Covid-19 Fears Spur More Cars on Roads, Threatening Air Quality

Re-Blogged From WUWT

This title is from a Bloomberg article that bemoans the loss of trust in mass transit from a health perspective.

Officials across the nation are worried that as the coronavirus pandemic persists, commuters will avoidtaking buses and trains, and opt for their cars, potentially leading to dangerous new levels of air pollution.

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Rutan, Lovelock & Branson

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Burt Rutan is one of the most interesting men on the planet. He has designed 46 aircraft, six of which are included in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. One of his designs, Voyager, was the first to fly nonstop around the world on one tank of fuel. That was in 1986.

He started his career as a flight test engineer in 1965 and has spent 55 years doing data analysis/interpretation/presentation. In Burt Rutan’s experience of engineering data is critical and there are consequences for being wrong – witness the 346 people who died in 2019 in crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Burt Rutan also has an inquiring mind and is an early adopter of new technologies, particularly environmentally friendly ones. He built his own solar hot water heater in the 1970s:

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #312

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org 

Which Trends? Last week’s TWTW may have given a wrong impression to some readers. In discussing the estimate by Christy, et al., of the rate of warming of the bulk atmosphere over the past 38 years of 0.10 ± 0.03°C per decade, the rate of warming was used to project the warming from a doubling of CO2. Not emphasized sufficiently strongly is that the projection embodies the highly speculative assumption that the rate will continue for about two centuries. Most assuredly, it will not.

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Researcher Claims To Have Evidence One Of EPA’s Most Successful Clean Air Rules Is Based On Fabricated Data

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

One of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) longest and most successful air pollution standards is based on a taxpayer-funded study plagued by “data fabrication and falsification,” according to a veteran toxicologist.

Toxicologist Albert Donnay says he’s found evidence a 1989 study commissioned by EPA on the health effects of carbon monoxide, which, if true, could call into question 25 years of regulations and billions of dollars on catalytic converters for automobiles.

“They claimed to find an effect when there wasn’t one,” Donnay told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They even fabricated the methods they used to get their results.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #278

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org


Quote of the Week.

“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”

– H.H. Lamb on forming the Climatic Research Unit [H/t Tim Ball]

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Now That Trump Has Defeated Paris, He’s Taking on Montreal!

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

Sacré bleu !

Trump Budget Attacks Montreal Protocol, Reagan’s Crown Jewel

May 24, 2017 David Doniger

The Trump FY18 budget proposal slashes funding to support compliance with the Montreal Protocol, Ronald Reagan’s treaty to save the ozone layer.

The cut—which appears to be on the order of 40 percent—welches on U.S. international commitments and will imperil the global phase-out of ozone-destroying chemicals.

The Montreal Protocol—widely considered the world’s most successful environmental treaty—was negotiated under President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and is his crowning environmental achievement. It has been strengthened repeatedly under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

[…]

NRDC

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #258

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Data Integrity: For several years, some commentators who deal with historic temperature data in their daily work, such as Joe D’Aleo of ICECAP, have stated that warming trends suddenly appeared in areas in which there were no such trend previously, such as the state of Maine. Until about 2011, the government published data showed no trend from 1900 to present. Suddenly, government published historic data showed a warming trend of about 3 degrees F. Tony Heller (who goes by Steve Goddard) has followed this issue, graphically showing that trends appeared in recently published historic data, where earlier historic data showed none.

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Ozone Scare Was A Dry Run For The Global Warming Scare

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

My grandmother told me “Your sins will find you out.” I don’t know if it’s original, but it certainly seems true when you look at the sins of those who created the ozone hole and global warming deceptions. Exposure of the sins is not surprising because many of the same people produced the template used in both cases. It involved creating unnatural scenarios that would eventually be out of phase with natural events. The truth is slow, but it eventually catches up, because, as Aldous Huxley explained,

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

There is not now and never was a “hole in the ozone.” The phrase was a public relations construct to mislead and exploit fear as the basis for a political agenda. The procedure used in the exploitation of environmental and climate for a political agenda is to take normal patterns and events and present them as, or imply, they are abnormal. It works because most people don’t know what is normal. Global warming became the largest exploitation of this practice, but it was based on the knowledge gained from reported ozone depletions over Antarctica. The ozone deception served as a forerunner, a practice run, for the global warming deception to follow.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #200

The Week That Was: (October 10, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

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

Ozone: Writing in American Thinker, physician Charles Battig of the Virginia Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE) produces an effective critique of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new standards for ground level ozone, which was released on October 1, 2015. The EPA press release states: “Based on extensive scientific evidence on effects that ground-level ozone pollution, or smog, has on public health and welfare, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb) from 75 ppb to protect public health. The updated standards will reduce Americans’ exposure to ozone, improving public health protection, particularly for at risk groups including children, older adults, and people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma. Ground-level ozone forms when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the air.”

Dr. Battig’s critique makes clear that the science involved is more imaginary than empirical. The concept of “premature deaths” is speculative and virtually any death can be called premature. He cites studies using real-world patients that do not validate EPA’s claims and states: “Surely smoggy air must be unhealthy. It must be, because it looks so bad. The poster child for such smoggy air is Shanghai, China, where newspaper pictures depict a yellow haze obscuring the visibility of buildings. However, the average lifespan there is 82.5 years, bettering the reported lifespan in any major U.S. city.” [Note that Chinese lifespans are based on statistics from China, and the differences may be cultural as well as based on exposure.]

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #199

The Week That Was: October 3, 2015- Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

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

More IPCC Challenges: The US administration is attempting to establish an agreement to be reached at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. Meanwhile, more challenges to the findings of the UN Intergovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continue to emerge. Many of the challenges do not question the basic science or logic found in the climate models, but do question the use to which they are put. This questioning especially applies to the 95% certainty expressed in the Summary for Policymakers of IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5).

In a recent paper, distinguished physicist Wallace Manheimer expressed it well: “This paper reviews a great deal of worldwide data, some of which confirms, some of which disputes the global warming hypothesis. While increasing CO2in the atmosphere is a concern, it is hardly a planetary emergency.” Perhaps these sentences summarize the views of the global warming skeptics: carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are not causing a planetary emergency, only the politically motivated advocates and politicians are. This political motivation extends to the IPCC and its work based on the assumption it can predict (project), with great certainty, global warming from human causes without thoroughly understanding the natural influences on climate.

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When NGO’s Like the American Lung Association Go Bad, Even the Alarmist EPA Has to Disavow Them

By Karen Kerrigan – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From The Center for Regulatory Solutions via press release: EPA Official Disavows American Lung Association Air-Quality Claims

An official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has disavowed the American Lung Association (ALA) for misrepresenting federal air quality data.  The ALA’s report is being used around the country to support the EPA’s tighter ozone standard, but this is not the first time the report’s “findings” have been criticized or questioned. The latest criticism strikes yet another blow against the credibility of the ALA, which is leading the charge to dramatically tighten the federal ozone standard – despite strong objections from a bipartisan coalition of local and state officials, labor unions and business leaders from across the economy.

Region 7 EPA spokesman David Bryan took aim at the ALA’s “State of the Air” report, which gave an “F” to Cedar County – population 13,952 – in southwestern Missouri. As the Cedar County Republican reports:

“The EPA has nothing to do with that report,” Bryan said of the ALA State of the Air report. He said the report gives a grade and his agency has nothing to do with grades. According to Bryan, the ALA report “takes a hodge podge of statistics” in creating its grades. …

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #195

The Week That Was: September 5, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Divergence and the EPA: The August 28 TWTW discussed three forms of increasing divergence: 1) the surface temperatures record as reported by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the atmospheric record; 2) the divergence between the global climate models and the atmospheric record; and 3) the divergence between what is being reported and discussed by the Climate Establishment and what is occurring in Nature.

Several readers inquired how do these forms of divergence impact on the US EPA’s Endangerment Finding (EF)? The EF is the EPA ruling that human emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), endanger human health and welfare. The ruling is critical to the Administration’s plan to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants, making the American public more dependent on unreliable and expensive solar and wind. As being witnessed in Europe, those countries with the greatest expenditures, “investments”, in solar and wind have the highest electricity costs to consumers, led by Demark and Germany.

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The Recurrent Problem of Green Scares That Don’t Live Up to the Hype

By Matt Ridley – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

‘We’ve heard these same stale arguments before,” said President Obama in his speech on climate change last week, referring to those who worry that the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon-reduction plan may do more harm than good. The trouble is, we’ve heard his stale argument before, too: that we’re doomed if we don’t do what the environmental pressure groups tell us, and saved if we do. And it has frequently turned out to be really bad advice.

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A Physician’s Perspective on the EPA’s “Data Derangement Syndrome”

By Charles Battig M.D. – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Derived from Heartland Climate Conference, June 11-12, 2015 Presentation by Charles G. Battig, MD: Panel 8 “Human Health and Welfare” June 11, 2015

In the latest iteration of propaganda tactics employed by eco-environmental activists and the EPA, emotion has become the chosen media tool. Mothers and children pose on the capitol steps and wave signs proclaiming their fight for clean air and the children’s health. Images of these “lovable lobbyists” for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are heart tugging. It is maternal instinct vs. scientific debate; if it sounds bad, that is all that such moms need to hear, and in fact, it is hard to overcome such pleadings with cold facts alone. Such “do something” demonstrations find politicians and agencies all-to-ready to craft new legislation and regulations. I view this much like physicians who succumb to patients’ “do something” demands by prescribing antibiotics for the common cold…a useless, if not dangerous practice.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #167

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Week That Was: February 7, 2015 www.SEPP.org

US National Security – Threat of Climate Change: The White House has issued a report, “National Security Strategy”, stating that climate change (what used to be global warming before it stopped) is one of the greatest threats to US national security. The report contains choice terms such as “carbon pollution” which implies that the authors do not consider that their breathing is polluting, emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations 100 times that of the air they inhale.

 

The section “Confront Climate Changestates: “Climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water. The present day effects of climate change are being felt from the Arctic to the Midwest. Increased sea levels and storm surges threaten coastal regions, infrastructure, and property. In turn, the global economy suffers, compounding the growing costs of preparing and restoring infrastructure.”

As presented below, and in prior TWTWs, there are NO growing threats of storm intensity to the US or globally. Sea level rise appears to be in line with the past century, [local conditions are most important], the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), is not increasing, temperatures have plateaued, in general the globe is greening, except for conflicts created for ideological reasons there are few areas of famine, the decline in Arctic ice has reversed, and even the White House report recognizes that the US is becoming more self-sufficient in production of oil and natural gas, even though the Administration has denied access for increased production in Federal lands and waters. In short, the Administration’s campaign against climate change is out-of-touch reality.

For example, the section “Advance Our Energy Security” opens with the statement: “The United States is now the world leader in oil and gas production.” What has this administration done to create the US as the world leader – deny offshore drilling, deny Arctic drilling, deny hydraulic fracturing on federal lands and waters? The great increase in production of oil and gas is occurring on private and state-owned lands. This increase in production has led to a dramatic drop in world price of oil – a benefit to most American citizens and the world in general. The claim of “peak oil” in the foreseeable future is an idea of the past.

Almost amusingly, the report states: “Seismic shifts in supply and demand are underway across the globe.”… “Increasing global access to reliable and affordable energy is one of the most powerful ways to support social and economic development and to help build new markets for U.S. technology and investment.” Yet, the Administration continues to restrict the flow of oil to global markets, as can be seen in its refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline after six years of study.

According to newspaper- reports: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz underscored the importance of energy security in his own statement on the plan.

 

“Now more than ever, it is critical for us to focus our efforts to cooperate on security issues that are increasingly critical to the stability of global markets and underscore the risk of relying on one source of energy,” he said.

 

“At the same time, collective action on security also presents an opportunity to diversify our low-carbon energy options, combat climate change, and strengthen our economies.” Apparently, Energy Secretary Moniz is unaware of the tremendous benefits to the US of low cost fossil fuels and the hardships that unreliable solar and wind are placing on the public and industries in Europe.

Unfortunately, the White House report gives an insight on how this ambitious administration will use whatever means it has available to expand control of the economy and energy use. The report states: More than 100 countries have also joined with us to reduce greenhouse gases under the Montreal Protocol—the same agreement the world used successfully to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. The Montreal Protocol is being misused on the now questionable claim that hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were depleting the stratospheric ozone layer, although little effect was being measured on the surface. Now, the administration is manipulating the meaning and intent of the Protocol to cover greenhouse gases, particularly methane and CO2.

The Administration’s actions illustrate why the US should be wary of international agreements. Once approved by the Senate, an ambitious administration can manipulate international agreements for its own purposes. The administration’s actions have been a quiet endeavor, with little publicity. But, the effects on US energy and prosperity can be severe and long-lasting.

See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, EPA and other Regulators on the March and, for ACE, http://models.weatherbell.com/tropical.php

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Quote of the Week: If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” – Albert Einstein [H/t High Frontier]

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Number of the Week: 12.9% and 10.6%

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Natural Catastrophes – Losses: The December 20, 2014 TWTW linked to a preliminary report by Swiss Re, the world’s second largest re-insurer (those companies that take on insurance risks by other companies). The report stated that in 2014 global disaster events cost insurers USD 34 billion, below recent annual averages. It also stated a total loss of life of 11,000 from natural catastrophe and man-made disaster events in 2014 was down from the more than 27 000 fatalities in 2013. It should be remembered that natural disasters include earthquakes, tidal waves, etc. as well as extreme weather events.

The report of the world’s largest re-insurer, Munich Re is out, Review of natural catastrophes in 2014: Lower losses from weather extremes and earthquakes. This report states that more than nine out of ten (92%) of the loss-related natural catastrophes were due to weather events. “A striking feature was the unusually quiet hurricane season in the North Atlantic, where only eight strong – and thus named – storms formed; the long-term average (1950–2013) is around 11. In contrast, the tropical cyclone season in the eastern Pacific was characterized by an exceptionally large number of storms, most of which did not make landfall.”

The first and the fourth most expensive losses were winter damage, not heat or storm related. Japan was most hit by winter damage, which took 37 lives. Winter damage in the US and Canada ranked fourth in losses. Flooding in Asia took the most lives. Flooding has always been a major problem in Asia, and the rate of loss of lives is declining, not increasing.

Also, Roger Pielke posted a report on “The Precipitous Decline in US Flood Damage as a Percentage of GDP” Pielke states: The US is prone to very large flood events, resulting in tens of billions of dollars in losses. However, the trend since 1940 is striking. As the nation has seen its economic activity expand by a factor of almost 13, flood losses as a proportion of that activity have dropped by about 75%.

 

Please don’t use this data to say anything about the incidence of flooding in the US or changes in climate. For that, I urge you to look at data and research, discussed here. You’ll find very little evidence of increasing flood frequency or magnitude either in the US or globally. Regardless, the diminishing economic impact of floods in the US is undeniable.

It is becoming evident that the authors of the US “National Security Strategy” failed to consult with companies whose business it is to understand losses from extreme weather events or US academics who study these issues. See links under Changing Weather and

http://www.swissre.com/media/news_releases/Preliminary_sigma_estimates_global_disaster_events_cost_insurers_USD_34_billion_in_2014.html

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Health: The EPA is heavily publicizing its anti-coal campaign on the grounds of public health, particularly fear of asthma. According to reports, early in this administration, officials at EPA decided that fear of respiratory diseases will be an excellent way to convince many in the public that action was needed to reduce coal-fired power plants. Asthma was a great fit. It was a disease often contracted in childhood and the incidence of the disease was increasing. The cause was unknown. It was assumed that the cause was outdoor air pollution in urban areas. Namely, in poorer neighborhoods where coal-fired power plants were located. The EPA built its anti-coal and the anti-ozone campaigns on this assumption. However, empirical science may get in the way.

A problem has developed in this great plan. A study published in the Journal of Asthma and Clinical Immunology found little or no relationship in incidence of asthma between children in urban areas and children in rural area, after adjustments for other factors such as poverty. The study emphasizes that air pollution may be a cause for asthma, only it’s indoor air pollution, such as second hand smoke, rodents, mold, etc. According to The Hill newspaper: The study couldn’t come at a worse time for the agency. EPA is preparing to tighten national standards for ground-level ozone (the main ingredient in smog) by as much as 20 percent. To justify the move, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy argued she was “following science” to “protect those most at-risk—our children, our elderly, and people already suffering from lung diseases like asthma.”

But it’s hard to see how lowering the current ozone limit either “follows the science” or “protects those most at-risk” for asthma.

No doubt, the environmental industry will condemn the study, to include claims of coal industry funding, etc. But, the problem of asthma cannot be solved by condemning the research of others on the dubious basis of funding. If asthma is a pressing national issue, then it must be approached with scrupulous examination, not personal attacks. See links under Health, Energy, and Climate.

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The Race to the Bottom — Circular Reasoning? As explained in last week’s TWTW, surveys (opinion polls) frequently disguise the scientific issues regarding global warming/climate change. The issue is not what climate scientists think, but how and why they think it — what physical evidence do they use to justify their claims? General climate models, which have not been validated, are not physical evidence. For example, given the best surface temperature records available, there were two periods of general warming during the 20th century; one from about 1910 to 1940 and the second from about 1976 to 1998. There has not been a generalized warming of the globe as one would expect from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Surveys of scientists that fail to make these points as central issues are generally meaningless.

Many of those who create global climate models also ignore these points and are now trying to justify the failure of the models to predict the current plateau in global temperatures with ever imaginative explanations. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute used climate model simulations in 15 year periods to claim that the climate models are correct, except for natural variations (??). They concluded that there are no systematic errors in the models. To make matters worse the claim was summarized in Phys Org as:

Sceptics who still doubt anthropogenic climate change have now been stripped of one of their last-ditch arguments: It is true that there has been a warming hiatus and that the surface of the earth has warmed up much less rapidly since the turn of the millennium than all the relevant climate models had predicted. However, the gap between the calculated and measured warming is not due to systematic errors of the models, as the sceptics had suspected, but because there are always random fluctuations in the Earth’s climate. [emphasis added, from Matt Briggs]

Who claimed that there were no fluctuations in the Earth’s climate? Certainty, not most of the skeptics who have repeatedly pointed out that climate has been changing for hundreds of millions of years, long before humanity existed.

When analyzing the paper further, Nicholas Lewis (technical) and Andrew Montford (general) recognized the entire effort was another example of circular reasoning – an effort based on model outputs to verify models rather than rigorously comparing model output with physical observations of temperatures.

This affair exposes the poor quality of climate research being conducted and published by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and its following among government entities. Some have argued that under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is not the function of the IPCC to understand natural variation in climate change, but only the human influence. If so, then every report, every press release should boldly state that the report is addressing the issue of human cause of climate change and does not address the natural causes that have been on-going for hundreds of millions of years. Such a statement would help clarify the confusion in the public that

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