia “lost” historic data when data was mathematically adjusted.

Similarly, as researchers Joe D’Aleo and Tony Heller have demonstrated, the data entrusted to NOAA; and its subordinate organizations the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC); seem to have been manipulated to give the illusion of a warming trend by lowering the earlier data. Now, Paul Homewood, of the UK, points out that NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA-GISS) has changed its own data since 2011 without notification as to why. The adjustments to its December 2016 version give the illusion of a stronger warming trend than existed in their 2011 data.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #251

The Week That Was Dec 9, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Deliberate Ignorance – Where’s The Data? As discussed in the past few TWTWs, the 1979 Charney Report to the National Research Council of the US National Academy of Sciences articulated that there were two components to possible global warming from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The first component is a warming directly from CO2. The warming takes place in the atmosphere. Based on laboratory experiments, this warming would be modest, highly logarithmic, and likely beneficial. The second component was proposed by those creating global climate models. This warming is from an increase in atmospheric water vapor, and far more powerful than warming from CO2. At the time, there was no data to confirm or deny this warming from an increase in water vapor.

Based primarily on calculations with global climate models, the Charney report estimated that “the most probable global warming for a doubling of CO2 to be near 3ºC with a probable error of ±1.5ºC.” Since the Charney Report, we have had five reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, and several reports for the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), under various names. Generally, they repeat the findings in the Charney report. Except for the discredited Santer “hotspot” which depended on eliminating data that was inconsistent with the assertion, these reports produce no atmospheric data to confirm or deny the second component of the warming, the more powerful warming from water vapor.

Now, we have comprehensive data of atmospheric temperatures dating from December 1978, independently confirmed by data from weather balloons. In his February 2, 2016, testimony, John Christy, a co-discoverer of the method of calculating atmospheric temperatures from information collected by satellites, produced excellent summaries of the data from satellites, particularly between the surface to 50,000 feet where both components of the greenhouse gas warming should take place, and compared them with global climate models. In general, the models overestimated atmospheric warming by 2.5 times and by 3 times over the tropics, where the water vapor warming should be more pronounced.

As discussed in last week’s TWTW, in making its finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health and welfare (Endangerment Finding), the EPA produced no data, instead relied on three lines of evidence: 1) understanding of the physics of greenhouse gases; 2) a questionable study that late 20th century warming was unusual; and 3) global climate models. The evidence is woefully incomplete.

Further, any warming of the surface is not the same as a warming of the atmosphere, and can be highly influenced by other human activities such as change in land use, change in instrument locations, and change in instrument types. An example of the last type, is a switch in instruments used to measure surface ocean temperatures. Earlier methods were instruments located on ship water intakes, well below the surface of the water, the current method is to use instrument buoys at the surface. The latter is subject to direct warming from sunlight, unrelated to and CO2 – caused warming. For example, see NIPCC 2008, p. 19 & 20.

To build a reliable database, any such changes must be carefully calibrated. For surface temperature measurements, all too frequently changes in instruments have not been carefully calibrated. For example, in the US, the use of mathematical adjustments for land surface records is highly questionable, because the results are inconsistent with the historic records of high temperatures.

For satellite measurements, the changes in instrumentation are carefully calibrated, errors are quickly corrected, and deviations are noted. Now, three independent, competitive groups analyze the same data when received.

It is time to petition the EPA for a reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding, stating that there are no data supporting the second component of the global warming theory and that its reliance on global climate models is not scientifically based, because the greatly overestimate atmospheric warming. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, and Defending the Orthodoxy.

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Quote of the Week. “In God we trust, all others bring data.” – Motto of the Apollo team.

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Number of the Week: 99.98%

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If Not CO2, then What? One of the most scientifically vacuous arguments advanced by the IPCC and its advocates is: “If CO2 has not caused late 20th century warming, then what?” The paper by Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo provides the “what” – changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Others, including Ian Plimer of Australia and de Freitas et al. of New Zealand, have suggested this may be the case. The Wallace et al. paper shows strong statistical relationships between changes in ENSO events, coupled with the PDO, and changes in temperatures. The statistical relationships are far stronger than the one between CO2 and temperatures. The Wallace, et al. paper applies to both atmospheric and surface measurements.

This research is being confirmed by other independent research by other groups.

The IPCC has considered the ENSO as weather events, too short for consideration for climate change. But, the changes in the frequency of ENSOs and changes in the PDO are not too short for climate events influencing global temperatures.

Of course, correlation is not causation. This adage came with the development of statistical techniques in the early 20th century, when efforts to use correlation to assert causation produced foolish results. Conversely, without correlation causation is difficult to establish, because many other influences may dominate. That appears to be the case in the CO2 – temperature relationship, particularly for surface data. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Acid – Alkaline Balance: A great misnomer in studies of the influence of increased atmospheric CO2 is ocean acidification. The term is alarming and wrong. The corrosiveness of a water-based solution is measured by its pH. A pH below 7 is acidic, a pH above 7 is alkaline, which can be very corrosive. The closer the pH is to 7, the less corrosive the solution. SEPP has reviewed no empirical studies which assert that with increasing atmospheric CO2, the pH of the oceans will drop below 7 – become acidic.

Yet, we have numerous laboratory studies in which the researchers drop acid, such as hydrochloric acid, into tanks with marine life and consider the results as credible.

Such actions would horrify some tropically fish fanciers who bubble CO2 through their aquariums to lower the pH below 7, to promote coloration in Amazonian fish such as discus. They would not consider pouring hydrochloric acid in the aquarium, which would kill the life.

That said, increasingly, there are studies showing seasonal, and daily variations in pH, without harm to marine life, such as corals. Some coral reefs have pH gradients with depth or exposure to natural CO2 seeps.

As stated in the NIPCC Report on Biological Impacts: “Caution should be applied when interpreting results from laboratory-based studies … Rising atmospheric CO2 do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life … The natural variability of oceanic pH is often much greater than the change in pH levels forecast by IPCC…”

The difference between the laboratory results and the field results illustrates the need to verify the results of the laboratory in the field. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science, both this week and in last week’s TWTW.

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Model Issues – Importance of Aerosols in Climate Models: One of the deficiencies in the IPCC approach to understanding climate, is basing the findings on runs of a suite of models. Often these model runs are singular. Yet, as explained by Fred Singer in a paper, model runs produce different results each time. Singer estimates that at least 10 different runs are needed for each model to obtain a reasonable approximation for the results of that model. This is not done.

A second major issue creating significant uncertainty in the results of models is that often the models are run producing estimates for both warming from CO2 and cooling from aerosols, small particles in the atmosphere. This procedure makes as much logical sense as expecting that solving one simple linear equation with two unknowns will produce a unique solution. The range of solutions is infinite. If imaginary numbers are added, then the range of solutions is imaginary!

The important CLOUD experiment at CERN began to estimate a range of values for aerosols, an important beginning to arrive at empirical bounds for aerosols and for climate models. Until bounds are established, the certainty expressed by the IPCC, the EPA, and the Climate Establishment in these simply is not justified. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Model Issues.

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After the Election: An outpouring of outrage over the election of Donald Trump continues. One thing is clear: he is upsetting the Democratic establishment, the Republican establishment, and, above all, the Climate Establishment. His designation of Scott Pruitt for administrator of the EPA will not win accolades among green groups, but Trump did not receive their support in the election. Pruitt is the Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, and a litigant against the Obama administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan. Expect events to become quite heated in Washington for the remainder of the winter, even though actual Congressional sessions will be mostly symbolic rather than meaningful. It is impossible to predict what the outgoing administration will do. For a sampling of articles see links under After the Election –.

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Post-Election Predictions? Perhaps as a result of the election, in Polar Bear Science, Susan Crockford highlights several highly questionable assertions being made by “experts” on Arctic animals about the future. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

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Post-normal Science and Thinking: Writing in Power Line, Steven Hayward discusses what he calls “post truth” media. Hayward considers this concept as stemming from a remark by the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “there are no facts, only interpretation.” The concept was picked up by nihilist philosophers and continues today. Of course, post-normal view is rejected by empirical scientists who believe that facts stem from observations. Perhaps the view is the basis for some people, such as those who identify themselves as from the Union of Concerned Scientists, to label hypothesis testing as “cherry picking.”

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Quote of the Week: The quote of the week: In God we trust, all others bring data., was prominently displayed at NASA Space Flight Center near Houston, which controlled the Apollo missions. The activities of this center should not be confused with NASA-GISS, which focuses on surface temperatures. Gavin Schmidt, GISS director, is a listed expert reviewer of the Endangerment Finding and has produced slogans such as carbon dioxide is the “control knob” of the earth’s temperatures. The web site gives his office as on 2880 Broadway, New York, NY. The difference between the science behind NASA-GISS reports and the science behind Apollo missions is greater than the difference between Broadway and the Houston Space Flight Center. See http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/

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Number of the Week: 99.98% As stated in last week’s TWTW: According to reports, on Dec. 1, construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline will be all but finished. The only thing left to build, says its owner, Energy Transfer Partners, will be about 1,100 feet of pipe to be laid beneath Lake Oahe, a sliver of water south of Bismarck, N.D., that is man-created by a dam on the Missouri River. The pipe will be drilled underneath the river bed, and will not disturb it. Laying of the $3.5 Billion pipeline was 99.98% complete.

This week, the administration killed construction by refusing to issue necessary permits, even though the pipeline developers won past court challenges.

In addition to an enormous increase in National Debt, the US is in the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Is there any question why? See links under Washington’s Control of Energy.

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We ask you to make a generous, tax-deductible donation to SEPP, an IRS recognized 501(c)3 organization. There is much to be done, to undo the damage to the economy by the current administration.

Please address your check to:

SEPP

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Thank you — whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or other holy days during this time, we wish you and your family happiness in this blessed season and a joyful new year.

Kenneth Haapala, President

Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

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The donated funds will be used exclusively in furtherance of SEPP’s charitable purpose and will not be used to fulfill any pledge, personal obligation, or lobbying activities. SEPP provides no direct benefit to donors as a result of their donations.

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ARTICLES:

1. To Mars by Economy Class: A Perfect Project For Trump

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Dec 9, 2016

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/to_mars_by_economy_class_a_perfect_project_for_trump.html

“President Trump can “make America great again” by planning a surprising and easily affordable human exploration mission to the red planet Mars and its two moonlets Phobos and Deimos: PH-D, for short. JFK is remembered by many people mainly for putting Americans on the Moon, but he really just initiated the program.

“The two moonlets of Mars were discovered in 1877 at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. They are in near-circular, near-equatorial orbits around Mars. Deimos, smaller than the island of Manhattan, orbits at a distance of 6.9 Martian radii; Phobos, about five times larger than Deimos, is at 2.8 radii, with its orbit shrinking because of tidal friction; it will be gone in just a few million years. In past lectures, I have joked that the dinosaurs might have seen more Martian moons, now gone, “if they had had better telescopes.”

“Notice that I did not suggest colonization of Mars — the current rage, a replay of the massive, wildly expensive and technologically infeasible Empire Project of the 1950s, envisioned by space pioneer Wernher von Braun. Unfortunately, this premature emphasis on colonization tends to color even realistic manned Mars projects as fantasy. Nor do I favor the business-as-usual continuation of unmanned missions to Mars, promising the eventual return of Mars samples for analysis in terrestrial labs.

“The feds have traditionally supported exploration — including basic science, which does not promise an immediate pay-off. Indeed, that has been the rationale for building multibillion-dollar particle accelerators for high-energy physics and telescopes for astronomy. So the PH-D project, as I have nicknamed it, would fit right in — a combination of good science and high adventure. Even its cost is relatively modest — about $30 billion over 10-20 years, well within the current NASA budget, and about that of a half-dozen unmanned Mars missions. Its scientific return would be many times greater. Its public and international impact would be tremendous.

No Showstoppers

“The PH-D project is basically a manned transfer from Earth orbit to Mars orbit, taking about six months; there don’t seem to be any showstoppers at all. A rough calculation has convinced me that ordinary chemical propulsion is quite sufficient — no need for any exotic schemes that require lengthy development. Any simple fuel, like kerosene, suffices, and any of the available oxidizers can do the job. No special rocket engine is needed; existing ones will do -–as explained below. And propulsion is surprisingly cheap — only a few percent of the total project cost; more than 95% of the cost is engineering and design — and the US has many well- qualified engineers.

“Electric power — again no problem. Of course, solar photo-voltaic becomes more difficult at Mars distance, where solar energy is less than half that at Earth orbit. But the Russians have space-tested nuclear reactors, and units are available for purchase. I estimate that 100 kilowatts should do nicely and would even provide an adequate reserve of power. [The U.S. uses plutonium electro-thermal generators on its deep-space missions.]

“Other issues, relating to maintenance and life support of astronauts, present no problems either; they have been mostly solved in the International Space Station. As in the ISS, one would recycle liquid waste, but not solid waste. With cheap propulsion and essentially unlimited payload, one simply carries more food and water. The same argument applies to maintaining a healthy breathing atmosphere.

“Radiation is usually cited as the major health risk; but propellants turn out to be the most effective shield, especially against heavily ionizing particles of the incident galactic cosmic radiation — GCR. Once the astronauts set up their base on Deimos, the preferred destination, they can construct also a more permanent shelter against the omni-directional cosmic rays, the unidirectional meteor showers, and the occasional solar eruptions that can lead to penetrating particle radiation. Note that none of that protection is present in the ISS, but Deimos itself provides shielding against unidirectional radiation; it is only necessary to move to the opposite side.

“Absence of gravity can lead to long-term health problems. The answer here, as in the ISS, is regular exercise, aided by artificial gravity from a centrifuge; such a scheme should be tested in the ISS.

Scenario of Deimos Base

“Assemble propellants in low-earth orbit — LEO; then send to Deimos as “slow freight” – including a nuclear reactor, spare habitat, spare rocket engine, penetrators and rover vehicles equipped for return of samples; release penetrators that will provide also seismic data, and some rovers while underway to Mars. Send one habitat, two rovers and some of the propellant to Phobos — for use on the later sortie to Phobos and Mars surface.

“Test the habitat-lab while in LEO with 5 astronauts aboard; then send them to Deimos on a “fast express” trajectory. Upon arrival, shield and activate the reactor; surround the habitat-lab with rocket propellants to provide additional shielding; set up a GPS system and weather satellites for Mars.

“Start sample-return program, analyzing initial samples — and call for follow-up samples from different Martian locations or different depths, based on the initial analyses– all the while consulting with experts on Earth.

Sortie to Phobos and Mars Surface

“Two astronauts depart for Phobos and meet two rovers, collect samples of regolith and deeper, and send them back to Deimos base, then move on for a powered landing on a preselected Mars site, meet rover vehicle there, collect samples, set up an experimental equipment, and then take off for return to Phobos and thence to Deimos base. Note that take-off from Mars requires only our small rocket — while a direct return to Earth would have required a special, high-thrust rocket, capable of lifting the large propellant load necessary for transit to Earth.

Deimos Base vs Mars Base

“There is no question that a Deimos base is easier to set up, much cheaper, safer, and better in all respects than a base on Mars. Besides, it can be accomplished much sooner, perhaps within 10-15 years.

“A Mars base does not confer mobility, does not provide a view of the rovers; from Deimos one can view the surface from pole to pole for up to 40 hours. [Deimos is in a near-synchronous orbit, with an orbital period of 30.3 hours, just a little longer than the spin period, 24.7 hours, of the planet.]

“On Mars, because of its gravity field, meteor impacts are more frequent and also more energetic; there is interference from Mars’ atmosphere, from winds, and from dust storms—while on Deimos one gets a ‘free’ vacuum, essential for most lab instruments, such as mass spectrometers, electron microscopes, etc.

Scientific Questions: Planetology (and learn also about the early history of Planet Earth)

“The origin of Phobos and Deimos is a real puzzle: Initially, I applied a modified (‘push-pull’) tidal theory[1] to extrapolate their present orbits backward in time; but I do not believe they are captured asteroids — although that’s what many textbooks claim; it’s just too improbable. Nor were they formed along with Mars; it leads to an unstable solution. I now believe they are the remnants of a Mars-moon –M-m, captured gravitationally, akin to Earth-Moon, but into a retrograde orbit; the other, heavier fragments of the M-m have already spiraled in and disappeared, impacting on or near Mars’ equator.

Some research questions — and learn also about the early history of Planet Earth

1. Why do Phobos and Deimos, presumably related, look so different? Is it just the regolith and is it based on the difference in their orbits?

2. Are Ph and D solid rock or rubble piles?

3. Are there tiny moonlets orbiting Mars between Ph and D?

4. Explore orbiting dust at Ph and D.

5. Explore evidence for ancient impacts of fragments near Mars’ equator.

6. Establish history of Mars’ obliquity by tracing W-182 tungsten isotope, from the radioactive decay of hafnium.

7. Was capture of M-m essential in heating Mars by tidal friction to produce its iron core?

Scientific Questions –Meteorology And Climatology — and test theories of causes of climate change and ice ages

1. Test forecast models developed for Earth on Mars weather predictions.

2. Test current climate models against Mars observations: predictions of dust storms; test analyses of Martian polar -layer deposits against ice-age theories and periods of oscillation of Mars obliquity, precession and orbit eccentricity.

Scientific Questions — Crypto-Life And Paleo-Life

“Is life unique to the Earth — as some believe? This is a very basic issue with philosophical and even theological overtones

“Look for hidden life forms, taking into account that life may have developed several times, independently, at different locations, and been wiped out subsequently. These life forms may be ephemeral and unable to survive for more than a few hours — hence undetectable in Mars samples returned to Earth, as currently planned. It may be advisable to develop also techniques for detecting life in situ, for ultra-fresh sampling.

“Ancient life, now dead, may be detectable in some sort of fossil form. Its formation likely required the presence of liquid water — i. e., survival of oceans, lakes, or simply pools of water for a sufficient length of time. Note that these life forms may not have been based on carbon, but possibly on silicon. Note also that use of a Deimos base minimizes chances of both forward and back-contamination of Mars with terrestrial biota.

Conclusion

“We believe that the scientific yield of the PH-D mission more than justifies such a project. Its impact on the public here and abroad would be akin to the Apollo project and fully supports president Trump‘s goal of “making America great again.”

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2. A Lawyer for a Lawless EPA

Scott Pruitt can restore respect for the states in environmental policy.

Editorial, WSJ, Dec 7, 2016

http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-lawyer-for-a-lawless-epa-1481155238?mod=whatnext&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=poptarget&cx_artPos=1#cxrecs_s

The editorial states:

“As Donald Trump rolls out his domestic-policy nominees, Democrats are discovering to their horror that more often than not he meant what he said. The latest evidence is the President-elect’s intention to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There was a time when Republican EPA administrators were liberals in GOP power suits. Think William Reilly under George H.W. Bush or Christine Todd Whitman under George W. Bush. They more or less agreed with the left’s command-and-control model of environmental regulation, and they’d pile more costs on the private economy.

“The Democratic Party’s green extremism, especially on climate change, has made such Republicans obsolete. President Obama couldn’t get his climate-change agenda through a Democratic Congress, so he ordered the EPA to impose it on the 50 states by diktat. The agency reinterpreted statute after ancient statute as its bureaucrats saw fit, daring the courts to stop them. Think of the Clean Power Plan to put the coal industry out of business, the carbon endangerment rule, grabbing authority to call any pond or puddle a “waterway,” and so much more.

“Mr. Pruitt’s first job will be restoring respect for the Constitution and cooperative federalism in EPA rule-making. He knows how to do this because he led the legal charge by the states against EPA abuses, including the victory of a Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan as it moves through the appellate courts. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Pruitt could order the EPA’s lawyers to inform the courts that the agency no longer stands by the legal interpretation behind the Clean Power Plan.

“Democrats will attack Mr. Pruitt as a climate-change “denier,” but his only offense is disagreeing with them on energy policy. The irony is that Mr. Pruitt will probably do more for the environment than Mr. Obama ever did because he will make sure that rules issued by the EPA are rooted in law and thus won’t be overturned in court.”

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3. Not So Risky Climate Business

A new study dismantles the logic of oil and gas ‘systemic risk.’

Editorial, WSJ, Dec 8, 2016

http://www.wsj.com/articles/not-so-risky-climate-business-1481243362

SUMMARY: (No link to the study) The editorial states:

“Among the many doomsday scenarios floated by the climate-change lobby is a theory that asks: What if an abrupt change in policy strands fossil-fuel resources in the ground, which in turn crashes oil companies and then the global economy? IHS consulting recently released a rebuttal to this “carbon bubble” babble, and the dismantling deserves more attention.

“Daniel Yergin and Elena Pravettoni of IHS looked at whether oil and gas assets pose a “systemic risk” to the world financial system, a danger floated by more than a few regulators. No less than Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned in 2015 that limits on carbon could crater asset valuations and “potentially destabilize markets,” as the damage rippled through insurers and banks with portfolios in oil.

“Regardless of forced carbon reductions or temperature spikes, the switch to alternative fuels will take decades. For some perspective, the authors note that the oil industry started up in 1859 but did not overtake coal as the world’s largest energy source for about a century. Barring some technological breakthrough, no one expects oil to be a minority source of energy before 2050. Financial markets and insurance contracts can manage risks as they evolve year-to-year or even day-to-day.”

“Perhaps the strongest evidence that oil companies won’t blow up the world economy is that they’ve been stress-tested by the recent crash in commodity prices. Some 82 global oil companies burned off 42% of their value between June 2014 and December 2015, or about $1.4 trillion in market capitalization. Yet the report notes that since oil dipped below $100 a barrel in 2014, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 6%.

“The panic over climate risk is really a pretext for more regulation. Mr. Carney chairs the Financial Stability Board, an international outfit that exists to flag financial risks and offer itself as the answer. An FSB task force later this month will deliver “guidelines for voluntary disclosure” that could cover assets and risk practices for oil companies as well as their investors. The report will likely be submitted to major country financial ministers for approval.

“Mr. Carney and the FSB are playing to climate activists, who want to use such disclosure as ammunition to pound pension and other investment funds to divest from fossil-fuel companies. Mr. Carney has also highlighted the climate-change free-speech probe led by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which is based on flimsier evidence than even Mr. Carney’s conjectures.

“The real financial risks are from Mr. Carney’s attempt to turn certain kinds of legal investments into political targets. The political allocation of capital into housing was one of the root causes of the 2008 panic. Let’s not politicize energy investing in the same way.”

CONTINUE READING –>

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #220

The Week That Was: March 26, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Lack of Evidence: For the past several weeks, TWTW has addressed the evidence supporting EPA’s finding that human greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), endanger human health and welfare (EPA Endangerment Finding). We found little or no physical evidence supporting the finding. Without this finding the EPA has no legal basis for regulating CO2, and the administration has no logical basis for its energy plan of eliminating coal-fired power plants through CO2 regulations. These regulations are based on a controversial 2007 Supreme Court decision stating that CO2 is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, even though it is not a defined category pollutant. According to the decision, before regulating, the EPA must find greenhouse gases (particularly CO2) endanger public health.

The five assessment reports (ARs) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produce some excellent science, but also misleading assertions. The so-called “hot spot”, mistakenly called the distinct human fingerprint in IPCC’s second assessment report of Working Group I (AR-2 1995), has not been found to exist. There is no discernible increase in atmospheric warming trends over the tropics centered at about 33,000 feet. (Note: it is the warming trends over time, increasing with altitude, that are important. A lapse rate, the decline in actual temperatures with increasing altitude would still be observed, but the rate should decline over time.) In fact, the AR-2 synthesis report, which followed the Working Group I report, makes no mention of the hot spot in the section titled: “The Balance of Evidence Suggests a Discernible Human Influence on Global Climate.” (p. 22).

Continue reading

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #217

The Week That Was: March 5, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Atmospheric Data – Re-Analysis and Confirmation: An issue developed this week that illustrates the importance of proper re-analysis of data and independent confirmation. The issue regarding temperature trends in the middle troposphere was noticed by Anthony Watts, WUWT, discussed in several other posts, with an expanded discussion by Roy Spencer. Spencer and John Christy developed the method of measuring temperatures using data from satellites, for which they received significant recognition. Their findings are publicly posted monthly, with the data going back to December 1978. These data, known as the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) data are the most comprehensive estimates of global temperatures in existence. The group is funded by NOAA.

A private group, publicly and privately funded, is headed by Frank Wentz, with Carl Mears the chief scientist, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) provides the other well-known analysis. Some years ago, this group discovered that the UAH data, at that time, did not properly account for orbital decay of satellites, giving a cooling bias to the data. Once this bias became known and demonstrated, UAH adjusted for it. This is the way science works, correcting mistakes. Unfortunately, this incident led some global warming promoters to declare that the UAH data is discredited, which it is not.

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EPA Regulations To Cause Double-Digit Electricity Price Increases In Nearly Every State

By Michael Basatasch – Re-Blogged From http://freedomforce.com

People should enjoy the relatively low electricity prices while they can this Thanksgiving season, because nearly every state could see double-digit increases in electricity rates due to federal regulations forcing coal plants to retire, according to two separate studies.

Two new studies by Energy Ventures Analysis and NERA Economic Consulting claim the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan will raise electricity prices in every state it covers, with nearly all of them seeing prices increase 10 to 25 percent by the 2030s.

Forty-six states will face double digit increases in wholesale electricity cost when the CPP is fully implemented in 2030, with 16 states projected to experience a 25+ percent increase,” according to EVA’s report that was done on behalf of the National Mining Association.

NERA’s study found that “40 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 10% or more” and “17 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 20% or more.” Another “10 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 30% or more,” according to NERA’s study, financed by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

The Week That Was: Nov 21, 2015 – Brought to You by www.sepp.org

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Quote of the Week:
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.” – Niccolò Machiavelli


Number of the Week: $16.5 Trillion


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Attribution: With each successive report the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) becomes more certain in attributing recent climate change to human influence. That is, that human influence, particularly carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), is the specific cause of climate change. This intensification of certainty is particularly noticeable in a trend from Third Assessment Report (AR3, 2001), to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4, 2007) to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013 & 2014). Specifically, AR5 states:
“It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.”
“Extremely likely” is defined as 95% to 100% probability. According to an assertion in AR3, “The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.” (Section 14.2.2.2, discussed in last week’s TWTW).

There is no established probability distribution presented. Thus, the term “extremely likely” is more based on the opinion of the political actors writing the SPM, than on any objective probability distribution.

Continue reading

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #203

The Week That Was: October 31, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Model Logic: Some readers of TWTW have commented that their colleagues dismiss the objections raised by TWTW, and others, to the global climate models, and their results. They say: “The basic physics is straight-forward and the logic in the models is solid.” As Galileo demonstrated in his famous experiment of using two balls of significantly different weight to test gravity, this is only part of the issue. The key part of the issue is what do empirically verifiable experiments demonstrate? Contrary to the prevailing logic of the time, both balls hit the ground together.

Similarly, a model may be developed with great rigor and detail, but if it cannot predict well, there is something wrong with the model. Richard Feynman summed the problem neatly: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

In general, global climate models are failing to predict short-run changes in temperatures, particularly in the atmosphere where we have the most comprehensive observations. The models predict a significantly greater warming trend than observed. If the models cannot predict short-term temperatures, there is no logical reason to assume they can predict long-term temperatures. Since the fifth assessment report (AR-5, 2013) by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have seen many explanations attempting to explain what is called the “missing heat.” The important question remains: is the “missing heat” an artifact of the models, and not missing in nature?

Continue reading

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #197

The Week That Was: September 19, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

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

RICO: For years, some advocates of the position that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming have also falsely claimed that the science is settled. Included in these claims are highly questionable claims that 97% of the scientists concur with this view. Now, twenty climate scientists have written to the President and the US Attorney General requesting legal prosecution of those who publically disagree with their views. The legal actions they are proposing fall under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. The act was designed to combat organized crime and makes a person who instructs criminal action taken by others guilty of the crime. In short, the individuals who wrote the letter are stating that anyone who does not agree with their views is guilty of a crime – racketeering.

This action is a clear display of the illogical thinking by some of those in the largely, publically-financed Climate Establishment whose vanity exceeds the rigor of their work. Rather than producing compelling physical evidence that human emissions of CO2 are causing dangerous global warming, they will compel others to publically think as they do by legal action. In effect, they are undermining their own position and their action illustrates that simply because some people trained as scientists believe X that does not make belief in X scientific.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #196

The Week That Was: September 12, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Model Validation: The past two TWTWs focused on major issues regarding the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) in particular, endanger human health and welfare, — the Endangerment Finding. These issues included the divergence between atmospheric measurements and surface measurements and the absence of the so-called “hot spot,” which the EPA erroneously claimed was the distinct human fingerprint of global warming. This TWTW will address the failure of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) to validate a global climate model. Future TWTWs will discuss other major issues such as measurement issues and explanations for so-called “missing heat,” which may not be missing at all. All these issues are fundamental to the EPA’s endangerment finding.

Probably the most persistent critic of the failure of the IPCC, and its supporters, the Climate Establishment, to validate a global climate model is Vincent Gray of The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, who has been an expert reviewer of the scientific basis for all five IPCC Assessment Reports, from 1990 to 2013. In the process, he has submitted thousands of comments, and, according to reports, was influential having the IPCC change its terminology about the results of the global climate models, now calling the results “projections” rather “predictions.” Gray’s latest book and excerpts can be found in the links below.

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Weekly climate and energy news roundup #169

The Week That Was: February 21, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Sea Level Change: The threat of global warming is no longer intensely promoted by governments. No significant temperature rise for over a decade has had its effects. The threat of climate change is apparently wearing thin with the public, Perhaps the public realizes that the climate has been changing for hundreds of millions of years, long before humanity existed. It appears that some governments, including the US Administration, are using the threat of significant sea level rise to compel the public to do their bidding.

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