The Lights Went Out in California

By Chuck Devore – Re4-Blogged From WUWT

The power has been out in Northern California. More than 1 million Californians were without electricity, one of modern life’s essentials that is frequently taken for granted. The blackout was done on purpose—to prevent sparks from powerlines that could ignite deadly wildfires.

On the surface, the blackout and its causes are simple to understand. But the deeper causes are complicated, span decades of public policy, and dozens of overlapping unintended—and intended—consequences of decisions, both related and unrelated.

The wind in Northern California is blowing in from dry Nevada, as it often does this time of year. It’s called the “Diablo wind.” In Southern California, the comparable current blowing in from the Mojave Desert is known as the “Santa Ana winds.”

In both cases, as the wind rises above California’s mountain spine, then descends, it compresses and heats up. Forests, chaparral and brush, dry this time of year in California’s Mediterranean climate, are primed for wildfires.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #380

The Week That Was: October 12, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Projec

Quote of the Week – “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”— George Bernard Shaw [William Readdy]

Number of the Week: Up 4850% in 20 Years

Solar-Climate Variability – Svensmark Hypothesis: It its review of recent papers, CO2 Science discusses a study in Nature, Scientific Reports, of a linkage between multi-decade variability in rainfall in the Western Mediterranean and solar activity over the last thousand years. The authors use high-resolution speleothem records (stalagmites) from two caves in Morocco to create a statistical basis for measuring changing precipitation. The paper illustrates how messy observational data can be and how exceptional the data presented in the 2008 report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) from a cave in Oman is. (pp 11-13)

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Brazil’s Fires and Biofuels.

By Jim Steele – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What’s Natural

Brazil’s Fires and Biofuels. Published in the Pacifica Tribune September 11, 2019

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From leaf cutting ants that cultivate fungus gardens to flowers that fool potential pollinating insects into having sex, the magic of rainforest ecology always inspired my love for nature’s creativity. So, it’s no surprise that any and every report of burning rainforests would rally deep concerns across the globe. Nonetheless I am disturbed by dishonest gloom and doom regards recent Amazon fires. NASA reports since 2003 the square kilometers of forest burned each year has dropped by roughly 25 percent. But such good news doesn’t get headlines.

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California’s Government Solely Responsible for States Forest Management and Wildfire Debacle

By Larry Hamlin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The inept government, political and regulatory policies of California have clearly driven the present forest management calamitous conditions with that failure leading to disastrous wildfires throughout the state.

Those government and political leaders that are responsible for this situation that has been decades in the making have tried to conceal their incompetence by making scientifically unsupported propaganda claims that “climate change” caused this situation. These government driven problems are clearly identified in two recent reports – one by Cal Fire and the other by the California Legislative Analysts Office. Continue reading

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #354

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

By Ken Haapala, President

Quote of the Week: “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth, if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” – Leo Tolstoy [William Readdy]

Number of the Week: Up to 100 times more

Why I Don’t “believe” In …: Judith Curry brought up a thoughtful essay by Robert Tracinski illustrating how politicians and the like try to persuade others to accept their views by manipulating meaningful terms to the point of rendering the terms meaningless. Currently it is fashionable to invoke the term “science” to justify one’s political policies and beliefs.

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PG&E Filing Bankruptcy

From Zero Hedge – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Confirming earlier reports that distressed California utility PG&E had rejected a proposal by some of the world’s most prominent investors that would keep it out of bankruptcy, moments ago Bloomberg reported that the board of the embattled utility which is facing $30 billion in wildfire liabilities, voted late Monday to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as midnight.

In pursuing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, PG&E is declining a proposal by an investing group led by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management that would’ve been backed by $4 billion in bonds and given the company enough cash to stay avoid bankruptcy while working through its liabilities. A second group of investors including Ken Griffin’s Citadel and Leon Black’s Apollo who had pitched a rival plan, were also rebuffed.

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What’s Natural? A Look at Wildfires

By Jim Steele – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What’s Natural?

A Look at Wildfires

In early December I surveyed the horrific Camp Fire disaster in Paradise. Having been director for 25 years of a university field station located in the heart of the Tahoe National Forest, I’ve been a “student” of fire ecology for 30 years and wanted a closer look at why row after row of homes completely incinerated while surrounding trees were merely scorched, with leaves and needles browned but not burnt?

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Large fires have recently ravaged about 1.8 million California acres a year, prompting media and politicians to proclaim a “new normal” that’s “evidence of global warming”. But UC Berkeley fire ecologists have calculated that before 1800, fires burned 4 million California acres each year (despite cooler temperatures). So what natural fire dynamics promote such extensive burning?

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