A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action

Written by Dr. Richard Lindzen

The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. (SPPI)


Hitting EPA’s Pause Button – What Are the Benefits, Risks? (Updated)

by Marlo Lewis on February 17, 2011 in Blog

Yesterday (Feb. 16), House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) engaged in a colloquy with Interior and Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) on Sec. 1746 of H.R. 1, the One-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011. (Cooler Heads)


I gather the wonkers don't approve: EXCLUSIVE: Wonk Room Interviews Montana Legislator Who Introduced Bill To Declare Global Warming ‘Natural’

A bill has been introduced in the Montana state legislature to declare global warming a “natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it,” and that it is “beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.” State Rep. Joe Read (R-MT), a farmer and emergency firefighter who unseated a Democratic incumbent in the climate zombie wave of 2010, introduced HB 549 “to ensure economic development in Montana”:

The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana’s natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.

(2) The legislature finds:

(a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;

(b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and

(c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.

In an exclusive interview with the Wonk Room, the 55-year-old first-time legislator graciously explained why he filed this bill to outlaw science, which even he admitted was a “radical” act. Unlike the man who tried to get the Indiana legislature to redefine pi for a crank mathematical “proof” in 1897, Read’s motivation is primarily ideological. Read did not consult any climate scientists in the drafting of this bill, he said, relying instead on his own experience and understanding of the issues at play:

We can’t wait for this issue to be settled. So the legislature is going to come in, and prevent something that potentially could destroy the economy of Montana and the United States.

Read has also introduced a companion bill that asserts federal greenhouse pollution limits violate the Tenth Amendment (HB 550), modeled after Arizona’s so-called Freedom To Breathe Act. Both bills are scheduled for hearings this Friday, February 18, in the Helena, Montana capitol building. (Wonk Room)

His bill to "outlaw science"? They are in a tizzy, aren't they? Rather it appears Joe Read is trying to determine science by consensus, oh...

Granted, having politicians declare something to be (or not) is about as useless and pointless as it gets but the wonkers should remember this is certainly far less ridiculous, far more benign and far better intentioned than the bureaucratic redefinition of an essential trace gas as "pollution", which oddly the wonkers appear to support.


The United (Socialist) Nations - Progress on Global Governance via Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Bio-Diversity

Written by Dennis Ambler

Whilst the continual scientific rebuttals of the climate reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may make many people think that this charade cannot continue much longer, behind the scenes it is quite irrelevant; the long-term process marches relentlessly on as if there had never been any challenges at all. As the advocates throw in yet more spurious claims of the “hottest year on record”, or record cold caused by CO2 emissions, they occupy the debate, and determine the daily agenda in the media, whilst those who know that the claims are spurious, are driven to waste time, effort and resources on refuting them. (SPPI)


Analysis: Governments To Debate Kyoto Climate Dilemma

Governments are looking at ways to keep the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol going beyond 2012 in some form to defuse a standoff between rich and poor nations that threatens efforts to tackle global warming.

Negotiators from almost 200 nations will meet in Bangkok from March 3-8, after side-stepping the Kyoto issue at their last meeting in Mexico in December.

"There is some creative thinking going on" about Kyoto's future, said Jennifer Morgan, director of the climate and energy program of the Washington-based World Resources Institute. (Reuters)


They say they believe but act like they don't

This week the Australian government tells us that we ought to pay more tax to prevent the increase in natural disasters that are dead-set bound-to-occur, yet the government itself is budgeting less for these events. Figure that. They’ve cut their expenditure projections for future natural disasters and apparently expect them to be less expensive than what the previous conservative government spent (way back in 2006), and far far less than recent bills.

LABOR has cut budget estimates to meet the cost of future natural disasters while simultaneously arguing that climate change is increasing the frequency of floods and cyclones.

Budget documents show Labor has allocated $80 million a year for the next three years — $23m less than in the last Howard budget and far less than the $524m spent last year.

The Australian

So it appears that the Australian Labor Party can warn us that natural disasters are on the rise (due to man-made emissions) but they estimate the costs of dealing with those disasters are going to be quite a lot less at least for a while. So either (a) they don’t really think disasters are coming, but they are happy to deceive the people about the risk, or (b) they do think disasters are getting worse, but they are happy to deceive people about the budget. Or there’s (c) no one is competent or organized enough to notice how these two things are wildly at odds with each other.

Once again, watch Penny Wong absolve herself of any responsibility. Apparently, the Minister of Finance doesn’t have a role in this. The bureaucrats decide:

Senator Wong said natural disasters varied in frequency, intensity, impact and cost and that budget estimates were based on a “longer-run trend” determined by agencies, not politicians.

Why do we elect her, if it’s not her job to determine how much money we ought to spend? Can we elect the bureaucrats instead? More » (Jo Nova)


Climate change committee delays decision

A decision on how to price carbon is still months away, the federal government says.

The multi-party climate change committee, chaired by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, met in Canberra on Friday to discuss options for a carbon price.

Ms Gillard and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet had been widely expected to unveil their preferred model after the meeting.
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But a communiqué released after the meeting said: "The committee noted that agreement to the final design of a carbon price could only be achieved when all elements of the policy could be considered together, with final agreement taking place in the coming months."

A spokeswoman for Mr Combet declined to comment further. (SMH)


High Level Climate Finance

Written by Dennis Ambler

We have seen the end of yet another UN “Climate Fest”, with COP 16 in Cancun. The actual conference, however, is just the “tip of the iceberg” of the massive wheeling and dealing that goes on all year round. (SPPI)


Are Skeptic Scientists Corrupt?

Written by Russell Cook

The collection of Original Papers at SPPI are authored by people with impressive credentials in science, or at least they have a demonstrated grasp of the various technical aspects of global warming theory through their history of writing on the subject. I must stress on no uncertain terms that I do not share those accomplishments, a fact that will no doubt delight believers of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and prompt them to read no further into this paper, but instead accuse SPPI of issuing papers written by people unqualified to speak about the subject. That would be unfortunate, as the evidence I present here and the questions I ask are things any unqualified, disinterested bystander might find and ask about. Indeed, believers of AGW could have posed the following to each other in order to see if their criticisms about skeptic scientists survive under hard scrutiny. (SPPI)


Debunking the Antarctica myths

Fraser Nelson

Nicholas Lewis and Matt Ridley have joined forces to write the cover story for this week’s issue of the Spectator. They tell yet another powerful, and depressing tale of the woeful state of climate science. Real science welcomes refutation: with global warming, it is treated as a religion. (Spectator)


Flood Disasters and Human-Caused Climate Change

[UPDATE: Gavin Schmidt at Real Climate has a post on this subject that  -- surprise, surprise -- is perfectly consonant with what I write below.]

[UPDATE 2: Andy Revkin has a great post on the representations of the precipitation paper discussed below by scientists and related coverage by the media.]  

Nature published two papers yesterday that discuss increasing precipitation trends and a 2000 flood in the UK.  I have been asked by many people whether these papers mean that we can now attribute some fraction of the global trend in disaster losses to greenhouse gas emissions, or even recent disasters such as in Pakistan and Australia.

I hate to pour cold water on a really good media frenzy, but the answer is "no."  Neither paper actually discusses global trends in disasters (one doesn't even discuss floods) or even individual events beyond a single flood event in the UK in 2000.  But still, can't we just connect the dots?  Isn't it just obvious?  And only deniers deny the obvious, right?

What seems obvious is sometime just wrong.  This of course is why we actually do research.  So why is it that we shouldn't make what seems to be an obvious connection between these papers and recent disasters, as so many have already done?

Here are some things to consider. (Roger Pielke Jr.)


Comment On The Nature Paper “Human Contribution To More-Intense Precipitation” By Min Et Al 2011

There has been quite a bit of discussion on weblogs of the Nature paper [h/t to Marcel Crok for alerting me to the paper]

Seung-Ki Min, Xuebin Zhang, Francis W. Zwiers and Gabriele C. Hegerl: 2011: Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes. Nature. 17 February 2011. (Roger Pielke Sr.)


Climate Models Prove That Disastrous Floods Could Not Happen Below 350 ppm CO2

“Historical research” is now superseded by blind faith in climate models. (Steven Goddard, Real Science)


UK Floods in 2000 caused by Millennium bug

Piers Corbyn astrophysicist of WeatherAction long range forecasters reports

I have just completed a 10 year research programme into the causes of the UK floods in Autumn 2000 and conclusively demonstrate (Ref 1) their risk was very likely (a 2 in 3 chance) exacerbated by the millennium bug. The correlation between the floods and the exponential growth of the bug which started in January 2000, a full 9 months previously is widely accepted and fully piers reviewed. The other reason why we can be so confident is that we know of no other reason, or to be more precise there are allegedly plenty of other reasons but we don’t want to know them because our bug research grant needs renewal and it was hard enough to spin this one out for ten years.

SERIOUSLY this level of drivel is only surpassed by the recent ‘Nature’ - Met Office – BBC publication – one-sided propagation by the familiar anti-science spin axis of ‘studies’ to the effect that Man-made CO2 contributed to the floods in 2000 and more intense precipitation in general.



http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/733v470/n4/full/nature09763.html (WeatherAction)


sigh... Climate’s Strong Fingerprint In Global Cholera Outbreaks

For decades, deadly outbreaks of cholera were attributed to the spread of disease through poor sanitation. But recent research demonstrates how closely cholera is tied to environmental and hydrological factors and to weather patterns — all of which may lead to more frequent cholera outbreaks as the world warms. (Sonia Shah, e360)

Well it might - if the world warms. On the other hand they could consider factors that are really important and they might note that global mean temperature is a completely independent variable. For example, La Niña conditions are associated with cooling global temperatures and flooding rains in some impoverished regions - and cholera outbreaks in those regions.


CO2 Report Debunks Climate Change Catastrophes

For decades, climate change alarmists have generated a host of doomsday scenarios, all based on the theory of anthropogenic global warming: human CO 2 emissions will force Earth's climate to warm uncontrollably causing all manner of unpleasantness. A new study, published by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, addresses the major predicted effects of global warming head on. Making extensive use of peer reviewed research papers, the dire predictions of climate alarmists are demolished point by point. In fact, the authors conclude that rising atmospheric CO 2 concentrations associated with the development of the Industrial Revolution have actually been good for the planet. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Feb. 17 2011

Greenpeace hippies are going to jail, Al Gore gets to inspect the underside of a bus and the Dutch want to glow in the dark. (Daily Bayonet)


Neal Amundson (1916-2011)

Neal Amundson (1916-2011)

Neal Amundson, considered by many the pre-eminent chemical engineer in the history of the United States just passed away after a long and distinguished career that spanned seven decades. He was 95.

Rarely has there been in any branch of science and engineering such an influential figure who could claim, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-great grandfather rights to practically any big name in the profession, covering the entire globe.

He was a transformational figure. (ET)


Federal judge gives Interior 30 days to decide on deepwater drilling permits

By Ben Geman

The judge's order says permitting delays in the wake of the BP oil spill have “become increasingly unreasonable.”

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Senators push drilling on word of new containment system

By Ben Geman

An array of pro-drilling lawmakers and business groups are boosting pressure on the Interior Department to resume issuing deepwater oil-drilling permits following the announcement by major oil producers that they’ve developed enhanced systems to contain well blowouts.

“This industry has presented containment strategies based on guidance from regulators and the ball is now fully in the Administration’s court.  I urge the Obama Administration to act before more businesses are forced to move from the Gulf Coast and seek work elsewhere,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in a statement.

The Exxon-led Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) said Thursday it has completed an interim system for rapidly containing a ruptured well in up to 8,000 feet of water.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


A Shale Of A Difference

Energy: The brightest hope for America's energy independence has been shut down by an Interior Department that says it wants to review the rules for leases. It really wants to kill off oil altogether.

The game is this: Say that you want to find domestic oil and gas in a "smart" way, so you have to study things for a while.

Then let enviros tie you up in court to block what you really don't want to do anyway, increase America's supply of domestic energy, keeping jobs and money here.

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the Obama administration is going to take a "fresh look" at oil shale leasing rules put forward in 2008 by President George W. Bush to develop oil-rich land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

We've been here before. After the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which was caused by a single drilling rig explosion, all deepwater rigs were shut down while the administration took a fresh look at safety rules and procedures. A de facto moratorium remains in the form of a snails-pace permitting process.

The Bush rules would have opened up about 2 million acres of federal land in what is known as the Green River Formation to the possible commercial-scale development of oil shale and tar sands.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the region, dubbed the "Persia of the West," may hold more than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, six times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia, and enough to meet U.S. oil needs for the next two centuries. (IBD)


Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: The Pacific and Asia (Part II)

by Donald Hertzmark
February 17, 2011

In Part 1 of this series, the trends in U.S. unconventional gas output in were explored. The impacts on gas markets — $3–5/MMBtu — were noted. If unconventional gas puts pressure on LNG and Gazprom, can this supply and supplier turn to Asia as their new market? Maybe, and just for a while. (MasterResource)


The stupid things the whacko elite try to  impose on real people: Stick a fork in it, we're done

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Green the Capitol initiative is over at the House's Longworth cafeteria.

After about a month in control of the House of Representatives, Republicans haven't managed to undo as many deeds of their Democratic predecessors as they'd like. They couldn't get rid of "Obamacare," and they haven't made much headway in slashing the president's $4-trillion budget. But the GOP has succeeded in short order in one critically important venture: getting rid of the "compostable" cornstarch-based knives, forks and spoons that were a universally — and bipartisanly — hated feature of the House cafeteria operation.

The tableware, the color of mucus and as bendable as a pocket watch in a Salvador Dali painting (and thus unable to pierce any foodstuff firmer than the innards of Brie cheese), was the most visible manifestation of recently deposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Green the Capitol initiative. That was her carbon-cutting effort to use the food-service and other House operations to fight global warming and a host of other perceived environmental, health and social ills. During the lunchtime rush, you could observe dozens of staffers struggling to stab lettuce leaves and poultry pieces with fork tines that appeared to be double-jointed as well as dull.

But on Jan. 25, Dan Lungren, the GOP congressman from the Sacramento area who now heads the House Administration Committee, directed the House chief administrative officer to trash — so to speak — the composting program, which converts the dining service's cornstarch tableware, along with its biodegradable plates, trays, cups and drinking straws, into garden mulch.

It turns out that the composting program not only cost the House an estimated $475,000 a year (according to the House inspector general) but actually increased energy consumption in the form of "additional energy for the pulping process and the increased hauling distance to the composting facility," according to a news release from Lungren. (Charlotte Allen, LA Times)


Can technology keep up with regulatory zeal?

Our friends at Interscan have prepared a nifty PowerPoint presentation entitled "Issues with low concentration gas detection in ambient air."   (1.9 MB)

While this may seem like an arcane subject, it really shouldn't be. Virtually every industry is affected by regulatory agencies that set compliance levels, and keep lowering them, for the level of toxic compounds in ambient air. Yet, the pitfalls of attempting to measure these concentrations are not well publicized—at all.

Interscan details three areas of concern:

  • Calibration issues
  • Zero gas issues
  • Interference issues

The information presented is practical and easy-to-understand. What's more, unlike so many other authors of PowerPoint content, Interscan distributes the native file, rather than a pdf version.

I mention this because, as one who does PowerPoints himself, distributing only the pdf versions has always seemed ridiculous. With the pdf, you lose all the cool formatting, and that's at least half of what makes a good presentation. Years ago, this practice could be justified since it reduced the file size, but with today's broadband speeds, it is no longer appropriate.

Interscan offers additional PowerPoint shows for free download, as well.

Check them out. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


EU cranks up antichemical crankery: EU To Ban Toxic Chemicals In Household Plastics

The European Union will ban six toxic chemicals within three to five years, three of which are commonly used in plastic household items, the EU Commission said on Thursday.

Among the compounds are three plastic softening phthalates, a musk fragrance, a flame retardant and a hardener for epoxy resin, the Commission said. (Reuters)


Doubt cast on salt guidelines for diabetics

Australian researchers are challenging guidelines that urge diabetics to cut back on salt in their diet.

In a study that seems to turn conventional wisdom on its head, they found patients with the highest levels of sodium in their urine had the smallest risk of dying over a 10-year period. (Reuters Health)



Oh... Group calls for FDA ban of soda 'caramel'

Some chemically enhanced caramel food colorings used in widely consumed cola drinks could cause cancer and should be banned, a U.S. consumer advocacy group urged the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. (Reuters)


JunkScience.com responds to food police attack on caramel coloring in cola, processed foods

JunkScience.com responded today to the claim by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that the caramel coloring used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other foods is contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

CSPI’s claim is based on studies in which laboratory rats were given extremely high doses of 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MI). But such studies are entirely unreliable indicators of cancer-causing affects in humans, simply because lab rats are not little people.

In addition to vastly different physiologies, lab rats are bred to be prone to getting cancer. Lab rats are so sensitive to cancer, in fact, that merely varying the quantity of food they consume affects their risk levels.

Moreover, even assuming for the sake of argument that the rat studies were relevant to cancer risk in humans, JunkScience.com calculates that an average person (154 lbs) would have to consume about 154,000 20-ounce bottles of cola per day to be exposed to the same dose of 4-MI as the lab rats. This is obviously impossible.

“CSPI has a long history of foisting junk science-fueled scares on the public, “ said JunkScience.com publisher Steve Milloy. “I guess we’ll be adding a new chapter to our review of CSPI’s history of food terrorism, “False Alarm: A Report on the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1971-2006,” added Milloy.

The report is on the web at: http://www.junkscience.com/falsealarm.pdf.


Shhh! Don't tell people these things happen naturally! UT researchers link algae to harmful estrogen-like compound in water

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers have found that blue-green algae may be responsible for producing an estrogen-like compound in the environment which could disrupt the normal activity of reproductive hormones

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers have found that blue-green algae may be responsible for producing an estrogen-like compound in the environment which could disrupt the normal activity of reproductive hormones and adversely affect fish, plants and human health. Previously, human activities were thought solely responsible for producing these impacts. (University of Tennessee at Knoxville)


Serial envirocrank Paul Epstein with more imaginary ills: Coal's Hidden Costs Top $345 Billion In U.S: Study

The United States' reliance on coal to generate almost half of its electricity, costs the economy about $345 billion a year in hidden expenses not borne by miners or utilities, including health problems in mining communities and pollution around power plants, a study found.

Those costs would effectively triple the price of electricity produced by coal-fired plants, which are prevalent in part due to the their low cost of operation, the study led by a Harvard University researcher found.

"This is not borne by the coal industry, this is borne by us, in our taxes," said Paul Epstein, a Harvard Medical School instructor and the associate director of its Center for Health and the Global Environment, the study's lead author. (Reuters)

Wouldn't you think a guy inhabiting a land of make-believe would come up with some happy fantasies, at least occasionally?


How to kill the economy

Captain Lee Carver took his 90-foot 100-passenger boat out to sea on February 1, with only 26 passengers. When he returned to dock after four hours of fishing, his catch report counted 52 sea bass, one grunt, and three sand tiles. After Wednesday, February 16, his boat will return to the docks with no sea bass, no red snapper, no grouper, no vermillion snapper, nor any of the dozens of other species managed by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC).

Not long ago, the fleet for which Captain Carver works had two 100-passenger boats and five private charter boats regularly filled with tourists eager to catch their dinner from Florida’s rich fishing grounds. After Wednesday, February 16, there will be few fish left to catch, and even fewer tourists to catch them.

The problem is not a lack of skill of the Captain or the crew. The problem is not a shortage of fish. The problem is the “catch limit” regulations imposed by the SAFMC. Duane Harris, Chairman of the SAFMC, told the Secretary of Commerce in a letter last year that fishermen in Florida and Georgia would see their revenues decline by 64-71 percent as the result of new regulations on red snapper. He also predicted that “for-hire” operations such as Captain Carter’s, could expect revenue reductions in the range of 91-96 percent. SAFMC’s regulations are killing this industry.

This is only one example of how government regulations are killing the economy.

“Catch limit” regulations might be justified if red-snapper or other regulated species really were in danger of extinction. This is simply not the case. The SAFMC has presented no scientific data to justify their regulation, while independent surveys provide convincing evidence that red-snapper populations are abundant.

Hardly anyone knows that there are eight regional National Fishery Councils, created in 1976 at the height of the “environmental enlightenment.” These bureaucracies regulate fishing activities in the 200-mile economic zone off the coasts of the United States. For the most part, these councils are appointed for three-year terms by an appointee of the President. As the fishermen who are being put out business will confirm, there is no way to influence these appointees of an appointee legally - with nothing more than reason, common sense, or scientific data.

“Talking to these people is like a Jehovah’s Witness trying to convert a radical Muslim,” says one fisherman whose name is withheld by request. “They have their mind made up, and they’re going to put us out of business.” (Henry Lamb, CFP)


Oil, mining groups urge House to curtail EPA climate rules in CR

By Ben Geman

More than a dozen industry trade associations including refining and mining groups are urging House lawmakers to maintain provisions in federal spending legislation that thwart EPA greenhouse-gas rules.

The GOP-drafted spending bill on the House floor — which funds the government through the end of September — would block funding for EPA’s implementation of initial rules to limit emissions.

EPA has begun phasing in initial greenhouse-gas permitting requirements for large, new and modified emitters such as power plants.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


House science chairman seeks to block funding for new ‘Climate Service’

By Ben Geman

Rep. Ralph Hall wants to block funding for the overhaul of major federal climate change research and monitoring programs.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Cap-and-Trade Fantasies In Disneyland

California, marching to the beat of its own drum, is on the road to another economic minefield of its own making. On September 2, 2010, voters rejected an alternate Proposition 23 route, one that would have avoided the approved Assembly Bill 32 superhighway to disaster. Resulting cap-and-trade booby traps will be triggered in 2012 when the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 is implemented. This legislation authorizes unelected officials at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish a program enabling companies that cut greenhouse gas emissions to sell “allowances” to others that need them to meet reduction regulations targeted at 15% by 2020. (Larry Bell, Forbes)


What Does Climate Change Mean for Investment Portfolio Risk?

Mercer, a global financial services firm, has just issued a major new report on the risks of climate change on investment portfolios.  The report was produced with the help of the LSE Grantham Institute and the World Bank.

A Reuters news story on the report says the following:

Climate change could put trillions of investment dollars at risk over the next 20 years, a global study released on Wednesday said, calling for pension funds and other investors to overhaul how they allocate funds.
However, when you actually take a look at the report, you find that it does not say what Reuters (or others) says it does .  The report presents several top line conclusions about portfolio risks over the next 20 years.

First, climate policies might have a large financial impact on portfolio risk:
[C]limate policy could contribute as much as 10% to overall portfolio risk: Uncertainty around climate policy is a significant source of portfolio risk for institutional investors to manage over the next 20 years. The economic cost of climate policy for the market to absorb is estimated to amount to as much as approximately $8 trillion cumulatively, by 2030. Additional investment in technology is estimated to increase portfolio risk for a representative portfolio by about 1%, although global investment could accumulate to $4 trillion by 2030, which is expected to be beneficial for many institutional portfolios.
Second, what about the risks caused by actual changes in the climate? (emphasis added)
The economic model used in this study excludes physical risks of climate change which are not consistently predicted by the range of scientific models, and primarily for this reason concludes that, over the next 20 years, the physical impact of changes to the climate are not likely to affect portfolio risk significantly. However, this does not imply the absence of significant (and growing) risk, as shown by recent climate-related disasters that investors need to monitor closely.
Thus, the risk to financial portfolios in the report is entirely due to climate policies and not the effects of "the physical impact of changes to the climate."  Of course, a news story that begins -- "Climate change policies could put trillions of investment dollars at risk" -- doesn't really have the same ring to it. (Roger Pielke Jr.)


Peter Foster: Cap and tirade

An over-the-top piece in the Post ignores the fact that cap and trade’s ‘market’ is entirely artificial

One may accuse the Harper government of many things, but the notion that rejecting cap and trade in favour of regulation of carbon emissions makes them “Communists” — as suggested in a piece by Dan Gardner in the Post on Monday — seems a little over the top.

Mr. Gardner asserts that since he cannot “read minds” he must assume that Environment Minister Peter Kent really means it when he says that “Climate Change is one of the most serious environmental issues facing the world today.” Thus the government must be sincere about addressing it. Instead, claims Mr. Gardner, their proposals to deal with the problem by regulation represent a level of economic ignorance unseen outside the University of Havana!

Read More » (Financial Post)


Signs of spring delayed by freeze

Harsh winter in the UK means early signs of spring such as snowdrops and frogspawn are appearing later than normal (Press Association)

Funny how mild weather causes great consternation with claims gorebull warbling is wreaking havoc with nature's alarm clock, endangering, well, just about everything because there'll be no suitable food resources for breeding [some cute and/or cuddly critter] but "late" springs merely evoke "oh well, it's a little late but it will be lovely when it gets here... ". So critters and plants are able to adapt to harsh, cold conditions but not mild, warm ones? Funny ol' game this, innit guv'na?


Horse spit! Flood risk 'doubled' by greenhouse pollution

SCIENTISTS have shown for the first time that human activity has made extreme rainfall and floods around the globe worse in recent decades.

Increases in greenhouse gas emissions have also been linked, in a separate study, to a specific flood event – a devastating inundation in Britain 10 years ago. (SMH)

This is based on refreshed claims in Nature (of course) derived from a combination of model runs and some post hoc, ergo propter hoc wishful thinking. In essence they assume there are no cycles in heavy precipitation events (such things wouldn't be associated with ocean cycle phases, would they?), no solar influence or any natural component and that only atmospheric conditions to about 2500 feet should count (this being the only region in the active weather zone where moistening is known to have occurred in the applicable time period). Thus they can pretend to have "discovered" the human fingerprint in a precipitation event.


Why More Precipitation Does Not Necessarily Mean More Flood Damage

It is common to see studies that find an increase in precipitation (whatever the cause) quickly linked to claims of increasing floods. Making such a link, however comfortable and intuitive, is not so direct in practice.

In a peer-reviewed essay in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in 1999 we explained the "apparent paradox" between observations of increasing precipitation but at the same time, a lack of trends found in the same regions in peak streamflow (floods). (Roger Pielke Jr.)


Well, at least they recycle: Thawing permafrost likely will accelerate global warming in coming decades, says study

Up to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost likely will disappear by 2200 as a result of warming temperatures, unleashing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.


Greenpeace Blasts Berlin for Secrecy on Carbon Storage

Carbon capture and sequestration technology sounds great. But where would the CO2 be stored? Greenpeace has accused the German government of keeping potential sites secret and says the public has been misled. (Spiegel)

CCS is a dumb idea anyway. In fact its only virtue appears to lie in annoying the whackos.


Senate Dems’ ‘win the future’ plan stuffed with energy proposals

By Ben Geman

Senate Democratic leaders are calling for extended tax credits for manufacturing “clean-energy” components and wider financing for low-carbon energy projects as part of a broader agenda to boost U.S. economic competitiveness. (E2 Wire)

"Clean energy" is simply code for carbon tax - and it will cost you big.


Duke Energy's Jim Rogers Should Listen to His New Partner

Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, whose company will (pending approval) be swallowed by larger electric utility Duke Energy, has been making the media rounds. He has discussed the planned merger, which he says is necessary because of looming capital projects that will be needed to meet electricity demand, but he also warned regulators in Washington of the dangers posed by the heightened government regulatory environment:

"Call this regulatory picture what you will - "a train wreck" ... "a tsunami" ... or an overdue change that's ultimately do-able," Johnson said. "It's not hard to imagine the customer pushback that will occur because of the resulting increase in the price of electricity. This pushback will come from industrial customers struggling to be competitive, and from residential customers and small businesses struggling to make ends meet. As indicated, I'm especially sensitive to the households of modest means, where energy represents a disproportionately large share of disposable income."

This is what many groups who represent low-income, minority, small businesses and senior citizens have been saying for years. What is ironic is that Progress would form its partnership with Duke, which as a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership has lobbied for policies (especially cap-and-trade) that dramatically increase those regulations that Johnson criticizes. Duke's Jim Rogers is known as one of the top rent-seeking CEOs in the country (perhaps second only to Government Electric's Jeffrey Immelt). (Paul Chesser, NLPC)


Exxon Struggles To Find New Oil

HOUSTON—Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is struggling to find more oil.

In its closely watched annual financial report released Tuesday, the company said that for every 100 barrels it has pumped out of the earth over the past decade, it has replaced only 95.

It's a conundrum shared by most of the other large Western oil-producing companies, which are finding most accessible oil fields were tapped long ago, while promising new regions are proving technologically and politically challenging.

Exxon said in the report that it more than made up for the shortfall in oil by stocking up on natural gas, mostly through its acquisition of XTO Energy Inc. last year.

But the shift toward gas is troubling some investors, because gas sells for less than the equivalent amount of oil. Many observers feel the move toward gas—a trend across the oil industry—is dictated more by shrinking access to oil fields than by a strong desire to emphasize gas production. (WSJ)


Alberta Backs C$5 Billion Oil Sands Refinery Plan

The Alberta government is backing construction of a C$5 billion ($5.05 billion) bitumen refinery planned by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and North West Upgrading Inc as it seeks to develop energy-processing facilities in the province and create jobs.

Under the agreement, the culmination of more than a year of talks between the parties, the Western Canadian province will supply 75 percent of the feedstock and Canadian Natural the remainder for the 50,000 barrel a day plant.

The deal essentially means Alberta taxpayers will pay three-quarters of the cost through tolls to process the crude, and take in three-quarters of the returns over a 30-year term. (Reuters)


Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: North America (Part I)

by Donald Hertzmark
February 16, 2011

[Editor note: Part II tomorrow will summarize unconventional gas developments in Europe and Asia.]

In 2003 and again in 2005, Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, called on America’s governors and natural gas users to embrace vastly larger imports of methane energy. In his words: “North America’s limited capacity to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) has effectively restricted our access to the world’s abundant gas supplies.”

As he was speaking, a revolution was brewing under his feet. New methods of producing gas from unconventional resources–tight gas, coalbed methane (cbm) and shale gas–had greatly expanded the universe of gas resources available throughout the world.

By the end of that decade, the U.S., Australia and Canada would be able to book unconventional reserve additions in excess of annual production from all gas sources. (MasterResource)


EPA’s “Yee Haw” Moment in Texas

Sworn statements from key players involved in controversial EPA order shed new light on how it all went down, and why it shouldn’t have

The administrator had already had quite a day up until that point on December 7, 2010, and in an email sent at 4:54 that afternoon, he indicated it was about to get even better. “We’re about to make a lot of news,” EPA Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz wrote to friends and allies representing some of the most active anti-shale organizations in Texas. “There’ll be an official press release in a few minutes … time to Tivo channel 8.”

But over on Channel 8’s website, the news had already broke: “The Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency order after it determined that a natural gas company’s operations caused or contributed to the contamination of drinking water in Parker County,” read the lead. Dr. Armendariz was quoted in the story, which was posted online before his office had even notified the state of Texas that EPA was about to take over its investigation. “Yee haw!” the director of the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP), Sharon Wilson, wrote in reply. “Hats off to the new Sheriff and his deputies!” A Texas-style round-up was officially underway.

Fast-forward a month-and-a-half. Rejected by the court after filing at least three separate motions requesting that any attempt to gather sworn testimony from its staff be blocked, EPA Regional 6 official John Blevins finally sat for a court-ordered deposition in New Orleans, where he was asked a series of straightforward questions. Questions like: Did EPA have prior knowledge of the fact that methane had been detected in water wells in Parker County long before Range ever arrived on the scene? Blevins: “[Y]es, we were aware of those facts.” Did you include those facts in the administrative record? “[W]e do not believe those facts were … germane or relevant to the issue at hand.”

Ok. But at least EPA took a look at the Strawn Formation, right? The shallower, non-producing, higher-in-nitrogen formation that most experts now believe was the actual source of the natural gas in the Parker Co. wells? Blevins: “Not related to this case, no.” But obviously the nitrogen profile of the methane is an important factor in determining where the methane originated, right? “It’s a factor, yes.” So you’re saying no one at EPA even looked at it? “I don’t believe that I could say EPA has an expert to opine on the nitrogen levels within any gas source.” Then how were you able to determine the pathway? “That was not what we needed to issue the order on.” What, EPA just couldn’t do the work? “The Agency could do the work. The Agency doesn’t believe that we need to do the work.” Come again? (Energy in Depth)


Groups rally support for anti-ethanol amendment

By Ben Geman

Ethanol opponents off Capitol Hill are seeking to bolster political support for an amendment to House spending legislation that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s program to allow higher blends of the fuel in newer vehicles.

The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association is circulating a sign-on letter to House GOP and Democratic leaders that backs Rep. John Sullivan’s (R-Okla.) amendment to the continuing resolution on the House floor this week.

“The amendment is necessary to protect consumers and the environment and deserves your strong support,” the letter states.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Figures... Northern New Brunswick wind turbines frozen solid

FREDERICTON — A $200-million wind farm in northern New Brunswick is frozen solid, cutting off a potential supply of renewable energy for NB Power.

The 25-kilometre stretch of wind turbines, located 70 kilometres northwest of Bathurst, N.B. has been completely shutdown for several weeks due to heavy ice covering the blades.

GDF SUEZ Energy, the company that owns and operates the site, is working to return the windmills to working order, a spokeswoman says.

“We can’t control the weather,” Julie Vitek said in an interview from company headquarters in Houston, Texas. “We’re looking to see if we can cope with it more effectively, through the testing of a couple of techniques.”

She says the conditions in northern New Brunswick have wreaked havoc on the wind farm this winter. (Greg Weston, Telegraph-Journal)


China To Shake Up Rare Earth Industry

China announced a shake-up of its rare earths industry on Wednesday, vowing "reasonable" quotas on mining and exports to bring order to the small but strategic sector where its dominance has spooked foreign buyers.

China produces about 97 percent of the global supply of the minerals used in smartphones, electric car motors and high-tech industrial equipment, and Beijing cut export quotas by 40 percent last year, alarming buyers and trading partners.

Premier Wen Jiabao told a Cabinet, or State Council, meeting that the country's rare earth industry had been harmed by illegal mining and "chaotic" exports.

"We will fully take into account both domestic resources, production and consumption as well as the international market, and reasonably set annual quotes for total volumes of rare earth mining production and for exports," said an account of the meeting on the central government website (www.gov.cn)

Chinese rare earths traders said the announcement firmed up official moves already happening, and some said it would probably magnify the dominance of bigger state-owned companies in the industry. (Reuters)



Inhofe Takes on Global Warming Alarmist Attempted Ambush

Global warming alarmists led by Mark Hertsgaard attempted to ambush Senator Inhofe following a hearing this morning. See for yourself who ended up winning the argument. (Jim Inhofe Press Office)


Announcing a formal request for the Auditor General to audit the Australian BOM

A team of skeptical scientists, citizens, and an Australian Senator have lodged a formal request with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have the BOM and CSIRO audited.

The BOM claim their adjustments are “neutral” yet Ken Stewart showed that the trend in the raw figures for our whole continent has been adjusted up by 40%. The stakes are high. Australians could have to pay something in the order of $870 million dollars thanks to the Kyoto protocol, and the first four years of the Emissions Trading Scheme was expected to cost Australian industry (and hence Australian shareholders and consumers) nearly $50 billion dollars.

Given the stakes, the Australian people deserve to know they are getting transparent, high quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The small cost of the audit is nothing in comparison with the money at stake for all Australians. We need the full explanations of why individual stations have been adjusted repeatedly and non-randomly, and why adjustments were made decades after the measurements were taken. We need an audit of surface stations. (Are Australian stations as badly manipulated and poorly sited as the US stations? Who knows?)

The NZ equivalent to the Australian BOM is under an official review

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition found adjustments that were even more inexplicable (0.006 degrees was adjusted up to 0.9 degrees). They decided to push legally and the response was a litany of excuses — until finally The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) was forced to disavow it’s own National Temperature Records, and belatedly pretend that it had never been intended for public consumption. But here’s the thing that bites: NZ signed the Kyoto protocol, arguably based very much on the NZ temperature record, and their nation owes somewhere from half a billion to several billion dollars worth of carbon credits (depending on the price of carbon in 2012). Hence there is quite a direct link from the damage caused by using one unsubstantiated data set based on a single student’s report that no one can find or replicate that will cost the nation a stack of money. NIWA is now potentially open to class actions. (Ironically, the Australian BOM has the job of “ratifying” the reviewed NZ temperature record.)

Thanks to work by Ken Stewart, Chris Gillham, Andrew Barnham, Tony Cox, James Doogue, David Stockwell, as well as Cory Bernardi, Federal Senator for South Australia. (Jo Nova)


The Nazi father of global warming apocalypse

We often think about environmentalism as a left-wing ideology. However, the mass-organized environmentalism can only be invariantly identified as a totalitarian ideology; whether it is left-wing or right-wing is somewhat flexible.

In the article The Roots of Environmentalism, I have discussed some aspects of the environmentalist obsession of the German Nazis. An hour ago, Ron de Haan just posted a link to a fascinating article by Mark Musser written for the American Thinker,

The Nazi Origins of Apocalyptic Global Warming Theory
The first book that defended the idea of a catastrophe caused by carbon dioxide was written by Günther Schwab, an Austrian Nazi and environmentalist.

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


Making things arbitrarily more expensive doesn't cost consumers more, does it... Connie Hedegaard insists tougher carbon targets will boost European economy

EU climate commissioner says there is 'debate' – but no row – over raising the carbon targets to a 30% cut by 2020

Europe's climate chief insisted on Monday that tougher greenhouse gas targets would improve the EU's economic performance, rather than push businesses overseas, as companies and green campaigners tussled over whether current emissions goals were too weak. (Guardian)


Carbon trading: Into thin air

Just before lunch one Tuesday in mid-January, the public address system at Jiri Stastny’s office in Prague ordered all employees to evacuate: someone had called in a bomb threat.

Police crawled over the building for more than three hours. Officers conducted a sweep of the seventh-floor offices of OTE, the company of which Mr Stastny is director that manages the Czech Republic’s part of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions trading system. Nothing seemed amiss.

The first indication of trouble came just after 7am the next day. One of OTE’s clients called: thousands of its digitised carbon allowances, which had been stored at the Czech registry run by OTE, had gone missing. The national registry is a sort of back office, where all the country’s state and commercial ETS allowances are held and trades are logged. (Financial Times)


Japan: we wasted ¥6.55 trillion for 214 failed AGW projects

Today, we learned that based on the 2010 GDP figures, China overtook Japan as the world's second largest economy.

It may be pretty unlikely for Japan to return to its place because the current mess in the land of the rising Sun seems pretty remarkable. Japan Times just announced the results of an official government audit:

Trillions for biomass projects fruitless

Their 214 biomass projects, motivated purely by the global warming hysteria and funded in the recent six years, have led to no results. The cost was ¥6.55 trillion i.e. about $80 billion. That's like the GDP of the whole Czech Republic for 4 months. It's gone ;-)

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


CO2 is a benefactor not a pollutant. Producers should be rewarded not demonized and taxed

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

CO2 has been increasing since 1958 according to the measurements at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

In this analysis by Tom Quirk, a look inside the data suggests that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere may not be from the CO2 derived from fossil fuels. His analysis concludes the increase in CO2 is driven by other processes related to the natural variability of the climate. (Icecap)


Another eye-roller from the NYT: Climate Change Drives Instability, U.N. Official Warns

The United Nations’ top climate change official said on Tuesday that food shortages and rising prices caused by climate disruptions were among the chief contributors to the civil unrest coursing through North Africa and the Middle East. (Green)


This nonsense, again: If greenhouse gas emissions stopped now, Earth still would likely get warmer

While governments debate about potential policies that might curb the emission of greenhouse gases, new University of Washington research shows that the world is already committed to a warmer climate because of emissions that have occurred up to now.

There would continue to be warming even if the most stringent policy proposals were adopted, because there still would be some emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. But the new research shows that even if all emissions were stopped now, temperatures would remain higher than pre-Industrial Revolution levels because the greenhouse gases already emitted are likely to persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years. (University of Washington)

Ignoring the simple fact no one has ever demonstrated that changing levels of a trace gas measurably affect global temperature we also dispute the multi-millennial persistence claim. Biological processes and oceanic absorption already remove more than half estimated anthropogenic emissions, cease all emission now and the biosphere will begin depleting the resource at multiple parts per million per year. Within a couple of decades more than half the "surplus" will be consumed although the depletion efficiency will fall as plants compete back to starvation levels of atmospheric CO2 and it would be the 22nd Century before the tragedy fully unfolded and levels were depleted back to pre Industrial Revolution levels.


Global warming will not cause 'permanent El Niño'

Major climate shifts unseen in previous warm eras

Boffins in Blighty have said that global warming and retreating Arctic sea ice cover is unlikely to result in a so-called "permanent El Niño" state in the Pacific, nor cause similar major weather-changing shifts in the behaviour of the Atlantic ocean.

The possibility of such major changes in the world's weather has been discussed in scientific circles for some time. Some climate researchers believe that a warming world with ice-free summers in the Arctic would cause periodic occurrences such as the well-known El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pacific, or the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO), to become permanent conditions.

This would mean major permanent changes to climate and weather around the world, many of which - for instance droughts and massive rainfalls in different areas during ENSO events - would be seen as disasters in their local regions. But now scientists working at the UK's National Oceanography Centre in Southampton say that a warm world in coming decades with ice-free summers in the Arctic would still have periodic ENSOs and AO/NAOs positive and negative in the normal way. (Lewis Page, The Register)


Look at the utter rubbish coming from NAS: Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth's climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe. Emissions reductions decisions made today matter in determining impacts experienced not just over the next few decades, but in the coming centuries and millennia.

According to Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia, important policy decisions can be informed by recent advances in climate science that quantify the relationships between increases in carbon dioxide and global warming, related climate changes, and resulting impacts, such as changes in streamflow, wildfires, crop productivity, extreme hot summers, and sea level rise. One way to inform these choices is to consider the projected climate changes and impacts that would occur if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were stabilized at a particular concentration level. The book quantifies the outcomes of different stabilization targets for greenhouse gas concentrations using analyses and information drawn from the scientific literature. Although it does not recommend or justify any particular stabilization target, it does provide important scientific insights about the relationships among emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, and impacts.

Climate Stabilization Targets emphasizes the importance of 21st century choices regarding long-term climate stabilization. It is a useful resource for scientists, educators and policy makers, among others. (NAP)


From CO2 Science Volume 14 Number 7: 16 February 2011

Coral Reef Degradation: Anthropogenic-Induced or Natural?: The differentiation is not as straightforward as one might think.

Journal Reviews:
Droughts of the Northwestern U.S. Snake River Basin: How have they varied over the past four centuries?

A Century of Drought in Southern South America: Did the lower third of the continent get wetter or drier over the course of the 20th century?

Breeding and Feeding Cycles in Great and Blue Tits: Are they becoming less synchronized in response to global warming?

Great Cormorants on Greenland: They seem to be taking a liking to warmer weather.

Vascular Plant Richness on Mountain Summits of Southern Norway: How has it changed since the early 1970s?

More CO2 Enrichment Work on Wine Grapes: A little CO2 seems to help a whole lot.

Ocean Acidification Database:
The latest addition of peer-reviewed data archived to our database of marine organism responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment is Hard Clam [Mercenaria mercenaria]. To access the entire database, click here.

Plant Growth Database:
Our latest results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature are: Mongolian Oak (Zhou et al., 2010) and Paper Birch (Ambebe and Dang, 2009).

Medieval Warm Period Project:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 932 individual scientists from 544 research institutions in 43 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record comes from Moose Lake, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, South-Central Alaska, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here. (co2science.org)


Editorial: Ecuador's Bogus $8 Bil Ruling Vs. Chevron

The Law: An Ecuador court's finding of Chevron liable for $8.64 billion over jungle drilling is a bogus case showing how easy it is for lawyers to manipulate banana republic systems. (IBD)


Four Regulatory Fronts Against Coal Power (after the defeat of cap-and-trade)

by Robert Peltier
February 15, 2011

Can the Republican House neuter the Obama Administration’s war against coal-fired power plants? I’m not optimistic, but coal is an plentiful, improving resource that will be hard to put and keep in the energy cellar.

The coal industry has been fighting on five key regulatory fronts during the past two years. The good news is that cap-and-trade of carbon dioxide (CO2), a back door energy tax, is defeated. The subject is kryptonite in Washington among Republicans and a surprising number of Democrats–and rightly so.

Cap-and-trade was defeated despite the clever Administration strategy to bribe stakeholders by making their support of the American Power Act economically worthwhile. Several major utilities (especially those with nuclear plants), most equipment manufacturers that sell to the industry, and even the Edison Electric Institute lined up in support of cap-and-trade legislation.

I was especially amused by the strong support from nuclear utilities—I’m sure it had nothing to do with the formula for allocating allowances that would have given them a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars over time for sitting quietly on the sidelines. Thankfully, the Senate euthanized that legislation before it got much traction.

The Big Regulatory Four

Legislative control of CO2 is closed, perhaps for a decade or more, but this battle hardly ended the conflict. Instead, the Executive Branch has sidestepped Congress to put its full weight behind the regulate-to-death option. There are four fronts: [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Families go without food to pay winter fuel bills

ONE of the coldest winters in a century saw Welsh people risking their health by switching off heating in the face of rising energy bills, a report has found.

The Bevan Foundation report said some families also plunged themselves into debt or went without food in an effort to afford to heat their homes.

It warns the Assembly Government will not meet its target of eliminating fuel poverty by 2018 with its current approach.

The shocking report comes just a week after Children in Wales and Consumer Focus Wales warned children’s health and education is being put at risk by fuel poverty.

James Radcliffe, author of the Bevan Foundation report, Coping with Cold, said: “The combination of rising energy prices and the return of colder winters means more people are affected by fuel poverty.

“It is clear that the target of eliminating fuel poverty by 2018 will not be met through the current strategy. (Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail)

Mostly this is the doing of the carbon cranks along with their fellow-travelling misanthropists and scam artists.


Michelle Obama: First Lady of Junk Science

While her husband may have paid lip service to ending the abuse of science for "politics or ideology," first lady Michelle Obama gave herself a super-sized waiver. Two of her showcase social engineering campaigns -- tax preferences for breast-pumping working mothers and expanded nutrition labels -- are based on distorting or dismissing the prevailing public health literature.

Just as the White House costumed Obamacare activists in white lab coats, the fashionable Mrs. O has cloaked her meddling anti-obesity crusade in medical fakery.

Over the past year, the first lady has marshaled a taxpayer-subsidized army of government lawyers, bureaucrats and consultants against the "national security threat" of childhood obesity. She has transformed the East Wing of the White House into Big Nanny's new Central Command headquarters. The biggest threats to Mrs. Obama's 70-point plan for national fitness: parental authority and sound science. (Michelle Malkin, Townhall)


Medical identity theft: You can lose more than money

As if it weren't bad enough that identity theft is the nation's fastest growing crime, medical identity theft is a big part of this new crime wave.

In this form of identity theft, the offender will steal your personal information to line his pockets with bogus claims against your own health insurance policy, or he can fraudulently obtain medical treatment and drugs in your name. This is covered in my latest HND piece.

I point out that the losses here can go beyond financial. The perp could conceivably use up all your coverage. Even worse, his medical records could be mixed in with yours, leading to dangerously inappropriate treatments.

Of course, the perp can also be an insider at a health care provider, who steals large amounts of personal data—to submit false claims to Medicare.

I list some tips on how to make yourself a less likely target, garnered from identity theft expert Denis Kelly and the Federal Trade Commission. Kelly also has some choice thoughts on how HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) applies to this problem.

Read the complete article. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


Capitalism Kills AIDS

Medicine: Has anyone noticed the 800-pound gorilla called AIDS hasn't been in the room for years? It's disappeared from the political radar because Big Bad Pharma tamed it.

A new peer-reviewed medical report describes in detail how the pharmaceutical industry turned HIV-AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable disease.

The New York-based American Council on Science and Health this week published "Whatever Happened to AIDS?" and its findings should shame the many politicians — even some claiming to be pro-business — for whom Big Pharma is a convenient villain. (IBD)


Whatever Happened to AIDS?

New York, NY, February 14, 2011 – A new publication released today by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), Whatever Happened to AIDS? How the Pharmaceutical Industry Tamed HIV, explains the central role played by the pharmaceutical industry in transforming AIDS from an inevitably fatal illness to a chronic, manageable disease. This story is largely untold. Read Full Article >> (ACSH)



EPA's Jackson declines to address impact of House GOP spending bill

By Andrew Restuccia

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson declined Monday to directly address a bill proposed by House Republicans that would block funding for the agency’s pending climate rules through September.

Asked by reporters about the potential effect of the proposal, included in legislation to fund the government through the end of the year, Jackson would only speak in broad terms.

“We want to make sure that we don’t undermine our ability to protect public health and the environment,” Jackson said on a conference call Monday.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Actually not a problem Lisa, the EPA has had no part in protecting people's health or the environment for decades and precious little before that. In December 1970 the Nixon Administration created the EPA to implement executive environmental policy, beginning with the completely arbitrary, scientifically unfounded and medically unwarranted de facto ban on one of humanity's greatest health aids, Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane or DDT. How does inflicting billions of bouts of malaria and millions of deaths square with protecting public health? Creating the misanthropic monster of the EPA and enabling the antisocial loons it harbors is arguably the worst thing Nixon ever did.


White House budget proposal cuts funding for EPA, but GOP wants more

By Ben Geman

Budget would slash EPA funding by roughly $1.3 billion but continues collision course with Republicans on climate change.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Defunding EPA’s Ability to Regulate CO2

Last Friday, House Republicans re-introduced legislation that would fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. This iteration included deeper cuts that would reduce spending for the rest of the year by a total of $100 billion compared to the President’s budget proposal. Though the new proposal includes $16 billion in unwise cuts to security spending, taking their initial spending reduction proposal back to the drawing board for more cuts shows lawmakers’ commitment to putting the federal budget on a sustainable path, and is a promising step forward.

Among the several needed cuts made by the House majority’s revamped proposal is a provision to prohibit funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) under the Clean Air Act. This spending cut proposal is a move that makes economic and fiscal sense. Congress never intended the Clean Air Act to cover carbon dioxide (CO2), and the result of doing so would be economically catastrophic. Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Climate cash goes up in smoke

MORE than $5.5 billion has been spent by federal governments during the past decade on climate change programs that are delivering only small reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

An analysis of government schemes designed to cut emissions by direct spending or regulatory intervention reveals they have cost an average $168 for each tonne of carbon dioxide abated. (The Age)


TERRY McCRANN: Julia out to destroy us

THE flood levy will raise less than $2 billion and last only one year. The Julia carbon tax will have to raise at least $10 billion a year. Every year. Forever.

The flood levy has four things going for it. The relatively small sum. That it's only for one year. Most taxpayers won't pay anything or only 50¢ to a couple of dollars a week.

And finally, that it's for perhaps the most self-evidently good purpose we have ever seen attached to a tax. Literally helping our neighbours.

Yet, less than 60 per cent of voters support it, according to a recent opinion poll. I wonder how many will end up supporting the proposed Julia carbon tax, which has none of those positive attributes?

Julia carbon tax, incidentally? That's the carbon tax you have after the election, when you have put your hand on your heart and sworn that "there will be no carbon tax under the Government I lead" before the election.

Apart from the most blatant political dishonesty, Gillard's embrace of a carbon tax is almost exquisite in its stupidity. In 40 years of watching politicians and policy, I cannot think of anything that comes even remotely close.

Analyst and commentator Henry Ergas nailed it exactly in our sister paper The Australian last Friday.

Now the core argument propounded for a carbon tax - or its equivalent, a price on carbon - is that we in Australia have the most to lose from supposed "climate change", formerly known as global warming.

The simple but absolutely fundamental point is that our punitive carbon tax wrecks our economy. But we still suffer the droughts, the raging bushfires, the cataclysmic hurricanes and floods that climate change is supposed to deliver.

It is a simple but extraordinarily important point that I have not seen made by any other commentator. (Terry McCrann, The Courier-Mail)


OK... Carbon Trust funding cut by 40%

Cuts to the government's low-carbon agency will cancel grants to biofuel projects and cause dozens of redundancies

The government's leading low-carbon agency has had its funding cut by 40%, causing the cancellation of grants to a major biofuel scheme and other projects, and dozens of redundancies.

The Carbon Trust, whose mission is "to accelerate the move to a low-carbon economy", will receive £50m from the government in 2011-12. It will end free on-site energy surveys for businesses and 35 of its 216 employees will lose their jobs. (Guardian)

So why didn't they just junk the damned thing altogether?


‘Carbon Nation’ to seduce right with Van Jones?

February 14, 2011

America’s wanna-be communists and their clean energy useful-idiots have a new documentary aimed at convincing the right that climate change is a problem and that clean energy is the solution. Read the rest of this entry » (Green Hell Blog)


NYT: Skeptical playwright much better than the worriers

On Friday, Jeremy Lovell of ClimateWire wrote the following article for the New York Times:

Climate Change Skeptics Out-Dramatize Believers in London

During the last month, two plays hit the stages of London theaters: "Greenland" was created by a committee of four worriers (using the words of The Independent) while "The Heretic", written by the playwright Richard Bean, presented the skeptical viewpoint.

Scientific pragmatism and rap dialogue: Juliet Stevenson as Dr Diane Cassell and Johnny Flynn as student Ben in The Heretic at the Royal Court. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian

The New York Times actually chose the skeptical play to be a clear winner. While "Greenland" is described as a naive propaganda that licks the buttocks of the environmental establishment so thoroughly that even the most hardcore alarmists feel the need to vomit while watching the play (they didn't use exactly the same words, but they meant the same thing), "The Heretic" is a deep psychological probe into the life of an honest geodynamics lecturer Diane Cassell who is a "scientist and therefore doesn't believe in anything" and who becomes increasingly ostracized by her less ethical colleagues for claiming the obvious, namely that there's no proof of man-made climate change.

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


Waxman attacks Upton over ‘one-sided’ hearing on enviro rules

By Ben Geman

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, is alleging that a Tuesday hearing will be unfairly stacked with witnesses who allege environmental rules are hindering the economy.

The panel’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy is holding a hearing Tuesday titled “Environmental Regulations, the Economy, and Jobs.”

Waxman, in a letter Monday to committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), said the second panel of witnesses is completely one-sided.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Gosh, that's really different to being stacked with watermelons, huh?


Sheesh! News Bites: Hurling eggs at a climate scientist, growing pains for wind power, and more

By Ben Geman

The New Republic's Bradford Plumer checked out the booth scene at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and came away with this tidbit:

“The Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow let passers-by hurl eggs at pinup photos of Al Gore and Penn State paleoclimatologist Michael Mann; I saw one girl chuck an egg so vehemently that she [had] to leap back to avoid the splatter.”

Mann’s work has long been a target of climate skeptics (Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli isn’t a fan), but multiple probes have cleared Mann and other scientists linked to the “Climategate” e-mails.

Elsewhere, The Associated Press looks at conflicts over a Dutch wind project and sees a broader trend.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Carbon cranks sure wish Mann & the Climategate authors were investigated and cleared but that is nowhere close to the truth - there have been a few superficial whitewash attempts that did not interview anyone who knew anything about the issue nor examine the science at issue. See below for an idea how far Mann & his absurd hockey stick climate representation are from reality.


From Hockey Sticks To Boomerangs

P Gosselin 14. Februar 2011

The Swiss online NZZ from Zurich has a report on a recent multiple-proxy temperature reconstruction produced by a Swedish team of scientists. It wasn’t that long ago when European media outlets were saying Mann’s old hockey stick was settled science – that is until a series of scientific and statistical analyses by leading experts debunked it and the pressure to drop it became too much to bear.

Now Europe’s media are quietly abandoning it and returning to what years and years of reliable literature originally had stated: The temperature trend over the last several thousand years was by no means flat and that there were periods that were just as warm, if not warmer than today.

Here’s the 2000-year reconstruction of the Swedish team I found at the NIPCC site:

Swedish proxy temperature reconstruction: Source: http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/dec/15dec2010a4.html

The meticulous new reconstruction was produced by scientists of the University of Stockholm, led by Fredrik Ljungqvist, and the results were published last year in Geografiska Annaler. It’s a temperature reconstruction of the extra-tropical northern hemisphere (30°-90°N)  over the last 2000 years. (No Tricks Zone)


Uncertainty in the Global Average Surface Air Temperature Index: A Representative Lower Limit

Written by Patrick Frank

ABSTRACT: Sensor measurement uncertainty has never been fully considered in prior appraisals of global average surface air temperature. The estimated average ±0.2 C station error has been incorrectly assessed as random, and the systematic error from uncontrolled variables has been invariably neglected. The systematic errors in measurements from three ideally sited and maintained temperature sensors are calculated herein. Combined with the ±0.2 C average station error, a representative lower-limit uncertainty of ±0.46 C was found for any global annual surface air temperature anomaly. This ±0.46 C reveals that the global surface air temperature anomaly trend from 1880 through 2000 is statistically indistinguishable from 0 C, and represents a lower limit of calibration uncertainty for climate models and for any prospective physically justifiable proxy reconstruction of paleo-temperature. The rate and magnitude of 20th century warming are thus unknowable, and suggestions of an unprecedented trend in 20th century global air temperature are unsustainable. (SPPI)


The Influence of Station Numbers on Temperature Measurement

Written by Jonathan J. Drake

An intriguing article regarding the influence of the number of stations on the global temperature measurement has been written by Ross McKitrick and published on his website here: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/nvst.html. Looking at his graph, the eye is instantly drawn to the apparent correlation between the stations and temperature.

There is a huge step in the raw mean temperatures around 1990 with a synchronous change in the number of stations. The adjustments and gridding methods employed to create the accepted global temperature records, are reportedly satisfactory to deal with such data aberrations and on visual inspection there is no immediately obvious problem. However, that does not rule out the possibility that the gridded end product contains artefacts of the processing and/or character from the raw data that are not related to climate and that could potentially distort the overall picture. This brief communication describes a method, utilising the dataset from Ross McKitrick and Joe D’Aleo, to calculate a historic temperature record through modelling the relationship between raw mean temperatures and the number of stations. (SPPI)


Here’s What Gives Science A Bad Name

TerraDaily reports today of Jeffrey Kiehl’s “Lessons from Earth’s Past“, actually published by Science magazine a month ago. A cursory reading is what is needed to understand how flawed Kiehl’s whole idea is, of focusing on a question like:

when was the last time Earth’s atmosphere contained as much carbon dioxide as it may by the end of this century?

(Kiehl’s answer: 35 Million years ago)

How flawed is that question? Very, very flawed. For the geologically-challenged readers of this blog, here’s an in-depth commentary of Kieh’s rag(*) by Doug L. Hoffmann at Resilient Earth, summarized by this quote:

All of the factors outlined above clearly point to the fact that geological forces, operating over tens of millions of years, caused Earth’s climate to cool dramatically during the past 35 million years. Claims that the cooling was caused by a reduction in atmospheric CO2 have been refuted by many. Studies of the Late Ordovician glaciation found that, without orbital forcing, ice sheets can grow with CO2 levels as high as 10 times preindustrial atmospheric level. Yet Kiehl maintains this fiction to the end, even to the point of reintroducing claims based on computer models.

People that don’t believe in geology and are obsessed with temperatures can limit themselves to Wikipedia’s helpful graph “65 Million Years of Climate Change“, showing high temperatures around 35 million years ago indeed. But when seen in context, the 35Myr point is part of a whole different story than “CO2 concentrations driving the planet’s temperatures“: it was the end of the Eocene and of a steady decrease in temperatures, the time of the Antarctic glaciation and a brisk decrease in temperatures, the start of relatively cool 10 million years (still, warmer than today) etc etc.

And so Kiehl’s context-free “it’s all CO2” work ends up looking like a tirade against people driving on a motorway at 70mph, written by somebody obsessed with analyzing what happens when people drive at 70mph, yes, but in a crowded market.

Science, it ain’t: it’s just ever-the-misnomer “Science” magazine.

(*) poetic license taken (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)


HWGA: Worldwide sulfur emissions rose between 2000-2005, after decade of decline

Shipping, China top emissions growth in new analysis of 150 years of emissions

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A new analysis of sulfur emissions appearing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics shows that after declining for a decade, worldwide emissions rose again in 2000 due largely to international shipping and a growing Chinese economy. An accurate read on sulfur emissions will help researchers predict future changes in climate and determine present day effects on the atmosphere, health and the environment.

"Sulfur dioxide is an important component of the atmosphere. It changes the radiative balance of the earth by influencing the amount of the sun's energy that warms the globe. We need to understand how much sulfur dioxide is emitted, and when and where it is emitted. This study will help us do that," said lead author Steven Smith of the Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, Md., a collaboration between the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., and the University of Maryland.

Unlike similar studies, the new analysis also provides an estimate of how accurate this study's emissions tally is. Referred to as "uncertainty," the accuracy estimate arises from difficulties inherent in tracking sulfur. This study estimates that actual emissions for recent decades lie within 10 percent of the average global emissions reported by Smith and his colleagues. Regional values could potentially be off by a much higher degree — up to 30 percent in China, for example.

"The regional uncertainty can be moderately high, but the global numbers are much more accurate," Smith said. "Understanding the uncertainty will help us determine how sensitive the earth's atmosphere and land are to changes in sulfur content." (PNNL)

Back to the ol' "sulfur emissions hiding warming signal" now it's cooling, eh? Despite atmospheric chemists being unable to determine how or even if these compounds can do as claimed. Still, I guess it does give the whackos a chance to recycle the equally absurd acid rain claims that began the great employment exodus to Asia. This is such a stupid game.


The nonsense keeps coming: Rising seas will affect major US coastal cities by 2100

Rising sea levels could threaten an average of 9 percent of the land within 180 U.S. coastal cities by 2100, according to new research led by University of Arizona scientists.

The Gulf and southern Atlantic coasts will be particularly hard hit. Miami, New Orleans, Tampa, Fla., and Virginia Beach, Va. could lose more than 10 percent of their land area by 2100.

The research is the first analysis of vulnerability to sea-level rise that includes every U.S. coastal city in the lower 48 with a population of 50,000 or more.

The latest scientific projections indicate that by 2100, the sea level will rise about 1 meter -- or even more. One meter is about 3 feet. (University of Arizona)


New Paper: Solar irradiance at Earth surface varies up to 24 times more than expected

A new peer-reviewed paper published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds that measurements of solar irradiance at ground level at the South Pole show variations of up to 24 times more than would be expected over the course of a solar cycle. While satellite measurements find that total solar irradiance only varies 0.1% from a solar minimum to solar maximum, the ground-level measurements analyzed by the authors show a change of 1.8 ± 1.0% in the UV-A (320–400 nm) spectrum and 2.4 ± 1.9% in the visible (400–600 nm) spectrum over the course of a solar cycle. (Hockey Schtick)


New Paper “Random Walk Lengths Of About 30 Years In Global Climate” By Bye Et Al 2011

There is a new paper [h/t to Ryan Maue and Anthony Watts] titled

Bye, J., K. Fraedrich, E. Kirk, S. Schubert, and X. Zhu (2011), Random walk lengths of about 30 years in global climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL046333, in press. (accepted 7 February 2011)

The abstract reads [highlight added]

“We have applied the relation for the mean of the expected values of the maximum excursion in a bounded random walk to estimate the random walk length from time series of eight independent global mean quantities (temperature maximum, summer lag, temperature minimum and winter lag over the land and in the ocean) derived from the NCEP twentieth century reanalysis (V2) (1871-2008) and the ECHAM5 IPCC AR4 twentieth century run for 1860-2100, and also the Millenium 3100 yr control run mil01, which was segmented into records of specified period. The results for NCEP, ECHAM5 and mil01 (mean of thirty 100 yr segments) are very similar and indicate a random walk length on land of 24 yr and over the ocean of 20 yr. Using three 1000 yr segments from mil01, the random walk lengths increased to 37 yr on land and 33 yr over the ocean. This result indicates that the shorter records may not totally capture the random variability of climate relevant on the time scale of civilizations, for which the random walk length is likely to be about 30 years. For this random walk length, the observed standard deviations of maximum temperature and minimum temperature yield respective expected maximum excursions on land of 1.4 and 0.5 C and over the ocean of 2.3 and 0.7 C, which are substantial fractions of the global warming signal.”

The text starts with

The annual cycle is the largest climate signal, however its variability has often been overlooked as a climate diagnostic, even though global climate has received intensive study in recent times, e.g. IPCC (2007), with a primary aim of accurate prediction under global warming.”

(Roger Pielke Sr.)


Time for a new rigorous Association of Scientists

Below is the O so apt resignation of  Steven J. Welcenbach from the American Chemical Society (ACS). In it he describes how the largest scientific society in the world has become a non-scientific activist group bowing to political pressure and ignoring it’s members objections. Such is his ire and dismay, he is not only pulling his membership but vows to do all he can to make sure ACS does not receive public money. He suggests that many former members will form a new society that rigorously follows the scientific method (hear hear).

It’s time to start talking about that new society. What would we call this international coalition of scientists who demand the highest standards of reasoning, who expect that the society would be there to serve it’s members, not just serve the aspirations of the committee members, or grant-seeking-associates? What would be written into it’s constitution? Any large entity is a target for people seeking power or seeking to use science for their own purposes. How do we stop that decay?

Where is this science association that would never dream of uttering an ad hom, or argument from authority, and would never declare that the “debate is over” and grovel before the false prophets of science? Where is the association that would outspokenly condemn any scientist who hides data, makes logical errors, and resorts to name-calling to silence the critics?

Art Robinson wrote about the how the control of the quest for knowledge itself has been usurped from individuals and private industry and taken over by the government. I discussed his excellent article in The Truth Shall Set You Free.

How soon can we start? More » (Jo Nova)


Oil industry pounces on Obama's budget request

By Andrew Restuccia

The oil industry immediately pounced Monday on a proposal included in President Obama’s budget to slash tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

The American Petroleum Institute, the country’s most powerful oil and gas trade association, said the proposal will hurt the economy.

“It’s no surprise the administration is proposing yet again to raise taxes on the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.  But it’s still a bad idea and comes at one of the worst times in our economic history,” API President Jack Gerard said in a statement. “The administration continues to ignore the fact this industry is among the nation’s largest job creators and delivers enormous revenues to government at all levels.”

Read more... (E2 Wire)


White House seeks new fees on offshore drillers

By Ben Geman

The fiscal year 2012 White House budget proposal calls for new fees on oil-and-gas companies to help fund drilling oversight, which the Interior Department has expanded in the wake of the BP oil spill.

But calls for digging deeper into the industry’s pockets — along with the White House plan to end billions of dollars in industry tax incentives — will face a cool reception among oil-and-gas companies and many Republicans.

The plan unveiled Monday includes “user fees to oil companies for processing oil and gas drilling permits and inspecting operations on Federal lands and waters.” It also seeks changes to royalty rates and “establishing fees for new non-producing oil and gas leases (both onshore and offshore) to encourage more timely production.”

Read more... (E2 Wire)


China gets a green free pass: Goldstein

Anyone else see the irony of investing enormously in ‘dirty’ fuels to power its clean energy program?

Anyone familiar with the debate over global warming knows the global “green” movement constantly gives China a free pass.

Especially compared to first-world countries like Canada and the U.S.

Just listen to any of the international gabfests of delegates, activists and hangers-on at those endless meetings of the UN’s high-flying Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Their message is consistent and clear.

We can do no right, China, no wrong.

Never mind that China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and its largest energy consumer, with an environmental record that can, at best, be described as a complete train wreck.

Yet we’re constantly lectured by environmentalists, naive politicians and sympathetic media about how China is becoming the world’s leader in renewable energy.

In fact, China has always been smart about spotting business opportunities in the West, and is indeed gearing up to sell us all the electric cars and taxpayer-subsidized solar panels and wind turbines we can, or more accurately can’t, use.

Because if we’re dumb enough to buy technologies that currently don’t have a prayer of powering a modern economy, they’re certainly smart enough to sell them to us.

The irony, however, is that China is powering and financing its so-called “green” revolution, by buying like stink into “dirty” fossil fuels — as environmentalists love to call them, both in Canada and around the world — everywhere from South America to Africa to Asia.

That’s why China is investing billions in Alberta’s oilsands, in order to secure reliable supplies of so-called “dirty oil” so it can sell us … uh … “clean energy.” (Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun)


Matt Simmons’s Failed ‘Peak Oil’ Price Wager (Julian Simon rides again!)

by Robert Bradley Jr.
February 14, 2011

[This is the third and final part in a series on peak-oil theorist/neo-Malthusian Matthew Simmons (1943–2010). Part I by Rob Bradley examined the Simmons's peculiar interpretation of the Club of Rome's 1972 Limits to Growth. Part II by Michael Lynch reviewed the false arguments behind Simmons's peak-oil views.]



Krugman Flunks Food—And History, By: Dennis T. Avery

CHURCHVLLE, VA—Paul Krugman is a big deal: Princeton professor, New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate (2008). Krugman wrote last week about the “food crisis, the second one to hit the world in the last three years.” His key statement: “what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate—which means that the current food prices surge may be just beginning.”

What warming? The puny 0.2 degrees C we’ve had since 1940?

On food, we’re currently diverting a huge proportion of the world’s crops to biofuels. We’ve created an artificial shortage of the world’s already-scarce cropland. Two years ago, the high food prices were driven by a very high price for oil, so our corn ethanol plants were running full-tilt. World food prices nearly doubled. This year, the high food prices are driven by a combination of high fuel prices, and diverse bad weather in the U.S., Russia, Australia and China, to name a few weather-challenged regions.

The farming gods are always fickle. They bring drought, floods, bitter winters, heatstroke summers, hailstorms and untimely frosts—at their whim. When humans started to farm, their most important gods were always the “earth mother” who watches over the crops, and a consort god in charge of rainfall. The farming villages held festivals in their honor, made sacrifices, and pleaded for good crops. Often they pled in vain.

Talking about severe weather, how about Cahokia, the only city ever built by the American Indians? It was founded on corn, in Illinois, the heart of today’s Corn Belt. And it grew to perhaps as large as 50,000 people. After 1200 AD, Cahokia suffered two 30-year droughts in 60 years. The city disappeared. The people who could walked away. (CGFI)


Analysis: In Food Vs Fuel Debate, U.S. Resolute On Ethanol

As world food prices reach new highs, a handful of U.S. politicians and hard-hit corporations are readying a fresh effort to forestall the use of more U.S. corn and soybeans as motor fuel.

They are likely doing so in vain, say experts.

Unlike in 2008, when a wave of global panic over grain supplies provoked a fierce "food vs fuel" debate, there's so far only muted outcry over biofuels, even after corn surged last week to within 10 percent of its 2008 peak following a forecast showing even higher use in the ethanol sector.

While that may yet change as higher prices fuel inflation and trigger worries over supply security, officials and experts say ethanol is too ingrained in public policy and the economy of the U.S. heartland to be easily dislodged. (Reuters)


Food vs. Fuel, Redux

Today's Washington Post includes a noteworthy opinion piece from Tim Searchinger of Princeton University concerning the impact of expanding biofuel production on global food prices and availability. [Read More] (Geoffrey Styles, ET)


USDA Deregulates Corn Amylase Used For Ethanol

The Agriculture Department said on Friday it has deregulated a variety of corn genetically engineered to produce a common enzyme that speeds the breakdown of starch into sugar, a vital step in making ethanol.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said Syngenta, the Swiss maker of the enzyme, called alpha-amylase, will create an advisory council and take other steps to alleviate concerns by foodmakers about the genetically engineered corn variety. Syngenta requested APHIS deregulate the corn variety in 2005.

"APHIS conducted a plant pest risk assessment and found this line of corn does not pose a plant pest risk, and should no longer be subject to regulation by APHIS," said Michael Gregoire, deputy administrator for APHIS' biotechnology regulatory services.

Several groups, including the North American Millers' Association, the Center for Food Safety and Union of Concerned Scientists, said USDA failed to adequately consider the impact the genetically modified corn crop would have on human health, the environment, or the livelihood of farmers.

The controversial decision to fully deregulate the corn is the latest move in the last month by the USDA to ease restrictions on genetically modified crops. USDA said on January 27 that farmers could plant genetically altered alfalfa without any restrictions, and a week later it partially deregulated biotech sugar beets. (Reuters)


Nuclear industry windfall feared

By Kiran Stacey

The nuclear industry could receive a £3.4bn windfall as a result of plans to set a carbon floor price, according to green campaigners.

WWF and Greenpeace argue the coalition’s move to make low-carbon technologies more profitable by setting a minimum carbon price would provide a big boost to the nuclear sector. They argue the move breaches its promise not to provide subsidies for new nuclear power. (Financial Times)



GOP spending bill to cut EPA budget!

February 11, 2011

No sooner asked for than done, TheHill.com reports that the House GOP spending bill would slash funding for EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations… (Green Hell Blog)


Administration rails against GOP plan to block funding for climate regulations

By Andrew Restuccia

The analysis represents an initial effort by the administration to push back against the legislation.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


EPA's idiotic greenhouse propaganda still aimed at kids: Greenhouse Effect

The Earth’s atmosphere is all around us. It is the air that we breathe. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere behave much like the glass panes in a greenhouse. (EPA)

No they don't. The EPA is obviously either completely clueless about greenhouse effect or deliberately lies to our kids - either way it must be defunded. Greenhouses work by reducing atmospheric mixing and the loss of heat through convective processes while greenhouse gases actively facilitate mixing through convection. For a description of physical greenhouses see Sue Ann Bowling's ASF piece here.


Luetkemeyer Bill Seeks To Prohibit U.S. Contributions To UN Climate Change Panel

The following information was released by the office of Missouri Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer:

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) today reintroduced legislation that would save taxpayers millions of dollars by prohibiting the United States from contributing to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization fraught with waste and engaged in dubious science. (States News Service)


AGs Band Together on Climate, Too

Not only are there 20-something state attorneys general litigating against Obamacare, but now 22 of them have weighed in on a landmark lawsuit in which an electric utility has sought relief from the Supreme Court over eight Northeastern states' attempt to regulate greenhouse gases via a public nuisance lawsuit. And the AGs are backing the utility -- American Electric Power Company -- not their Northeastern colleagues: (Paul Chesser, American Spectator)


As it should: 'Bonfire of the quangos' threatens climate change committee

The independent status of Britain's key climate change watchdog is under threat, environmental groups have warned, because it has been included on a list of quangos whose structure could be altered at the discretion of ministers.

The committee on climate change (CCC) was established by the Climate Change Act 2008, the first piece of legislation of its kind in the world. It has already played a role in policing plans for reducing the UK's carbon emissions and is respected by business groups, energy companies and green organisations.

The government is pushing forward David Cameron's promised "bonfire of the quangos", with ministers convinced they can save money by slimming the number of these institutions through the public bodies bill going through parliament. (Guardian)


Another means of making your energy more expensive: Obama's budget to call for slashing oil tax breaks, boosting clean energy

By Andrew Restuccia

President Obama is expected to call on Congress Monday to eliminate billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Note that the petroleum industry will still spend vast sums maintaining supply of communities' most vital resource, they'll just charge more to accommodate the Socialists' tax grab and you will pick up the tab. You might blame the petro companies but you will be wrong - it's your own government shafting you.


Reid 'not a big fan' of president's proposed cut to energy assistance

By Alexander Bolton

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday he is highly skeptical of a proposal by President Obama’s administration.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Labor to introduce a carbon tax next year and an ETS in 2015

JULIA Gillard plans to introduce a carbon price from July 1 next year and defy the Greens by insisting on compensation for the coal and electricity industries, in a move that will infuriate its minority government partner.

The Weekend Australian understands the Government will present its multi-party climate change committee next week with a plan for a fixed carbon price to operate from July 1, 2012, until about 2015-16 when the regime will move to an emissions trading scheme. (Sid Maher and Dennis Shanahan, The Australian)

The rainbow conglomerate government has no hope of surviving that long - Australia will not have a "carbon price".


Liberal bias: science writing's elephant in the room?

Does the lack of political diversity among science writers and bloggers risk alienating large portions of the public?

Jon Haidt caused a stir when he asked the thousand-strong audience of academics a simple question: how many identified as politically conservative?

In a nation where 40% of the population describe themselves as conservative, just three people out of a thousand raised their hands. As Haidt went on to note in his talk (audio & slides here):

This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity. [...] Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation. But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.

In building the case that anti-Conservative discrimination is a problem, Haidt went on to share the testimony of 'non-liberal' graduate students in psychology he had spoken to, controversially comparing their experiences with those of gay students in the 1980s. While anecdotal, their stories are fascinating. (Martin Robbins, Guardian)


Junior. Right and wrong, again: Tall Tales in the New York Times

I've made peace with the fact that many people want to believe things utterly unsupported by data, such as what Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in today's New York Times, that intense storms and floods have become three times more common and increasing damage from such events is evidence of human caused climate change. Of course, people believe a lot of silly things that data don't support -- like President Obama is a Muslim with a fake birth certificate, vaccines cause autism, and climate change is a hoax, just to name a few on a very long list. While such misplaced beliefs are always disconcerting, especially so to academics who actually study these issues, such misjudgments need not necessarily stand in the way of effective action. So it is not worth getting too worked up about tall tales. (Roger Pielke Jr.)

Junior claims we need to take action to "decarbonize" because of the risks of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming even though there is absolutely no supporting evidence that any such catastrophe is even possible, let alone actually occurring. He happily ignores the immense certain human cost of "decarbonizing" in favor of "mitigating" the "risk" of a phantom catastrophe. He is right to mock Rosenthal for the nonsense of "extreme weather increase" and the much debunked vaccine-autism link but that only gives him a 50% "true" rating - about Obama's country of birth I haven't actually followed (Americans are far more intense on the matter than Australians simply because, down-under, once you become a citizen you are Australian and you can vote and aspire to any office - country of birth is not a consideration) but I don't give a lot of points to those who slur Americans concerned with Constitutional matters while Junior certainly knows better than to misapply a term like "climate change" without caveat and qualification (as a generalist term climate change is the normal state - the planet is either warming or cooling but never in stasis) - he means and should specify CAGW, which is completely unsupported by empirical evidence and does qualify for "hoax" status as "malicious deception".


Disasters happen

February 13, 2011

And the appropriate response is to prepare for and adapt to them.

Natural disasters are in the news in both Australia and New Zealand. Leaving aside the September 4th Christchurch earthquake as being in a different hazard category, the recent summer outburst of cyclones, storms and floods in both countries is well understood by scientists to be linked to the La Nina part of the Pacific Ocean’s El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climatic cycle.

Despite strident claims by global warming pressure groups, no scientific evidence exists that human carbon dioxide emissions have anything to do with our current climatic woes. Rather, the weather events that are causing us so much present grief represent instabilities related to both short term (ENSO) and longer term (Pacific Decadal Oscillation – PDO) climatic oscillations. That such events would occur is not only predictable in principle, but (in the Australian case) was actually predicted in February 2009 by Dr. Stewart Franks from Newcastle University, who wrote:

The historical record of climate variability suggests that we should expect a return to a 20-40 year period where La Nina dominates the climate of at least eastern Australia once more. The observation that many regions of Australia routinely experience multi-decadal variability of flood and drought, suggest that we should expect a return to major widespread flooding on a regular inter-annual basis, and for entirely natural reasons.

In the light of subsequent events, it is astonishing that Dr Franks’ accurate caution, including earlier comments that he made in widely read international peer-reviewed research journals, was ignored by Australian planning authorities and by their IPCC-linked advisory scientists. (Bob Carter, Quadrant)


Is Al Gore wrong on the environment? IPCC says global warming is NOT to blame for snow

Al Gore took to his blog earlier this month to respond to Bill O’Reilly’s question: “Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?”

Gore happily typed away, blaming global warming for the snow and quoting Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page as his scientific authority.

“As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming,” Gore wrote.

Unfortunately for Gore and others who have claimed that the snow this winter is a global warming byproduct, their own authorities have said climate change will result in less snow.

Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have predicted warmer, less snowy winters. (Caroline May, The Daily Caller)


Melting Glaciers, Ice Caps and Sea-level Rise

Fluctuations in surface melting are known to affect the speed of glaciers and ice sheets, while the contribution of glaciers and ice caps to global sea-level rise is uncertain at best. Much has been made of the “accelerating” loss of ice from the Greenland glaciers. Over the past decade, Arctic sea ice retreated substantially during the summer months, and some predicted that the ice loss could be irreversible, a tipping point that would boost global warming. A number of new papers in Nature, Geophysical Research Letters and Nature Geoscience, shed new light on these subjects, and the answers are not the ones usually heard in the media. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


Interesting Paper “The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project” By Compo Et Al 2011

I was alerted to a new paper

Compo GP,Whitaker JS, Sardeshmukh PD, Matsui N, Allan RJ, Yin X, Gleason Jr BE, Vose RS, Rutledge G, Bessemoulin P, Br¨onnimann S, Brunet M, Crouthamel RI, Grant AN, Groisman PY, Jones PD, Kruk MC, Kruger AC, Marshall GJ, Maugeri M, Mok HY, Nordli Ø, Ross TF, Trigo RM, Wang XL, Woodruff SD,Worley SJ. 2011. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 137: 1–28. DOI:10.1002/qj.776 (Roger Pielke Sr.)


Landrieu slams 'de facto moratorium' amid news of key driller's bankruptcy

By Andrew Restuccia

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) blamed the Interior Department’s “excruciatingly slow release of oil and gas permits” for the hard times.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Growing Boom in Sub-Salt and Unconventional Oil Reservoirs

You can call it subsalt exploration, presalt exploration or whatever makes you happy.

Just don’t forget to call exploration beneath salt bodies a big deal.

These plays are not new, yet the announcement of the giant Petrobras-operated Tupi field presalt oil discovery in 2006 offshore Brazil in the Santos Basin triggered major excitement in the E&P community and elsewhere. (Al Fin Energy)


Propaganda featuring the misguided and the deceived: Will Carbon Nation succeed where An Inconvenient Truth failed?

A former army colonel, a Texan farmer and a geothermal energy pioneer who twice voted Bush – these 'greenocons' are the stars of a new climate change solutions film aimed at America's right (Guardian)


Dangerous Energy Policies: The Ethanol Fiasco

BY MICHAEL R. FOX, PHD - If ever there was a question as to whether production of corn-based ethanol is forcing consumers to dig deeper into their wallets to pay for food and fuel, it was dispelled by a government report showing that corn prices have jumped 89% in the past year

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported recently that a record 4.95 billion bushels will be used this year to make ethanol. That’s about one-third of the U.S. corn crop. Because Congress approved mandates three years ago to boost its production and use, ethanol’s share of the crop is expected to grow, resulting in less corn available for food.

Today we see the results of the same complacency that caused the energy and economic debacle in the 1990s, using a flawed policy to create a market for alternative energy, while restricting production of domestic oil and natural gas resources. (Hawaii Reporter)


Ethanol pumping up food prices

Get ready for higher food prices, which appear to be just around the corner for U.S. consumers and potentially a crippling burden for the world's poor.

A combination of natural calamities and congressional mandates has come together to drive world food prices to levels that make some governments in developing nations nervous, because higher costs can mean political instability. The toll on American grocery carts thus far is low, but analysts say price increases are coming. (Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY)


‘Sustainability’: Some Free Market Reflections

A few months ago, I participated in a symposium entitled, “A Sustainable Energy State — How Remote Is the Possibility?” I prepared some talking points for the event and, heeding the injunction to re-use and recycle, turn them here into a MasterResource column.

The following reflections make three main points: (1) A “sustainable” energy system, as that term is commonly used, will likely not materialize in our lifetimes; (2) except for heavily-subsidized wind, solar, and biofuel energy, the current, largely fossil fuel-based energy system is already sustainable; and (3) the “sustainable energy” agenda imperils the improving state of the world and, therefore, is politically unsustainable. (MasterResource)


Administration to Push for Small ‘Modular’ Reactors

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s 2012 budget proposal will include a request for money to help develop small “modular” reactors that would be owned by a utility and would supply electricity to a government lab, people involved in the effort say.

The department is hoping for $500 million over five years, half of the estimated cost to complete two designs and secure the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval. The reactors would be built almost entirely in a factory and trucked to a site like modular homes.

In promoting the reactor, the administration’s immediate goal is to help the Energy Department meet a federal target for reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by relying more on clean energy and less on gas and coal. Like other federal agencies, the department is required by an executive order to reduce its carbon footprint by 28 percent by 2020.

Yet the longer-term goal is to foster assembly-line production of the small reactors at a far lower cost than construction of conventional reactors. The reactors could even replace old coal-fired power plants that are threatened by new federal emissions rules and sit on sites that already have grid connections and cooling water. (NYT)


Gas Revolution: Europe Could Save €900bn And Still Hit Its CO2 Targets

Europe could save €900bn (£762bn) and still hit its 2050 carbon reduction targets if it built fewer wind farms and more gas plants, a coalition of gas producers including Gazprom, Centrica and Qatar Petroleum has told the European commission.

The industry is lobbying against the possibility of the commission setting new renewable energy targets and phasing out the use of gas. Next month, it will publish a draft "road map" energy strategy to 2050.

The Guardian has obtained a copy of an unpublished report by consultancy McKinsey, commissioned by the European Gas Advocacy Forum, which also includes ENI, E.On, GDF Suez, Shell and Statoil. The report, which has been sent to the commission, describes gas as a clean, plentiful and relatively cheap form of energy.

It challenges the idea that renewable forms of energy should be the primary way to cut emissions. (Guardian)


Shale Gas Faces Difficulties in Europe

The shale gas industry in Europe hasn’t really set in and already is facing major problems. For shale gas to work, dependant on the successful deployment of highly specific technology, the economics must be sharply honed. [Read More] (Andres Cala, ET)


Holland slashes carbon targets, shuns wind for nuclear

We can't afford to be Groene

In a radical change of policy, the Netherlands is reducing its targets for renewable energy and slashing the subsidies for wind and solar power. It's also given the green light for the country's first new nuclear power plants for almost 40 years.

Why the change? Wind and solar subsidies are too expensive, the Financial Times Deutschland , reports.

Holland thus becomes the first country to abandon the EU-wide target of producing 20 per cent of its domestic power from renewables. This is a remarkable turnaround from a state that took the Kyoto Agreement seriously and chivvied other EU members into adopting renewable energy strategies. The FT reports that instead of the €4bn annual subsidy, it will be slashed to €1.5bn. (Andrew Orlowski, The Register)


Kelly McParland: Ontario quietly reverses field on wind, solar energy

Times of international turmoil are great moments for domestic governments to make important announcements they don’t want to be noticed. Especially if the announcement involves a sudden reversal in policy that could seriously embarrass the government.

So Friday afternoon was an ideal time for Ontario’s Liberal government to take a big chunk of its alternative energy program and chuck it overboard. Attention was riveted on Egypt, where spectacular events were unfolding. The perfect opportunity for Premier Dalton McGuinty to engineer yet another major reversal, while paying a minimal price among voters.

After years of touting wind projects as a critical piece of the alternative energy puzzle, the government let slip — very quietly — that offshore wind projects are no longer part of the game plan. Turns out there just isn’t enough scientific evidence that offshore wind projects do a lick of good, said Brad Duguid, the energy minister. (National Post)


Ontario’s Power Trip: The wind won’t blow for offshore power

Whatever the motivation, Ontario moratorium on offshore wind projects is a good sign that economic reality is winning out over fantasy.

In what looks like a rush to prevent more erosion of support, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals Friday declared declared a moratorium on offshore industrial wind turbines. The announcement from the Ministry of Energy stated; “No Renewable Energy Approvals for offshore have been issued and no offshore projects will proceed at this time.”

So what happened? The Toronto Star recently reported on a Conference Board of Canada report on off-shore wind stating it would create 2,000 MW of wind capacity add more than $4.8 billion to Ontario’s GDP while creating at least 55,000 person-years of employment! You would think that such bright prospects –or creative economics?–would prompt the government to jump on the off-shore windstorm.

Read More » (Financial Post)


Are Heavily Subsidized Wind, Solar, and Biofuels “Sustainable” Energies?

by Marlo Lewis
13 February 2011 @ 1:55 pm

So-called “sustainability” advocates never tire of condemning fossil fuels as unsustainable. Their assessment is based on ideology, not facts, I argue in  ”Sustainability: Some Free Market Reflections” over at MasterResource.Org, the free-market energy blog.

By any reasonable definition, modern commercial energy (except for heavily subsidized renewables) is sustainable. Whether we consider air pollution, life expectancy, health of the elderly, vulnerability to extreme weather, per capita food consumption, or access to safe drinking water, the long-term trends show dramatic — and continuing — global improvement. Abundant, affordable, reliable energy from fossil fuels is a key factor driving those improvements.

The truly unsustainable energy sources are those that cannot ’compete’ without special policy privileges. Clearly, subsidy-dependent enterprises are not self-sustaining. Chronic subsidy-dependence is an indication the value of the resources an enterprise consumes exceeds…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


He's got this part right: Green Smoke Screen

Supporters of "green energy" like to say it will create more jobs. They're wrong.

Political rhetoric has shifted away from the need to respond to the "generational challenge" of climate change. Investment in alternative energy technologies like solar and wind is no longer peddled on environmental grounds. Instead, we are being told of the purported economic payoffs—above all, the promise of so-called "green jobs." Unfortunately, that does not measure up to economic reality. (Bjørn Lomborg, Slate)


Experts skeptical of new report on infant deaths at Fort Bragg

Ace reporters Aaron Kessler and Joaquin Sapien are digging into the tragic deaths at Ft. Bragg, and won't stop until they get some definitive answers. Michael Foreman and I are honored to be part of this ongoing investigation.

Note that there were initial findings of tainted and corrosive (aka "Chinese") drywall, but these somehow melted away.

While there have been no confirmed deaths due to tainted and corrosive drywall, it is conceivable that vulnerable infants, with some respiratory issue, could be seriously affected.

However, there seems to be a very odd lack of focus here. You would think that if the goal is to establish cause of death in these babies, there would have been extensive postmortem studies, including a comprehensive toxicology panel. If this has occurred, the Government is certainly keeping quiet about it.

Instead, we are treated to a 134-page report on the drywall and indoor air quality of the affected residences, and even then, the drywall was not subjected to a definitive chamber test.

One is left to wonder just how much our leaders really care about our fighting men and women. Perhaps the Army is taking full advantage of the situation whereby the unfortunate military parents can't complain too aggressively, for fear of ruining their careers.

Kind of gives a new meaning to the old cliché "Our boys," doesn't it? (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


Campaign to make Britons separate their own waste

Recycling companies are threatening legal action against the Government to force British householders to separate their own rubbish. (TDT)

Anyone who wants to play in my rubbish is welcome to do so (after all, I've thrown it away and have no further interest in it). But I'll be damned if I'm going to play in it for them!



Gingrich calls for eliminating EPA, expanding domestic energy production

By Andrew Restuccia

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Thursday for abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency and passing energy legislation that expands domestic oil production and streamlines nuclear licensing.

In a wide-ranging speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Gingrich called for replacing the EPA with an Environmental Solutions Agency that focuses on technology-driven solutions to addressing the country’s environmental problems.

Gingrich said the Obama EPA is “made up of self-selected bureaucrats” that are seeking to pass wide-ranging regulations that would harm the economy. Instead, he called for an agency that focused on “science, technology, markets and incentives.”

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Stop EPA's Energy Tax

Federal Authority: At a contentious hearing on legislation to keep the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, Republicans rightly called global warming a power-grabbing hoax that is all pain for no gain.

The assertion came at a Wednesday hearing before the House subcommittee on energy and power on the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011." The measure is designed to reassert the authority of Congress to levy taxes on the American people and direct public policy — powers that are being usurped by the unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a power grab that rivals ObamaCare in audacity and job-killing effects, the EPA has claimed unto itself the power to regulate carbon dioxide, a byproduct of human and animal respiration and the basis for all life on earth, as a pollutant. At least with ObamaCare, Congress — our representatives — voted to pass it.

The EPA claims science has given it the justification, and the Supreme Court has given it the authority, to regulate CO2 as a pollutant and impose regulations governing virtually every aspect of American business and our daily life almost down to our lawn mowers. (IBD)


Deceptive buggers, aren't they? Sierra Club launching campaign to defend EPA air rules

By Andrew Restuccia

The Sierra Club announced Thursday that it is launching a new campaign to stop efforts by Republicans to block Environmental Protection Agency air pollution rules.

The environmental group is working closely with public health groups, including Physicians for Social Responsibility, in the effort. The campaign is part of a broader push by environmentalists and public health officials to shine a spotlight on the health impacts of air pollution.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said Thursday that the group will focus on the intersection of public health and environmental protection.  “We’re finding that we can do two things at the same time,” Brune said on a call with reporters.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is definitely not a health risk and would not even approach such a threshold at 20 times its current value. What is at issue is not protecting Americans from air pollution but protecting Americans from misanthropists out to cause them significant harm by rationing their energy supply through fraudulent claims of "pollution". Everyone claiming carbon dioxide to be atmospheric pollution is your enemy.


EPA responds to congressional attempts to reel in greenhouse gas regulation

The question is, are we a country of laws made by our representatives, or a country of laws made by bureaucrats? The constitution provides only one answer, and Ms. Jackson would do well to read it.

Latest News release from the EPA:
EPA Press Office

February 9, 2011

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Opening Statement Before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power

As prepared for delivery – Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify about Chairman Upton’s draft bill to eliminate portions of the Clean Air Act, the landmark law that all American children and adults rely on to protect them from harmful air pollution.

The bill appears to be part of a broader effort in this Congress to delay, weaken, or eliminate Clean Air Act protections of the American public. I respectfully ask the members of this Committee to keep in mind that EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act saves millions of American children and adults from the debilitating and expensive illnesses that occur when smokestacks and tailpipes release unrestricted amounts of harmful pollution into the air we breathe. Continue reading (WUWT)


Report Outlines State Strategies to Resist EPA Leviathan

by Bryan Weynand
10 February 2011 @ 1:38 pm

In response to the growing tangle of regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Legislative Exchange Council has published EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators. The report serves as a toolkit for states to use in combating these regulations, which both burdens finite state resources and legally impedes on the states’ role in our system of government.

EPA is in the process of rapidly tightening its existing regulations and expanding its reach in areas ranging from chemicals in plastic bottles to air quality to greenhouse gas emissions, creating a mess of duplicative and cumbersome rules.  The report highlights one small subsection of this emerging regime - the Agency’s attack on the use of fossil fuels, and particularly…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Is This What The Climate-Change Debate Has Come To?

Congressional Republicans choose to just ignore science and attack the EPA.

Spend enough time listening to doubters and deniers of climate science speak, and you start to recognize certain familiar tics and tropes. There's the personal conversion story, for one. The skeptic explains how, once upon a time, he, too, blindly accepted everything climatologists have to say about how human activity is heating the planet. But then, as he began to pore over the evidence, the holes in the theory became readily apparent, and, more in sorrow than anger, the skeptic had to conclude that the scientific consensus was mistaken. (Bradford Plumer, TNR)

Bradford Plummer puts The New Republic's ignorance on display. Check out the accompanying image at left - it's even called "smoke.JPG". Give them some points, it is certainly a picture of greenhouse gases but it is not smoke or carbon dioxide, just condensing water vapor from cooling towers. TNR have inadvertently depicted the most important greenhouse gas and by far the most prolific - water can range up to 40,000 parts per million (40,000 ppm) in the contemporary atmosphere, 100 times greater than carbon dioxide's trivial 391 ppm. There is more than enough greenhouse gas in the atmosphere to absorb all outbound longwave radiation from Earth's surface, something that has been true since long before man discovered how to use fire. Moreover greenhouse gases do not really "trap" energy in the atmosphere, they merely slow down its inevitable passage to space and since CO2 and H2O already compete for energy in suitable wavelengths then a little more CO2 really makes a trivial difference, one which people are completely unable to discern or distinguish from the much larger hourly, daily and seasonal changes constantly experienced and expected.


Hopes of 30% cut in greenhouse emissions dashed

EU energy chief fears target would lead to a too-fast process of de-industrialisation as compared to current 20%

It would cost the EU €81bn to ­adhere to the tougher target of a 30% cut in emissions by 2020, equivalent to 0.54% of GDP. Photograph: John Giles/PA
The UK government's plan to push Europe to deeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions has been dashed by the EU's energy chief.

Günther Oettinger, the EU's energy commissioner, dealt a heavy blow to the hopes of several member states that have been pressing for a target of slashing emissions by 30% by 2020, against the current 20%.

He said the tougher target would force industries to move to Asia. "If we go alone to 30%, you will only have a faster process of de-industrialisation in Europe," he said, citing the steel industry as one of the likely casualties. "I think we need industry in Europe, we need industry in the UK, and industry means CO2 emissions." (Fiona Harvey, Guardian))

Fool! "De-industrialization" is exactly what the misanthropists want.


Conference: German Alarmists Alarmed Over Waning Alarmism – Growing US Scepticism

P Gosselin 10. Februar 2011

Doubt over the science of climate change goes beyond USA, Great Britain and Australia, and is now spreading into mainland Europe, in particular Germany. So much so, that the German Greens are getting alarmed about the waning alarmism. (No Tricks Zone)


House Dems float plan to nix oil industry tax incentives

By Ben Geman

Several senior House Democrats ramped up calls Thursday to yank tax incentives from large oil companies, alleging they are especially inappropriate amid GOP plans for deep spending cuts.

Lawmakers including Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill to end roughly $40 billion over five years worth of tax breaks.

The bill stands little chance of passage but provides Democrats a political counterweight to GOP calls to begin curbing the deficit by slashing an array of federal programs. (E2 Wire)


''Dual Capacity'' Tax Elimination: Another US Energy Harakiri

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has presided over global affairs as the world’s sole superpower. Now, China’s gunning for our spot. BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs forecast respectively that China’s economy will outperform America’s as early as 2020 or 2027. [Read More] (Michael J. Economides, ET)


The End of a Peak Oil Theorist: Matt Simmons in Retrospect (Part II)

by Michael Lynch
February 10, 2011

[This is the second part of a series on peak-oil theorist and neo-Malthusian, the late Matthew Simmons (1943–2010). Yesterday, Robert Bradley examined the Simmons's peculiar interpretation of the Club of Rome's 1972 Limits to Growth.

Part III will look at Simmons's failed bet with different parties that the average price of oil in 2010 would be $200 per barrel or higher.]

The death last year of Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert and a well-known peak oil advocate, offers an opportunity to review his work and draw a cautionary lesson. (MasterResource)


Analysts: Don't expect 'fracking' standards until after 2012 election

By Andrew Restuccia

A federal proposal laying out new standards for a controversial natural-gas drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing likely won’t be issued until after the 2012 elections, an energy analyst said Thursday.

The practice is certain to be an election issue for lawmakers from states in which hydraulic fracturing is prevalent, but the timing of the standards would take that hot-button issue off the table.

In hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” large quantities of chemicals, water and sand are injected into the ground to get access to valuable natural-gas reserves. Environmental groups have railed against the practice, arguing that the chemicals used in the process can pollute drinking water.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

I see the anti-energy propaganda is in full cry, with Hollywood running it at multiple levels from Oscar-nominated Gasland down to CBS's CSI. I haven't seen gasland, nor do I intend to do so but I did have the misfortune to be shown CBS's insidious piece of propaganda last night. It had the whole fictional deal: Evil big corporate gas company poisons idyllic community's water, residents & livestock sickened & dying like flies, Evil Company intimidates/murders would-be heroic whistleblowers, previously sweet water now seething toxic soup of ultra nasties, tragic last survivor putting down last of sick stock before blowing himself up by torching his water well...  It even has an inaccurate and highly prejudicial depiction of the fracking process.

Sadly, I suspect the near subliminal messaging from popcorn fictions like CSI on free-to-air television will do far more harm through misinformation than more heavy-handed Oscar-lauded efforts. One thing about Hollywood, they sure know how to poison a well.


This is what the anti-energy cranks want to stop: New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US

A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half, advancing a goal that has long eluded policymakers.

"That's a significant contribution to energy security," says Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse. (Associated Press)


Peter Foster: China backs shale revolution

$5.4B investment in Encana shows importance of ‘unconventional’ gas

Encana’s announcement on Wednesday of a proposed $5.4-billion investment by PetroChina in its shale gas operations confirms the soaring importance of a resource that 10 years ago was hardly on the commercial map.

It also looks like a nice piece of timing, since it came before Encana’s revelation Thursday that slumping natural gas prices had continued to hit earnings in the fourth quarter, although this was hardly unexpected.

Read More » (Financial Post)


Political pressure to fix energy problems of the future

by Marita Noon
10 February 2011 @ 2:01 pm

The coldest temperatures in the contiguous states created a “state of emergency” due to a disruption of natural gas delivery. Power plants were shut down, workers sent home, schools closed, and shelters set up for those without heat. This was Thursday, February 3. Many people remained without heat a week later while temperatures reached as low as thirty-degrees-below zero.

This was in New Mexico but other states in the southwest faced rolling blackouts and a variety of energy related emergencies. This same problem could face the nation if we continue down the path we’ve been pursuing for our energy supplies.

Businesses, residents and hospitals received word that there may be natural gas disruptions throughout the day. This did not mean that there was, as many…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Right for the wrong reasons: Bristol's biofuels plant must be refused planning permission

Burning biofuels in power stations is environmental vandalism on a staggering scale – both in terms of emissions and habitat loss (Guardian)

Moonbat is sniffy about burning biofuels, as he should be but his reasons are absurd. Who does or should give a crap about CO2 emission? The correct answer is that no one should be but we all should be against burning food or displacing food production to grow stuff to burn.


Growth of Wood Biomass Power Stokes Concern on Emissions

Across the U.S., companies are planning scores of projects to burn trees and wood waste to produce electricity, claiming such biomass plants can be carbon-neutral. But critics contend that combusting wood is not really a form of green energy and are urging a go-slow approach until clear guidelines can be established. (Dave Levitan, e360)


D'oh! Wind turbine costs more than it saves

One of Britain's most visible wind turbines performed so badly last year that the energy is produced was worth less than the value of its public subsidies, it was reported. (TDT)


LED products billed as eco-friendly contain toxic metals, study finds

UC researchers tested holiday bulbs, traffic lights and car beams

Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research.

“LEDs are touted as the next generation of lighting. But as we try to find better products that do not deplete energy resources or contribute to global warming, we have to be vigilant about the toxicity hazards of those marketed as replacements,” said Oladele Ogunseitan, chair of UC Irvine’s Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention. (UCI)


EPA Goes After Perchlorate and Chromium: The Media Follow Along Without Questioning

Perchlorate and chromium are on EPA’s bucket list of ‘toxic chemicals’ on which it proposes to set new limits. Neither has been given fair coverage by the main-stream media. Quotes can be found from environmental groups supporting the action, but nothing from scientists and others with an opposing view, typical of the unbalanced reporting that has covered the perchlorate and chromium issues. (Jack Dini, CFP)



MILLOY: Defund the EPA

Economic recovery depends on stopping greenhouse regs

Illustration: EPA Unplugged
by Greg Groesch for
The Washington Times

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has hit the ground running with its greenhouse-gas regulations. But congressional Republicans are just getting around to introducing well-intended, but futile legislation to stop the agency.

There is another way. The GOP could rescue us from the EPA as soon as March, but it won’t.

Does the GOP have a secret strategy? Has it forgotten the election? Or is it afraid of the EPA?

Senate and House Republicans just announced plans to introduce legislation stripping the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs). That sounds encouraging, but the reality is that even if such a bill winds up on President Obama‘s desk, he’ll veto it, and there aren’t enough Republicans to override a veto.

At best, these bills are political theater intended for impact in 2012. But the EPA isn’t waiting until then. (Steve Milloy, The Washington Times)


Two-Year Delay on EPA Climate Regs Is No Solution

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding gives the agency justification to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2), under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The EPA already began targeting motor vehicles last year and will start regulating emissions from new power plants and major expansions of large greenhouse-gas-emitting plants (more than 25,000 tons of CO2 per year) this year.

Several Members of Congress released or plan to release bills to either delay or prohibit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Some ideas are better than others; unfortunately, the proposal garnering the most support in the Senate is also the least effective. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D–WV) wants to delay the EPA’s ability to regulate CO2 for two years, but this is not the right approach for Congress to take. Voting for a two-year delay is nothing more than a political cover. It’s not a step in the right direction and will do more harm than good by creating uncertainty and leaving the endangerment finding intact. Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Energy & Commerce Hearing: Questions Energy Tax Prevention Act Supporters Should Be Asking

by Marlo Lewis
09 February 2011 @ 11:54 am

Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) clarified that today’s hearing is not on climate science but on whether Congress or EPA makes climate policy and the cost of EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations. Right!

Somebody though needs to ask Administrator Jackson questions that flesh out Sullivan’s point:

When will EPA respond to the environmental groups’ December 2009 petition to establish national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for CO2 set at 350 parts per million (ppm)?

The Waxman-Markey “stabilization target” was 450 ppm by 2050. Yet the Clean Air Act requires states to attain NAAQS within 5-10 years. Wouldn’t a CO2 NAAQS thus require far more draconian cuts in fossil energy use than would Waxman-Markey, a bill Congress considered too costly to pass?
Would EPA then have…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Energy & Commerce Hearing: What the Energy Tax Prevention Act Is — and Is Not — about

by Marlo Lewis
09 February 2011 @ 10:23 am

I’m watching the House Energy and Commerce hearing on the Inhofe-Upton-Whitfield draft legislation, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, to stop EPA from ‘enacting’ climate policy through the regulatory backdoor.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is off to his usual demagoguery, claiming that Messrs. Inhofe, Upton, and Whitfield are trying to “re-write the laws of nature.” He accuses them of trying to overturn EPA’s endangerment finding (which he equates with SCIENCE) by legislative fiat. The premise of the bill, he says, is that climate change is a hoax.

Poppycock. Read the draft legislation. It says nothing about climate science. The bill’s real premises are:

Congress never delegated to EPA the truly awesome (and potentially economy-crushing) power to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2).
The Clean Air Act is an unsuitable framework for greenhouse…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Inhofe Hearing Statement: Legislative Hearing on the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

Opening Statement of Senator James M. Inhofe, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power Legislative Hearing on “H.R. ___, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 9:30 am

Release: Upton, Whitfield, Inhofe Unveil Energy Tax Prevention Act

EPW Minority Staff Releases Bush Administration Views on Endangerment

Thank you, Chairman Whitfield and Ranking Member Rush for the opportunity to speak to the subcommittee this morning. I’m pleased to speak alongside Administrator Jackson and Secretary Chu on the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

The draft bill, sponsored by me, Rep. Upton, and Rep. Whitfield, would repeal EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. We’re doing this for one simple reason: EPA’s regulations will impose enormous costs for no meaningful benefits—in other words, all pain for no climate gain. (EPW)


Despite veto threats, critics say Obama would sign two-year delay of EPA regs

Since the 112th Congress was gaveled into session, lawmakers have introduced numerous different pieces of legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But they have all been burdened with a threat from President Obama to veto any bill that undermines the EPA’s authority.

As recently as last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson reiterated the president’s threat, telling reporters that “Nothing has changed.”

Republicans, for the most part, have been unable to figure out a way around this problem. Even if the House and Senate were to agree and vote on EPA regulation-blocking legislation with the same language, they would probably be unable to muster the two-thirds of the Congress necessary to override an Obama veto.

Some observers, including one U.S. Senator, are now speculating, however, that not only is President Obama’s veto threat hollow, but he actually wants to sign a bill that includes a two-year delay of implementation of EPA regulations against carbon.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said he thinks the president would support a bill that was introduced by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia that would delay EPA regulations for two years.

“That’s a possible scenario,” said Inhofe. “[Obama] wants to get it beyond the 2012 elections for his purposes.”

Inhofe went on to say, though, that President Obama wants to be able to sign a two-year delay bill and then tout it to voters as a White House effort — presumably to stimulate job creation and keep costs down for consumers.

But Inhofe, who has been the leading critic over the years of all climate change-related policy, isn’t the only one who foresees the president eventually signing a two-year delay.

“The administration would love to be forced to postpone implementation for a couple years,” Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research told The Daily Caller. “They will feign objections to a delay but that’s the briar patch they want to be thrown in.”

“It gets him [Obama] past the election,” Kish added. (Amanda Carey, The Daily Caller)


Energy & Commerce Hearing: Does the Clean Air Act Authorize EPA to Regulate Greenhouse Gases?

by Marlo Lewis
09 February 2011 @ 11:24 am

That’s the question Rep. Henry Waxman just asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. She replied: “The Supreme Court said greenhouse gases fit into the Clean Air Act’s broad definition of ‘air pollutants.’” Or words to that effect.

Civics 101:

Congress, not the Supreme Court, wrote the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The Supreme Court is not infallible. If it were, Supreme Court decisions would always be unanimous. Massachusetts v. EPA, the case to which Administrator Jackson alludes, was a 5-4 decision.

Congress and the Supreme Court are co-equal branches under the Constitution. Every Member of Congress takes an oath to “uphold the Constitution.” Therefore, every Member has a constitutional duty to exercise his own judgment as to what the Constitution means, what statutes mean, and whether agency…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


'Healthy Skeptic' on Climate Change Promises Hearings by Science Subcommittee

The House of Representatives science committee's panel on basic research and education plans to hold hearings on climate change to present more views on the topic, says its new chair, freshman Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL).

Brooks, a lawyer and veteran elected state and county official from Huntsville whose district includes NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, leapt over more senior members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to head the panel that oversees research activities at the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Commerce. He says that he hasn't seen "anything that convinces me" global warming is real, much less caused by human activity. And he's more than a little skeptical about the motives of those urging the U.S. government and the rest of the world to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

I'm also old enough to remember when the same left-wing part of our society was creating a global cooling scare in order to generate funds for their pet projects. So 30-some years ago the big scare was global cooling, and once they drained that [topic], they shifted to global warming. So I'm approaching the issue with a healthy degree of skepticism. If the evidence is there to prove it, then so be it.

Brooks, 56, says he's trying to keep an open mind on a number of issues that come before the subcommittee, including federal funding of academic research, support for training future scientists and engineers, and an immigration policy that welcomes foreign-born scientists "who are highly skilled and who will generate more tax dollars than they will consume" while excluding all other immigrants. He relishes the opportunity to explore technological issues for which he once showed an aptitude, he adds, noting that he turned to politics because of his disappointment with the outcome of the Vietnam War after the U.S. government chose not to "get into it to win."

Here is an edited transcript of his conversation yesterday with ScienceInsider.


Spending bill looms as venue for climate battle

By Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman

The continuing resolution could include a provision to hamstring EPA’s power to regulate emissions.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


It's about time: Republicans propose $1.6bn cut to Environmental Protection Agency

After challenging agency's legal authority over CO2 emissions, cut largest of 70 budgetary measures put forward by party

Republicans have launched an attack on the Obama administration's powers to act on climate change, proposing a 17% budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a follow-up strike, they repeatedly challenged the legal authority of the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions during a contentious hearing in Congress.

The proposed $1.6bn (£1bn) cut to the EPA was the largest in dollar terms of some 70 budgetary measures put forward by Republicans on Wednesday. (Guardian)

Way too little and far too late but at least it's a start.


NASA climate programs being eyed for the budget axe

Jim Hansen arrest at White House Dr. James Hansen, NASA GISS chief scientist, arrested in front of the White House 9-28-10.
Image: via Wonk Room

NASA spent over a billion dollars last year on climate change studies…which would you rather have? Pronouncements about death trains, expert testimony for climate vandals, failed predictions, failed models, and a questionable GISTEMP dataset, or a continued manned spaceflight program?

From my perspective, NASA GISS is a duplication of climate services already covered by NOAA/NCDC, and all we seem to get from it is climate activism arrests of the chief scientist, a coffee table book by his assistant, and a snarky condescending blog called RealClimate that one private citizen and some volunteers are currently beating the pants off of in public outreach. Further, the government spent over $8.7 billion across 16 Agencies and Departments throughout the federal government on these efforts in FY 2010 alone. Inside NASA, we have duplication of climate services not only at GISS in NYC, Goddard Spaceflight in Virgina, but also at JPL Pasadena. There’s been all sorts of domestic military base closures in the recent years to save money, and NASA Goddard and GISS re-purposed itself after the Apollo program ended and their mission did too. It’s time to close this duplication of services dinosaur, it will be missed far less than a TV comedy series by the American public.  If you feel the same way, tell your representatives. – Anthony

From SpaceREF: Reps Posey, Adams and Bishop Join Colleagues in Calling on House Leaders to Reprioritize NASA for Human Space Flight Missions, Drop Climate Change

imageWASHINGTON – As House leaders examine ways to cut spending and address the ever growing budget deficits that have plagued Washington for years, U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL), Sandy Adams (R-FL) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) were joined by several other of their colleagues in calling for a reprioritization of NASA so human space flight remains the primary focus of the nation’s space agency as budget cuts are considered.

In their recent letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA), Posey, Adams and Bishop state that while “moving forward under a constrained budget, it will be critical for the Appropriations Committee to produce legislation that is precise in its budget cuts. For years, Presidents and Congress have charged NASA with completing tasks that fall outside the scope of NASA’s primary mission.

Continue reading (WUWT)


Republicans push back against claims they would 'gut' key air law

By Andrew Restuccia

House Republicans are pushing back against claims by Democrats that a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions is an attempt to “gut the Clean Air Act.”

At a subcommittee hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Republicans stressed that legislation offered by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and others only pertains to greenhouse gas emissions and does not affect the many pollutants already regulated under the Clean Air Act.

The Republican effort to push back against the claims comes as Democrats have stepped up efforts to enumerate the public health benefits that have resulted from regulating air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Stronger FOIA law now under review in Virginia

ATI Praises VA House Passage of Strengthened FOIA Law

Thursday, February 9, 2011

The American Tradition Institute today praised yesterday’s passage of a stronger Freedom of Information Act law in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s House of Delegates, after the University of Virginia had previously misled a House member about the existence of records pertaining to former UVA climate scientist Michael Mann.
Continue reading (WUWT)


Extreme Nonsense by Krugman

Krugman's Graph of density distribution from his NYT article

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

1. Krugman in Gradual Changes and Extreme Events forgets that there is a threshold on the left hand side, below which cold kills. In fact, in the moderate to higher latitudes more people die daily during the cold months than in the rest of the year. See Winter kills: Excess Deaths in the Winter Months.

2. How does Krugman know that the distribution does not become narrower due to warming?

Continue reading (WUWT)


Carbon pollution - the movie

Greens have taken to calling the invisible gas you’re currently exhaling ‘carbon pollution’.  It’s nonsense, of course, but that hasn’t stopped the EPA from demonizing CO2 as a planet-killer while conveniently forgetting the world would actually be a barren rock without it.

Given this context, what follows is a horrifying glorification of wanton pollution by the most recognizable brand on the planet.  You may want children in the room to turn away before viewing the short film.

. .

If you were able to watch the whole thing without crying, you may have noticed how the gaseous poison was highlighted, nay celebrated, with sparkles – almost as if there was nothing to worry about.

Big Soda is truly evil – the tag line at the end ‘Light It Up’ is a clear signal that they intend for the planet to burn.  We’re doomed. (Daily Bayonet)


Projected Impact Of Global Warming On Europe Negligible

Climate change activists have long warned of a bleak and impoverished future due to the ravages of global warming. But evaluating the effects of climate change in the long term is an extremely complex issue. There are no reliable, accurate predictions for future climate, demographic change, economic development, or technological progress. A new study in Proceedings of the National Academies of Science finds that if the climate of the 2080s were to occur today, the annual loss in household welfare in the European Union (EU) would range between 0.2–1%. Furthermore, this minuscule change was derived using aggressive IPCC scenarios for temperature and sea-level rise. Regardless of the claims made by climate change doomsayers, the future is not going to suck after all. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


Flimflam man has scored another propaganda post: Tim Flannery appointed Australia's climate commissioner

ENVIRONMENTALIST and former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has been appointed to a newly-created position as Australia's climate commissioner.

The well-known global warming activist will chair a panel of six other experts, including scientists and economists.

The commission will work independently of government to advance awareness of climate change issues in the community.

The body was a Labor climate change election commitment, but was overshadowed by the now aborted citizen's assembly plan. (Ben Packham, The Australian)


Uh-huh... his plants told him: Prince of Wales: climate change sceptics 'playing a reckless game of roulette'

Climate change sceptics are "playing a reckless game of roulette" with the future of their grandchildren, the Prince of Wales on Wednesday told a European Union conference on global warming.

Sharing a platform with the most senior officials in Brussels, the Prince attacked those who "corrode" the EU's environmental policies by denying "the vast body of scientific evidence" that climate change is caused by industrial activity. (TDT) | Prince Charles condemns 'corrosive' climate change sceptics - The prince says green lobby must do more to sell the benefits of sustainable living (Guardian)

Actually the silly old coot misunderstood his plants. Seriously, what an embarrassment this airhead is. As an Australian he's allegedly my next king but, in reality, he's the republican movement's strongest argument.


NASA revises the sunspot prediction down again

From the Marshall Space Flight Center:

Current prediction for the next sunspot cycle maximum gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 58 in July of 2013. We are currently two years into Cycle 24 and the predicted size continues to fall.

Additionally, the monthly data plots are out, and there’s been little change from last month in the three major solar indexes plotted by the Space Weather Prediction Center:

Continue reading (WUWT)


Radiative Changes Over the Global Oceans During Warm and Cool Events

In my continuing efforts to use satellite observations to test climate models that predict global warming, I keep trying different ways to analyze the data.

Here I’ll show how the global oceanic radiative budget changes during warm and cool events, which are mostly due to El Niño and La Niña (respectively). By ‘radiative budget’ I am talking about top-of-atmosphere absorbed sunlight and emitted infrared radiation. (Roy W. Spencer)


Offshore Drilling and the Federal Deficit

Oil rig

For all the talk about job creation and deficit reduction, the Obama administration continues to ignore one solution to accomplish both: offshore oil drilling.

As the de facto drilling moratorium continues to shackle the Gulf coast region, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is determined to hold the administration accountable for what is more than just a regional issue.

The day after President Obama’s Interior Department was held in contempt of court for refusing to lift the moratorium, Vitter wrote to David Hayes, deputy secretary at the Interior Department, demanding that he properly assess the financial damage caused by the moratorium and the liability of the federal government.

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Matthew Simmons’s ‘Club of Rome’ Epiphany (The strange case of an energy investment banker turned energy alarmist)

by Robert Bradley Jr.
February 9, 2011

[Editor note: This (unpublished) review of “Revisiting The Limits to Growth: Could the Club of Rome Have Been Correct After All?” by Matthew R. Simmons (1943–2010) was written by Bradley in 2000.

Tomorrow, Michael Lynch will examine the Simmons's peak-oil advocacy. A third post will described the failed bets that Simmons made with John Tierney of the New York Times and with Bradley on the average price of oil in 2010. (Simmons bet on $200 per barrel or higher averaged over 2010--and lost resoundingly.)]

Matt Simmons founded the investment banking firm Simmons & Company International soon after the 1973 energy crisis to cater to oil companies. He first stepped out in a very public way by questioning official inventory statistics for oil. But then he took a decidedly controversial turn (and one that befuddled his longtime industry friends). In this White Paper, Simmons donned a neo-Malthusian hat to challenge the reality of the improving condition of mankind (particularly in market settings). 

But given the elementary errors and oddities of his attempted resurrection of the doomsday Club of Rome study, one must speculate if Simmons wanted to be a maverick for its own sake and whether he was working from his conclusions to his reasoning rather than the other way around. Such a perversion of logic appears to have also occurred in his peak-oil thinking–suggesting a strange case study of energy thinking indeed. (MasterResource)


Drilling technology sparks new oil boom

Gary Williams recalls the last time the oil industry showed up in his tiny town of Waskada, Man. Crews punched holes in the prairie ground, then disappeared as suddenly as they arrived when those holes came up empty.

But that was 30 years ago. This time, it’s different. Armed with new drilling technology and eager to reap the rewards of oil’s high prices, companies are tapping complex geological formations, and the crude is flowing, adding Manitoba to Canada’s list of significant oil-producing provinces.

“It’s just a huge boost for the economy in the area,” said Mr. Williams, the town’s mayor. “We were sending our young people to Alberta for the last 10 years and now the trend is reversing and we’re seeing a lot of Alberta people here and some of our people are coming back.”

The oil-drilling boom promises what one company executive calls a “quiet revolution” in the industry. It could reduce the U.S. appetite for imported oil – including, potentially, from the oil sands. And the technological breakthrough could put the brakes on future price increases by bringing new, relatively low-cost supplies to the market – not just in North America but around the world.

Waskada, population 225 and just a few kilometres away from the U.S. border, is on the northern fringe of the prolific Bakken field, a booming unconventional oil play that could soon make North Dakota the second-largest oil-producing state after Texas. The rapid development of the Bakken – which now is now producing 350,000 barrels a day – signals a dramatic new chapter in North American oil industry, where conventional, onshore production was recently considered to be in terminal decline.

As energy companies turned away from low-priced gas, onshore oil production in the United States began reversing a 30-year decline last year. Some analysts project so-called tight-oil plays could contribute two million barrels a day of production by the middle of the decade – nearly as much as current oil sands production. (CTV News)


CEOs, ex-military brass float plans to cut oil reliance

By Ben Geman

The Energy Security Leadership Council — a coalition of CEOs and retired military officials — floated a big report Wednesday that calls for several transportation policies aimed at curbing oil reliance.

The group is eyeing the next big transportation reauthorization bill as a vehicle for their ideas. They include making reduced oil consumption a top “performance metric” for the Transportation Department, new funding for metro areas to curb congestion, and plenty of others.

“A growing confluence of factors makes the next surface transportation reauthorization bill a unique opportunity to improve our country’s transportation strategy and to bring it into alignment with our national strategic energy interests,” the report notes.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


The Natural Gas Debate

The Economist just finished hosting an online debate on natural gas. The resolution was an interesting one: This house believes that natural gas will do more than renewables to limit the world’s carbon emissions. [Read More] (Robert Rapier, ET)


Terence Corcoran: Toyota’s media car crash

Irresponsible news outlets caused this wreck

A year ago in this space I wrote: “Toyota is already the victim of one of the most irresponsible and destructive bouts of media thuggery in history.” On Tuesday, the U.S. Highway Safety Administration proved that statement accurate with a report — backed by NASA — that found no evidence Toyota’s were unsafe, and no evidence that the auto company’s electronics or technology were the cause of Toyota car crashes.

The only car crash involving Toyota was the multi-billion-dollar pileup of media-driven frenzy and a U.S. administration, led by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. On Tuesday, the cause of that destruction of Toyota’s market share and reputational damage — the U.S. government and the media–walked away from the wreckage as if nothing had happened. After investigating scores of individual incidents of runaway car syndrome, the report found that the likely cause of 99% of them was driver error. One appears to have been the result of an out-of-place floor mat.

Read More » (Financial Post)


Lawrence Solomon: One health activist attacks another (through me)

“Port Hope is the deep dark underbelly of the Canadian nuclear industry, representing dangers that so far, have escaped sufficient scrutiny and cleanup. … no level of radiation is safe and it is cumulative — each dose adds to the risk of cancer. Children are 10 to 20 times more radiosensitive than adults, and fetuses are extremely sensitive.”

So wrote Dr. Helen Caldicott, an Australian health activist campaigning to evacuate the town of Port Hope, in an Ottawa Citizen article yesterday. The shoddy science in the article so incensed David Sweanor, an adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa and once a prominent health activist himself, that he asked me to respond. Dave was for years the voice of the Non-Smoker’s Rights Association, an organization with unparalleled success in opposing pollution from cigarette smoke.

Dave wrote me partly because I had previously countered Caldicott’s claims about Port Hope, partly because he was too pressed for time to respond himself, and partly because he grew up in Port Hope, and as a summer student had been involved in the massive cleanup of radioactive soil that took place throughout the town. Dave knows firsthand that fears of radiation contamination had been hyped.

“One of the jobs I had that summer was to stand by the gate of a site where this apparently contaminated soil was being taken and to thoroughly scan the dump trucks with my Geiger counter as they were leaving in order to ensure all the radioactive material had been disposed of,” he wrote me. “Well, being a bored and sceptical student I started to also scan the trucks as they arrived fully laden with the removed soil, and guess what? That they were free of elevated radioactivity levels upon leaving was not overly surprising because they were similarly free of such radioactivity upon arriving. They were, at great monetary and carbon expense, removing soil that registered normal background levels of radiation.”

Over the decades, government agencies have moved some 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soils to other locations and overseen 30-odd environmental studies and 13 epidemiological studies of the health of residents who may have been contaminated over the decades. Those studies generally show that the town’s level of radioactivity, and the health of its residents, compare with those found in other communities.  In fact, the studies of nuclear workers in Port Hope obtained results that the researchers didn’t design for, and didn’t expect – the Port Hope nuclear workers contracted fewer cancers, and lived longer, than the general population of Port Hope. Those who live in Port Hope also contract fewer leukemias than those who live in the nearby area.
These findings point to a possible protective effect from low-level radiation – a phenomenon known as hormesis that is attracting increasing attention from medical research.  Caldicott in her article decries the lack of relevant research into radiation at Port Hope. I would agree with her here, only I view the most glaring need to be studies that would determine if Port Hope residents have been living longer and more healthily as a result of radiation. Dave’s engaging letter certainly raises that possibility.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of
Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers.

Helen Caldicott is the darling of Australia's public broadcaster, abc.net.au, which is really a polite way of saying she's a raving left-wing loon.


A Killer Agency

Sam Kazman's "Drug Approvals and Deadly Delays" article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Winter 2010), tells a story about how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's policies have led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. Let's look at how it happens. (Walter E. Williams, Townhall)


Indonesia to boost rice stocks amid global food fears

Indonesia ordered hefty rice imports on Wednesday to boost stocks by a third in the latest sign that governments concerned about rising food prices and dwindling supplies are rushing into the market and could drive inflation even higher.

Global food prices have climbed to record highs on shrinking supplies of wheat, corn, soybean and oilseeds. While rice has been less of a worry thanks to ample supplies in the top two exporters, Thailand and Vietnam, traders said other Asian governments may soon seek to boost rice stocks too. (Reuters)


Greens' departure allows Irish government to embrace GM crops

The collapse of its coalition with the Green Party has given Fianna Fáil the freedom to ditch Ireland's anti-GM stance

Against the background of one of the most divisive and stormy parliamentary election campaigns in Ireland's history, the outgoing government has made a significant move on GM crops. Minister for agriculture, Brendan Smith from the ruling Fianna Fáil party, confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that Ireland has changed its voting position and will now support a number of EU Commission proposals designed to allow the marketing of GM food for human consumption, animal feed and food ingredients. (Guardian)



EPA Rules Are Bad For The Economy

Steve Milloy talks EPA on FOX Business


Republicans v. EPA battle goes public

By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia

State of Play: The GOP-led campaign to scuttle the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rules will burst into public view Wednesday.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will be the star witness at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) bill to block regulation of power plants, refineries, factories and other facilities.

Both sides have been making their case in various forums of late – Upton has been on a media blitz, while Jackson used a speech at a major conference Tuesday to argue that the Clean Air Act has a history of protecting public health without weighing on the economy.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee’s top Democrat, on Tuesday circulated a highly critical memo about Upton’s draft bill. (E2 Wire)


EPA, greens strike back against Republican ‘job-killing’ message

By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia

The efforts come ahead of hearings this week featuring a barrage of GOP and industry attacks on Obama administration regulations.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

But they surely can't be expecting to be taken seriously. People need only look at Spain, the EU generally or American States that have sipped from the toxic "green jobs" chalice to see multiple real jobs are lost in the exchange for each stunningly expensive and generally transient "green job" created. It doesn't matter how often they tell the great big green lie, it's still a lie.


EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s journey as a regulatory warrior

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday in what will be the first showdown between the newly empowered House Republicans and the EPA chief over the agency’s regulatory powers.

Jackson is no stranger to political battles, especially with those who are not as enthusiastic as she is about regulating greenhouse gas emissions or water and air pollutants. A December 2010 profile of Jackson in the Washington Post declared the administrator was “prepared for battle,” suggesting she doesn’t plan to back away from defending the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon, an authority that House Republicans reject.

Right before Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan assumed the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he told reporters Jackson could reserve her own parking space outside the Rayburn House Office Building — suggesting the chairman would be calling Jackson to the Hill quite a bit to defend the agency’s actions. (Amanda Carey, The Daily Caller)


Republicans ask court to toss climate case

Two top House Republicans and the Senate’s leading global warming skeptic asked the Supreme Court Monday to throw out a lawsuit seeking to force electric utilities to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), his energy lieutenant Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) submitted an amicus brief Monday in the high-profile American Electric Power v. Connecticut case.

The lawmakers urged the judges to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed states and environmental groups to move ahead with a public “nuisance” lawsuit seeking to force the utilities to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

“[C]ourts are not equipped to make judgments about the appropriate emissions standards for utilities located throughout the country,” the lawmakers wrote. “Judicial establishment of such standards would violate decades of Supreme Court precedent and unconstitutionally interfere with Congressional and Executive branch efforts to address climate change-related matters.” (Politico)


Greens With Envy

Climate: Congressional Republicans want a lower court ruling that lets states and environmental groups sue utilities over CO2 emissions thrown out. Which makes this a good time to revisit the carbon question.

In 2009, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a federal district judge in American Electric Power v. Connecticut, a case in which eight states, the city of New York and environmental groups were told by that judge they could not file a public nuisance lawsuit against utilities over their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Supreme Court took the case in December. While the justices roll it around in their minds, three GOP congressional leaders filed a brief with the Court on Monday asking it to reverse the appeals court's ruling.

The suit is not without problems. There are legal issues as well as grave financial and political considerations. But for now, we'll focus on carbon dioxide. (IBD)

Not bad from Investors.com although they messed up the proportion of water in the atmosphere: "Water vapor is much stronger and is present in the atmosphere in about the same degree as CO2". Not quite correct - the greenhouse effect from water vapor is much stronger but not due to activity but abundance, while CO2 is present at almost 0.04% (400 parts per million [ppm]) H2O varies between 1% and 4% of the atmosphere (between 10,000 and 40,000 ppm) and it is this enormous abundance that renders CO2 insignificant.


Sen. Inhofe, environmental groups spar over whether carbon emissions actually pose health risk

When Republican lawmakers introduced legislation this week to block efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon, environmental groups pushed back hard. And this time, the groups stepped up their efforts by attempting to shift the argument from being about climate change science and green jobs to public health safety.

In a press release sent out Thursday, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attacked the proposal as a “serious health setback.”

“This is unprecedented political interference with sound science and enforcement of clean air safeguards, which have improved our water and air for the past four decades,” said NRDC climate and air legislative director Franz Matzner.

“Politicians should not block EPA scientists from continuing to reduce carbon dioxide, mercury and other life-threatening pollution. Big polluters cannot be allowed to continue spewing unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air.”

When contacted by The Daily Caller, an NRDC spokesperson referred to a 2008 NRDC fact sheet that lists health risks from carbon dioxide that include a more intense “allergenic pollen season” and an increase in droughts and floods.

Even Democrats on the Hill have taken up the argument shift to public health. (Amanda Carey, The Daily Caller)

The greatest health risk just might be people drowning in the bullshit spread by carbon cranks. These loons are whining about carbon dioxide levels less than 10% of that in babies' breath, making your sleeping little angel a "dangerous polluter". Come to think of it the people haters would just love to regulate babies...


UK carbon tax would not cut wider emissions, report warns

The introduction of a carbon tax would help the UK meet its greenhouse gas target, but make no difference to emissions of greenhouse gases across Europe according to new research.

The report 'Combining Multiple Climate Policy Instruments: How not to do it', points out that a Europe-wide cap on emissions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme means that the rest of Europe will continue to emit up to this 'capped' level whatever policy instruments are introduced at a national level.

The UK Government is currently consulting on a 'carbon floor price' or tax which would mean that UK electricity companies would have to pay extra for the carbon they emit. Until now power generators have been exempt from the Climate Change Levy, the closest thing that the UK has to a carbon tax. (ClickGreen)


Report boosts carbon price case

CLIMATE change officials have dramatically increased their estimates of the emissions cuts necessary for Australia to meet its international promises, lifting the nation's "abatement challenge" by 16 per cent in two years to 160 million tonnes.

A report to be released today by the Department of Climate Change finds that while Australia remains on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target of limiting emissions to 108 per cent of 1990 levels, this is achieved through a reduction in land-clearing and the nation is projected to exceed its 2020 promises by nearly 30 per cent.

The report will be seized on by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet to bolster the government's bid to introduce a carbon price to put a brake on emissions. (Sid Maher, The Australian)

There will be no reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, only an increase in taxation (any attempt at which will guarantee the end of the Gillard Labor-[motley assortment of greens and self-serving loons] Rainbow Conglomerate Government). In short, forget about it.


Junior posts a Reality Check

The image above comes from a report issued today by the Australian government on its projected carbon dioxide emissions compared to various targets for emissions reductions (here in PDF).  The gap between projection and targets is stark.  The report asserts:

The Australian Government has reiterated its intention to introduce a carbon price in Australia to reduce emissions and meet the 2020 target.

What would it take for Australia to meet the least ambitious of these targets?  I answer this question in a recent paper: (Roger Pielke Jr.)


Questions real journalists ought to be asking about Yasi

When “experts” say that cyclones and extreme storms will be more common in a warmer world, and are “linked”, “connected”, “expected”, or “definitely” due to man-made CO2 emissions, journalists could try asking some real questions.

1. If storms are getting worse thanks to man-made CO2 emissions, why has there been no increase globally as man-made CO2 emissions rose over the last 40 years?

Last 4-decades of Global Tropical Storm and Hurricane frequency -- 12-month running sums. The top time series is the number of TCs that reach at least tropical storm strength (maximum lifetime wind speed exceeds 34-knots). The bottom time series is the number of hurricane strength (64-knots+) TCs..

Source: Global Tropical Cyclone Activity Dr. Ryan N. Maue

2. So if you admit the global trend doesn’t change, but suggest that the local or regional trends will change, which parts of the world will get fewer cyclones?

If global averages are still “average”, things have to get better somewhere else right?

3. So if climate simulations project that Queensland will experience more cyclones, and be one of the areas that get worse, but the Crompton and McAneney (2008) paper shows that in that region the number of cyclones has been falling.

(Follow up: So the global trend is the same, and the regional trend in Queensland is falling, yet we should expect that  “it will get worse”?) More » (Jo Nova)


Mixing Politics into “Scientific” Papers

There is a paper in this week’s Science magazine by a long list of authors led by Ulf Büntgen from the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research that unabashedly throws political commentary into the conclusions of their scientific research paper (i.e., it is not an opinion piece).

The work largely is an unremarkable retelling of the climate social history of Western Europe over the past two millennia or so, with a rather remarkable conclusion.

Anyone familiar with the history of European civilization and how is has been shaped by climate—a story that has been well known for some 30 or 40 years (and probably longer)—will find little new in the Büntgen et al. work.

Factually, that is.

What will come as a surprise to climate history buffs is their take of this well-known story and its implication for the future. (WCR)


Analysis: Greenland Of 1770s Gives Clues To Chill Winters

The icy winters suffered by Europe and North America for the last two years contrast with unusually mild weather in the Arctic, in a pattern first noted by a Danish missionary in Greenland in the 1770s. (Reuters)


U.S. agency says walrus protection can wait

The Pacific walrus, hampered by vanishing sea ice in Arctic waters, deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act but must wait in line behind more imperiled animals, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman said on Tuesday.

The decision dashed environmentalists' hopes that the lumbering, long-tusked marine mammal would soon join the polar bear as a federally protected icon of global warming.

But it also drew criticism from Alaska's Republican U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, who sided with the oil industry and other commercial interests in opposing new safeguards for either animal. (Reuters)


Steig's method massacred

Ryan O'Donnell has posted a splendid pictorial guide to the oddities of Eric Steig's method for creating trends in the Arctic. If you have been one of the people not following the story too well so far, here's a little layman's version of the posting, which assumes no prior knowledge. I hope this helps.

There's a lot of talk of the Antarctic peninsula. This is fairly obvious at the left hand side of each map below. The name refers only to the narrow bit of land though. The slightly fatter bit that joins the Peninsula to the main part of the Antarctic continent is West Antarctica.

Now Steig's method purported to show that he whole continent was warming, and particularly West Antarctica. Previously it had been thought that only the peninsula was warming.

Here's Steig's original result with the warming showing up as the dark colour in West Antarctica.

Click to read more ... (Bishop Hill)


New Paper “Climate Stability And Sensitivity In Some Simple Conceptual Models” By J. Bates

I have been alerted to an important recent paper on modeling the climate system. It is

Bates, J., 2010: Climate stability and sensitivity in some simple conceptual models, Climate Dynamics (28 December 2010), pp. 1-19. (Roger Pielke Sr.)


From CO2 Science Volume 14 Number 6: 9 February 2011

Open Letter to the United States Congress:
The Truth About Climate Change Open Letter: On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to "take a fresh look at climate change." Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems. Read a response signed and endorsed by dozens of scientists. To add your name to the list, email your name and affiliation to contactus@co2science.org.

To view a pdf file of this letter, click here.

Major Report:
Carbon Dioxide and Earth's Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path: Ten of the more ominous model-based predictions of what will occur in response to continued business-as-usual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are compared against real-world observations.

New Book:
The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Many are the books and reports that rail against mankind's usage of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil, because of the copious quantities of carbon dioxide or CO2 that their combustion releases to the atmosphere. Indeed, this phenomenon is routinely castigated in numerous print and visual venues as a result of the unproven predictions of catastrophic CO2 -induced global warming that are derived from theoretical computer-driven simulations of the state of earth's climate decades and centuries into the future. Now, however, comes a book that does just the opposite, and that describes a host of real-world benefits that the controversial atmospheric trace gas provides, first to earth's plants and then to the people and animals that depend upon them for their sustenance.

The book is The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment, written by the son/father team of Craig D. and Sherwood B. Idso. It is encyclopedic in nature, with fifty-five different subjects treated and arranged in alphabetical order -- starting with Air Pollution Stress (Non-Ozone) and ending with Wood Density -- each of which entries comes with its own set of reference citations. The book is subtitled How humanity and the rest of the biosphere will prosper from this amazing trace gas that so many have wrongfully characterized as a dangerous air pollutant. It may not be everything you "always wanted to know" about the bright side of the issue; but it illuminates a number of significant aspects of earth's biosphere and its workings, as well as mankind's reliance on the biosphere for food and numerous other material necessities that are hardly ever mentioned by the mainstream media.

Brief synopses of each of the 55 sections of the book may be found at http://www.co2science.org/education/book/2011/55BenefitsofCO2Pamphlet.pdf, while the book can be ordered from Vales Lakes Publishing, Inc.

The Unholy Struggle to Curtail Global Warming: A new study unveils a climate-alarmist recipe to justify a worldwide war against anthropogenic CO2 emissions without having to provide any hard evidence for decades -- or longer! -- that their prescription for winning the war is having any impact at all on earth's temperature.

Journal Reviews:
Drought in the U.S. Corn Belt: How has it varied over the past millennium?

A 450-Year History of Flooding in Southern Germany: Was flooding there greatest in colder or warmer times?

Ocean Acidification and Marine Diatoms: How might the former affect the latter?

The Folly of Biofuels: How great it is!

Biofuels or Bioweeds?: Can one become the other?

The Prospects for Increased Pigeon Pea Production in India: How good are they? ... and why?

Ocean Acidification Database:
The latest addition of peer-reviewed data archived to our database of marine organism responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment is Spiral Wrack [Fucus spiralis]. To access the entire database, click here.

Plant Growth Database:
Our latest results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature are: Paper Birch (Ambebe and Dang, 2009) and Pigeon Pea (Vanaja et al., 2010).

Medieval Warm Period Project:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 926 individual scientists from 543 research institutions in 43 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record comes from Nevado Illimani, Eastern Bolivian Andes, Bolivia. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here. (co2science.org)


The UN has Become a Clear Danger to Our Energy Future and National Sovereignty

If you’re like me, a denizen of western civilization, the United Nations has targeted you and me. The crosshairs are trained on how we use energy and the intent is to change our energy generation methods and sources. [Read More] (Art Horn, ET)


Oil-and-gas companies are being vilified in tax debate, trade group says

By Bernie Becker

After being branded “yesterday’s energy” by Obama, the industry is pushing back against Democratic efforts to end their tax incentives.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Our Don Quixote Energy Policy

Power: Tilting once again at windmills, the Interior Department has announced that it's fast-tracking wind farms off four Atlantic states. Now, if they were oil rigs, we might actually get some real energy.

While vast reserves of oil and natural gas lie undeveloped off both coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, barred from development by federal edict for the next seven years, the obsessive pursuit of green energy continued on Monday.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, architects of the economy-killing administration war on fossil fuels, said the Obama administration would speed the development of offshore wind farms, with a goal of issuing leases off four Atlantic Coast states by year-end. (IBD)


Dems consider cash-for-clunkers "successful", want to throw away more of your money on EVs: Obama to propose electric vehicle rebate plan

By Andrew Restuccia

President Obama’s budget request will call on Congress to pass legislation offering consumers a rebate of as much as $7,500 for purchasing electric vehicles.

The rebate plan is part of a three-part proposal outlined by the Department of Energy Tuesday that will be included in Obama’s budget request, slated to be released Monday. The proposal is designed to reach Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

The electric vehicles rebate proposal is modeled after the successful “cash-for-clunkers” program, which gave consumers rebates for exchanging older vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones. Obama will propose turning a current $7,500 tax credit, which would be redeemed on consumers’ income taxes, into a rebate, which would be received at the point of sale.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Oh boy... Green thinktank warns against using tax cuts to stabilise fuel prices

Pleas from industry to cut fuel duty will result in rises to other taxes or further spending cuts, Green Alliance says

Pleas from industry to cut petrol duty would cost the government £6bn and lead to a "fiscal black hole" in public finances that would have to be filled by raising other taxes, or by more painful public spending cuts, a green thinktank warned on Tuesday.

Under current plans, taxes on petrol should rise slightly this April, to help the government meet its greenhouse gas targets and encourage energy efficiency.

But the government has come under fierce pressure from industry lobbyists to forego the planned rise, and instead use taxes to help stabilise the price of fuel. That would mean reducing the tax when oil prices are rising, to smooth out spikes.

Petrol prices are at record highs, after a sharp rise in the crude oil price. Fuel duty is now at about 59p a litre, and motorists have also been hit by the rise in VAT rates. (Guardian)

Energy taxes are always punitive and always a really dumb idea. Of course they should reduce them but they should not replace them with other taxation. The correct answer is always to shrink government and cut so-called "services" (which generally do the public a disservice anyway).


These clowns don't get it at all: The UK must own up to the full scale of its emissions problem

Outsourced emissions are a growing problem that the government is failing to acknowledge

Last week the Guardian reported that the UK's carbon emissions have dropped. In fact they've gone up. New material released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) reveals that the government knows this, but is actively deciding to do nothing.

Recent reports show that the UK's emissions have risen once our consumption of imported goods and services are factored in. We can now reveal that civil servants, too, have been briefing ministers on this very fact – but that they have failed to do anything about it. (Guardian)

They think emissions controls are something to do with climate when they are really all about strangling America's manufacturing dominance (they should not worry, Socialists are achieving that with no need of help at all).


China creates rare earth strategic reserve

China is building up strategic reserves of rare earth metals in a move that could give it better control over the resource so indispensable to high tech products, the Wall Street Journal reported. (SMH)


Three Questions About Renewable Energy (false choices skew public opinion poll)

Several months ago, renewable energy advocates hailed a poll as unquestionably demonstrating the public’s support of renewable energy resources. However, answers to follow-up questions showed that the public’s willingness to pay for increased renewable energy is lukewarm at best. Therein lies the fickle support for government-dependent energy path that shines is one thing in the abstract and another in the real world.

The Financial Times/Harris poll, conducted online by Harris Interactive, surveyed household members who pay the energy bill each month in France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, and the U.S. between September 15 and 21, 2010. They were asked three questions about their support of renewable energy. (MasterResource)


Voluntary guidelines to avoid bird-wind impacts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing voluntary guidelines for onshore wind energy developers to avoid bird deaths and other harm to wildlife as part of the Obama administration's big push for renewable and clean energy.

Bird advocates who had lobbied for mandatory standards warned that the new guidelines would do nothing to stem bird deaths as wind power builds up across the country. (Associated Press)



posted by Ben Pile on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bishop Hill points to a paper by Ross McKitrick. The Bishop himself points to the following passage, a thought experiment in which an Intergovernmental Panel on Economics, analogous to the IPCC is imagined. (Climate Resistance)


Peter Foster: The straight goods from Animal Farm

Ottawa’s agri-food institute produces Soviet-style plan to drive up food prices

The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) is, according to its website, an independent, non-partisan, unbiased, not-for-profit policy forum. It’s difficult to see how this squares with it being government-created and government funded. Its idea of non-partisanship seems to align with that of Barack Obama: “Let’s all get together and agree we need more government.”

CAPI this week produced a steaming shovel-ready pile of policy titled Canada’s Agri-Food Destination, which amounts to a non-fiction rewrite of Animal Farm for the 21st century: a self-parody of bureaucratic pretension.

The CAPI report produces grand Soviet-style targets before getting down to the nitty-gritty of planting new gobbledegook-fertilized bureaucracies as far as the eye can see. By 2025 it wants Canada to double the value of its food exports to $75-billion, produce and supply 75% of its own food, and “Generate revenue and efficiency by relying on biomaterials and biofuels in 75% of the agri-food sector.”

Read More » (Financial Post)



CARB Before Horse

States: A court has tentatively ruled against California's cap-and-trade law because alternatives were not considered. But then, neither were climate facts or the economic impact.

There's a delicious irony in the ruling by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith barring the California Air Resources Board (CARB) from implementing AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

In the opinion of the court, CARB failed to complete the required environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act because it did not adequately analyze the legislation to see if there are better ways to get the job done. (IBD)


A Cherry-Picker’s Guide to Temperature Trends Update: Warming Crisis Not

Back in October 2009, my post “A Cherry-Picker’s Guide to Temperature Trends” examined the many different statements that could be made to describe the tendencies of global temperatures over the past 20 years. I concluded that anything from rapid cooling to a faster than expected warming could be supported by carefully picking through the available data.

Now, more than a year later, and after one of the “warmest years on record,” I’ve updated my analysis so that any new statements characterizing global temperature can be evaluated against the complete set of recent observations.

In general, I find that statements such as “global warming has stopped” should be tempered, at least for the time being. But I conclude that my original article’s summary remains applicable:

What I can say for certain, is that the recent behavior of global temperatures demonstrates that global warming is occurring at a much slower rate than that projected by the ensemble of climate models, and that global warming is most definitely not accelerating.

I say “more or less” because one could argue from the data (as we’ll see below) that the warming rate during recent years has upticked with the warmth in 2010 indicating a warming that is occurring faster than projected and is accelerating. But, I think that this represents a temporary condition.

In due course (say over the next several months), the warmth in 2010 will continue to subside as the cooling influence from a Pacific La Niña event supplants the warming influence of last year’s El Niño (see here for example). This will have the effect of flattening out recent temperature trends and returning them once again to lower-than-projected values. I imagine that we’ll see such an impact when it comes time again for me to produce an update to this update.

But until that time, I’ll describe the situation as it presents itself data available through December 2010. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


The SOI still rules

Who would have thought that if you knew the air pressure in Darwin and Tahiti in June, you could figure out that the start of 2011 might be a Stalingrad Winter up North and a cooler wetter summer down south (Not that people in Sydney feel all that cool right now). But the air pressure ratios are reported as the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) and it’s the handiest thing if you like predicting global temperatures 7 months ahead. Look at that correlation.

Since June last year Bryan Leyland has been using the simple connection described by Carter, De Freitas, and  McLean in 2009 to predict up and coming temperatures.

So far, for what it’s worth, he’s right on track.

Such is the power of the stored pool of cold that is the bottom three-quarters of the Pacific Ocean. And when you look at how vast the Southern Pacific ocean is, is it any wonder it has such an influence? All that heat capacity… More » (Jo Nova)


Clean Energy Standard: Cap-and-Trade Only Less Efficient

by Marlo Lewis
07 February 2011 @ 3:23 pm

As noted previously on GlobalWarming.Org, Obama’s ”Clean Energy Standard” would effectively impose the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill’s emission reduction target on the electric power sector.

Under Obama’s proposal, “By 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources” (i.e. from wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, “clean coal,” and natural gas). Similarly, an estimated 81% of U.S. electricity would come from such sources in 2030 in the Energy Information Administration’s “Basic Case” analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill.

There is one difference though. Emission reductions accomplished via Soviet-style production quota (mandates) such as a clean energy standard would likely be more costly than emission reductions accomplished via market-like mechanisms such as cap-and-trade. National Journal reporter Amy Harder spotted this issue last Friday:

“One of the things that happens implicitly when you set a standard is that you have in fact…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


House energy chairman cool to proposals for 'clean' energy standard

By Ben Geman

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the electricity standards already in place at the state level seem to be working.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Defining ''Clean'' is the Energy Challenge

In an effort to show some semblance of an energy and environmental policy, the Obama administration has recently begun advocating clean energy standards (CES). [Read More] (Michael J. Economides, ET)


Clean Coal: The Fallows Fallacy

The United States has done little to develop clean coal technology—because there are few reasons for doing so.

Longtime correspondent James Fallows recently penned a cover story in the Atlantic entitled “Dirty Coal, Clean Future” on the promise of so-called “clean coal” technology in China. While Fallows highlights certain promising and important developments in the energy field, his analysis ultimately sputters. (Mark E. Ellis and Michael M. Rosen, American Magazine)


Green-energy plant sucks up subsidies, then goes bust

To turn wood chips into ethanol fuel, George W. Bush's Department of Energy in February 2007 announced a $76 million grant to Range Fuels for a cutting-edge refinery. A few months later, the refinery opened in the piney woods of Treutlen County, Ga., as the taxpayers of Georgia piled on another $6 million. In 2008, the ethanol plant was the first beneficiary of the Biorefinery Assistance Program, pocketing a loan for $80 million guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers.

Last month, the refinery closed down, having failed to squeeze even a drop of ethanol out of its pine chips. (Timothy P. Carney, Washington Examiner)


Listening to the Shale Revolution

Often the only 'reform' needed is a plan to remove obstacles to innovation.

With turmoil in the Middle East comes the inevitable spike in oil prices, topping $90 this week. Look for energy security to make one of its recurrent runs to the top of the national agenda. This time, though, we should listen to the shale gas revolution that has put an unexpected energy bonanza at our feet in places like New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Any energy forecast a few years ago that failed to anticipate the shale boom and associated technological breakthroughs now mostly looks like a wasted effort. And that's the point. (Holman W. Jenkins Jr., WSJ)


Oil has joined the Past… NG is the Future!

The natural gas cartel, a dream of Russia’s just a few years ago, is dead. It died when a natural gas revolution broke out and Gazprom lost. Energy importing nations around the world are evaluating their own geology, currently, to see if they have shale reserves that can be tapped. Nations like Argentina, Germany, Poland, France, and Sweden are looking into their national shale reserves.

The shale gas revolution is changing the world we live in, and the power structures of the past. It is also quickly changing the politics of future energy relationships. Nations that had to be nice to an exporter, due to energy supplies, will be freed of their need for discretion. (Jack H. Barnes, Business Insider)


Finally something useful from TERI? Microbial cocktail stimulates methane formation in coal seams

As fossil fuels like coal and petroleum face criticism for the greenhouse gases they emit, methane is emerging as a relatively cleaner option. So, worldwide efforts are on to scout for methods to generate the gas in copious quantities.

Scientists in TERI and Institute of Reservoir Studies, ONGC, Ahmedabad have found an answer in certain types of microbes, which increase the rate of production of methane from coal seams. (Teri)


Hastings knocks ‘exclusive’ White House focus on offshore wind

By Ben Geman

A senior House Republican on Monday greeted Obama administration plans to boost offshore wind power with criticism of the White House’s recent decision not to sell oil-and-gas leases off the Atlantic Coast.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) said that while wind is an important energy source, “it’s unwise for the Obama administration to exclusively focus on developing offshore wind in the Atlantic while ignoring the need for expanded oil and natural gas production.”

He then cited the administration’s reversal of plans to sell oil-and-gas leases off the coast of the mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, which the White House scrapped in the wake of the BP oil spill.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


That didn't take long: Asia-Pacific At Risk From Climate Migration: Report

Governments in the Asia-Pacific region face the risk of unprecedented numbers of people displaced by floods, storms and other impacts of climate change, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report on Monday.

The bank and climate scientists said the region, home to 4 billion people, will be among the regions most affected by the impacts of climate change, leading to major migration both within and between nations, stretching resources.

The draft report, "Migration due to climate change demands attention" also said no international mechanism has been created to manage millions of people on the move.

"Protection and assistance schemes remain inadequate, poorly coordinated, and scattered. National governments and the international community must urgently address this issue in a proactive manner," it said.

Failure to do so risked costly humanitarian disasters, the report concluded. (Reuters)

Yesterday we brought you:

Climate change not expected to lead to mass cross-border migration - People are more likely to move short distances to cities, rather than across borders, says a new report (John Vidal, Guardian)

and the cynical in-house thought was that the same old idiotic gorebull warbling-driven mass migration claim would reappear within the week - in fact it took mere hours...


Sun exposure and vitamin D linked to MS risk

People who have spent more time in the sun and those with higher vitamin D levels may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study from Australia.

The results are consistent with previous reports showing that people living close to the equator are less likely to get MS, a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, than those at higher latitudes. Greater sun exposure, leading to higher vitamin D levels, might explain that difference in risk. (Reuters Health)


Another Environmental Disaster

Hollywood often makes heroes out of undeserving people in order to further their unenlightened agenda. Ten years ago, it was “Erin Brockovich” that received Tinseltown’s royal treatment. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (who would later deify Che Guevera in “Che”), the film starred another leftist, Julia Roberts, who won the Academy Award for this propaganda. We now find out that the entire story was a hoax and that Brockovich has gone on to destroy even bigger targets on her fictitious crusade.

For those of you who missed this sterling piece of modern cinema, Brockovich (with virtually no qualifications) single-handedly discovers that the town of Hinkley, California, has been exposed to dangerous chemicals that cause cancer. She hooks up with a heroic personal injury attorney, Ed Masry, and they manage to get PG & E, a major utility company, to settle for $333 million and thereby line their own pockets quite nicely, thank you. It turns out, however, that a recent state survey found that the frequency of cancer cases in the Hinkley area for the period of 1996-2008 was actually 12.5% below the state average. Brockovich neither called PG & E to return the falsely-extorted money nor did she return to Hinkley to calm the residents who still have irrational fears stirred up by her antics. She has been too busy destroying other communities. (Bruce Bialosky, Townhall)


A revolution without bullets

For more than two years, Broomfield County, Colorado has been a battleground between the forces for what’s euphemistically called “Sustainable Development” and local people who value private property rights. “Sustainable Development” is the feel-good name that applies to hundreds of specific behavior-modifying recommendations contained in Agenda 21, a 40-chapter non-binding document adopted by the United Nations and 179 nations in 1992.

Broomfield County residents have informed, advised, and strongly suggested to their County Commissioners that the behavior-modifying recommendations advanced in Agenda 21 be rejected. At their January meeting, the Commissioners listened to 34 residents speak for three-minutes each on the sustainable development proposal. All but four of the speakers opposed the plan.

Enrich Feigel, Chairman of the Broomfield County Republicans, said: “They passed it anyway, including yes votes from 3 of 6 Republicans. We are shocked and disgusted! As in Washington, their arrogance was on full display, and they ignored the will of the people.” (Henry Lamb, CFP)



Calif. cap-trade plan dealt blow by S.F. judge

The California Air Resources Board violated state environmental law in 2008 when it adopted a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases and again last year when it passed cap-and-trade regulations, a San Francisco Superior Court judge has ruled in a tentative decision.

If the decision is made final, California would be barred from implementing its ambitious plan to combat global warming until it complies with portions of the California Environmental Quality Act, though it is not yet clear what the air board would have to do to be in compliance. The state's plan, which implements AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, would reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. (Wyatt Buchanan, SF Chronicle)


EU 2020 climate targets: $3.9 trillion

A few years ago, when this blog was getting started, there was a counter in the sidebar that was copied from (and created by) Steve Milloy's JunkScience.COM.

It was showing the nanodegrees Celsius that the carbon regulation managed to subtract from the global mean temperature - 0.07 °C per 50 years - and the cost of this policy which used to be referred to as the Kyoto protocol. The counter was based on the figure $150 billion per year - these were claimed to be the global expenses.

Steve Milloy would be attacked as a denier from the left and left. Carbon regulation couldn't have been that expensive, the fearmongers would scream. Well, times have changed. According to Business Green (link via Benny Peiser),

Europe must invest €2.9tn to meet 2020 emissions goal (other sources)
the EU commitments to reduce the carbonization of the economy before the year 2020 will cost a staggering €2.9 trillion which is $3.9 trillion.

That's the result of a study, Carbon Capital (PDF), by Accenture and Barclays Capital. The figure is $390 billion per year - it's more than twice the Milloy's "denier" value, and it's only the European Union which only represents 1/7 of the world's CO2 emissions.

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)

The counter Professor Motl refers to can still be accessed here. Sadly it is somewhat out of date and severely undervalues the carbon cranks' desired spend. Must get around to updating it, one day...


Australia one of the largest drags on global climate action, says PM's adviser, Ross Garnaut

JULIA Gillard's climate change adviser Ross Garnaut has labelled Australia one of the largest drags on global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Sid Maher, The Australian)

Makes me proud to be Australian ;-)

Seriously though Garnaut is completely full of it, China alone is building the equivalent of all Australia's coal-fired electrical generation each and every year and will do so for the foreseeable future. India will follow suit, then there's Indonesia and the developing South American and African States, they will not be denied and nor should they be. Even if the world were stupid enough to "take action on carbon" Australia is completely irrelevant. Fortunately atmospheric carbon dioxide is highly beneficial because humans are going to emit a great deal more of it before we are done and it matters not at all what doom mongers and hand wringers say or do.


Greens, miners hit carbon bid from both sides

JULIA Gillard and the Greens are on a collision course over the assistance levels for big greenhouse gas emitters in the government's proposed new carbon pricing regime, as mine companies prepare to combat suggestions Australia is a "laggard" in international efforts to combat climate change. (Sid Maher The Australian)


How close Brisbane's man-made flood came to being truly catastrophic: A few more inches and heaven help Brisbane

Here’s how close to utter disaster Brisbane came during last month’s floods. This is the Wivenhoe dam, built to save the city from flooding, at the moment its operators were desperately trying to lower the levels before it overtopped and parts of the dam gave way. (Andrew Bolt)

Mythical warming and rumored alteration of weather patterns very nearly precipitated Australia's worst-ever disaster. Global warming panic has enormous downsides, creating risks far greater than a trivial rise in an essential trace gas.


More Stupid Environmentalist Tricks

This gem from Spain -- Madrid's mayor proclaimed massive air pollution reductions except, ah, "The state prosecutor's office found that in 2009 the Madrid municipality had quietly moved nearly half its pollution sensors from traffic-clogged streets in the city centre to parks and gardens" -- reminds us of the cheapest way to cool the planet:

Reopen the Canadian and Siberian temperature stations closed ca. 1990, prompting 'the hottest decade on record'.

Much cheaper than energy rationing. And more effectively addresses the matter, as well. (American Spectator)


Yasi proves only that we panic too fast

IT HADN’T even hit yet, and already a gibbering horde was shrieking that Cyclone Yasi proved we’d warmed the world.

There was Christine Milne, of course, deputy leader of the Greens, the most deceitful party to shame Parliament. How fast she flapped up the microphones to crow: “It is a tragedy of climate change.”

Then there was ABC Melbourne 774 host Jon Faine, snapping that sceptics should finally “join the dots”, and inviting alarmist scientist Graeme Pearman to say we’d never had such cyclones before.

Oh, and here comes John Hewson, the former Liberal leader and sniffer of business opportunities, saying warmists had predicted “more frequent cyclones” and “that’s what we’re seeing”.

John, give up the green, mate. The colour doesn’t suit and that market’s set to tank.

Add to them the Gillard Government’s warming guru, Professor Ross Garnaut (actually an economist), who groaned that “a warming climate does lead to intensification of these sorts of extreme climatic events that we’ve seen in Queensland”, and “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Wrong, Ross. We have actually seen all this before, and worse. Nothing new here at all, expect this shameless scare-mongering.

But the trouble is that we no longer remember our past, and that’s what the warmists are exploiting: our deep forgetting. (Andrew Bolt)


Comments On The Hill’s Post “Scientists Ask Congress To Put Aside Politics, Take ‘Fresh Look’ At Climate Data”


There is an article in The Hill’s Energy and Environment Blog on February 1 2011 by Andrew Restuccia titled Scientists ask Congress to put aside politics, take ‘fresh look’ at climate data (Roger Pielke Sr.)


Climate change not expected to lead to mass cross-border migration

People are more likely to move short distances to cities, rather than across borders, says a new report

Alarming predictions by the UN, charities and some environmentalists that between 200 million and 1 billion people could flood across international borders to escape the impacts of climate change in the next 40 years are unrealistic, distract from the real problems and could actually impoverish vulnerable people, new research suggests. (John Vidal, Guardian)

I think we'll let Queen comment on this absurd scare:


Magnetic pole: motion sped up by 800 percent

The North Magnetic Pole is the place on Earth where the magnetic field has a vertical direction.

This place doesn't coincide with the Geographic North Pole, linked to the axis of the Earth's spin. Because the Earth doesn't carry any significant electric charge, there's no God-given law that the two types of poles have to coincide. And in fact, the relative orientation is changing with time.

Salem News posted a worried article titled

Magnetic Polar Shifts Causing Massive Global Superstorms
in which it is claimed that the motion of the North Magnetic Pole towards Russia sped up from 8 km per year to 60 km per year in recent years (from 1989 or so) and that storms similar to the (technical) Category 6 cyclone Yasi may flood the whole Earth because of the looming or ongoing reversal, bringing us 500 km/h winds all over the world. Nice. ;-)

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


Phew! And it was keeping me awake at night, too! Still hope for Arctic sea ice

The substantial decline of Arctic sea ice in recent years has triggered some fears that the ice cover might be approaching a “tipping point” beyond which the loss of the remaining sea ice would become unstoppable. However, new research carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg/Germany now indicates that such tipping point is unlikely to exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. The sea-ice cover reacts instead relatively directly to the climatic conditions at any given time. Hence, the ongoing loss of Arctic sea ice could be slowed down and eventually stopped if global warming were to be slowed down and eventually stopped. (PIM)


Hmm... Tropical Atlantic sees weaker trade winds and more rainfall

Earth's global temperature has been rising gradually over the last decades, but the warming has not been the same everywhere. Scientists are therefore trying to pin down how the warming has affected regional climates because that is what really matters to people, and to adaptation and mitigation strategies. Their efforts, however, had hit a roadblock because the necessary observations of the winds over the oceans were biased.

Developing a new method to remove the bias, Hiroki Tokinaga and Shang-Ping Xie at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, found that their corrected observations show the trade winds in the tropical Atlantic have weakened and the pattern of ocean surface temperature has changed. As a result, the equatorial Amazon and the Guinea Coast are seeing more rainfall and the Sahel less. The findings are published online in the February 6, 2011, issue of Nature Geoscience. (University of Hawaii at Manoa) [em added]

Meanwhile the Sahel is greening and there are howls about drought in the Amazon. Funny how often the "adjusters" seem to get it bass-ackwards, isn't it?


If only there really were "global warming" in the populist sense... Malaria in Africa Likely to Decline With Global Warming

Malaria transmission will not increase because of global warming in the African nation of Burundi according to a statistical analysis by researchers in Austria and Burundi. Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, the team explains that rising temperatures will lead to lower humidity and rainfall which will shorten the lifespan of mosquitoes carrying malaria. (ScienceDaily)


Vitter says Obama favors ideology over science, is 'attacking traditional energy'

By Peter Schroeder

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) accused the White House of "leading with ideology and politics" on the deepwater oil drilling debate.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Permitorium: 103 Gulf of Mexico Drilling Plans Await Government Approval

As oil prices continue to climb, a backlog of more than 100 offshore drilling plans for the Gulf of Mexico are awaiting approval from the Obama administration, according to federal data.

The federal government has not approved a single new exploratory drilling plan in the Gulf of Mexico since lifting its deepwater drilling moratorium on Oct. 12. There are currently 103 plans awaiting review by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

The information reveals that the Obama administration — not the oil industry — is the culprit for the slowdown of drilling activity in the Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico accounts for more than 25 percent of domestic oil production.

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


White House's Contemptible Drilling Ban

Energy Policy: An administration that has no respect for Congress, the courts or the Constitution has been found in contempt for reissuing a drilling moratorium that a U.S. district judge found overly broad.

The Obama administration's trouble with the courts has continued with a judge's ruling last week that the Interior Department's reinstating of a drilling moratorium followed by a de facto moratorium via an overly restrictive permitting process constituted contempt. (IBD)


Peter Foster: Egypt, Harper, Obama and oil

If the U.S. is serious about cutting ­reliance on Mideast oil, Keystone XL should be approved as soon as possible

Despite commitments to beef up the North American security perimeter, thin an increasingly fat border, and remove trade irritants, President Barack Obama’s thoughts after his meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Washington yesterday were clearly far more on Cairo than Fort McMurray. Still, Egypt and Alberta are firmly linked by the geopolitics of oil and U.S. concerns about energy security.

Mr. Harper briefly acknowledged that energy had been part of the discussion, and stressed Canada’s role as a “secure, stable and friendly supplier,” but he did not elaborate on whether the extension of TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline to take oil sands oil to the Gulf Coast had been discussed. This remains a sensitive matter. A related problem is the extent of President Obama’s continuing adherence to draconian action on climate change.

Read More » (Financial Post)


BP-Rosneft Deal Leaves U.S. Out in Arctic Cold

BP-Rosneft Deal Leaves U.S. Out in Arctic Cold

U.S. Congressman Edward Markey – of (failed) Waxman-Markey Climate Bill fame – hailed it a threat to “national security”. But if last month’s historic tie-up between BP and Russia’s Rosneft revealed that national as well as business interests were at the heart of what amounts to a coup for BP; and America only has itself to blame if Exxon-Mobil et al have been left out in the Arctic cold.

While Rosneft and BP were busy making a quantum leap forward to finally begin exploiting the world’s latest hydrocarbon frontier, President Obama was selling cloud-cuckoo-land ‘clean energy’ policies in his State of the Union address. (, ET)


Anti-Energy Agenda Could Cause More Rolling Blackouts

Drudge’s top storylines for the morning feature energy shortage problems in a number of states across the country because of the exceptionally cold weather. Increased demand from the inclement weather has put strains on suppliers, and in some cases, the weather itself has adversely affected energy output.

New Mexico is calling for a state of emergency because of natural gas shortages, natural gas pipes in Texas are experiencing low pressure, and several other states are managing rolling blackouts and record-high energy usage. While the recent energy turmoil is a result of extreme weather conditions, it is symbolic and a grim foreshadowing of what our energy policy in the United States has become: an anti-energy agenda. Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Texas Power Outages: A Preliminary Analysis (Cold snap brings failure–isolated ERCOT an issue)

[Editor note: Dr. Giberson is an instructor and research associate at the Center for Energy Commerce at Texas Tech University's Rawls College of Business. He blogs on energy economics and other topics at Knowledge Problem.]

On Wednesday morning, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), operating the power grid for much of the state, called upon local distribution companies to cut power to blocks of consumers on a rotating basis.

The rolling outages produced hardship for millions, and even isolated instances of severe harm. Consumers and policymakers are dissecting what went wrong and what should be done about it. The following is a preliminary analysis based on public data and news reports. A subsequent post will present more details once more complete information becomes available.

In brief, extreme cold weather pushed power demand to very high winter levels. At the same time, fifty of the state’s power plants were offline due to the effects of the cold, and several others were undergoing planned maintenance. The combination of very high demand and reduced supply left the ERCOT grid perilously short of reserves. Rolling consumer outages were employed to protect the system from failing completely.

Some wondered whether wind power was at fault, but wind contributed about seven percent of ERCOT’s power during the emergency – about the same as this time last year.

No power system is immune to hazards. But policy decisions that increase the likelihood of hazards or multiply the resulting damages ought to be given careful reconsideration. In this case, the choice by Texas policymakers to keep ERCOT isolated from surrounding power systems prevented power companies within ERCOT from accessing excess power capacity elsewhere in the state and in neighboring states. Other policy issues also are raised by the emergency, but few solutions are likely to be as cost-effective and technically simple to implement as linking ERCOT to its neighbors.

Cold Snap

ERCOT reported that severe weather led to the loss of 50 generation units amounting to 7,000 MW of capacity on Wednesday morning. From news accounts it looks like a few large coal plants failed after water pipes burst. Some natural gas generators found insufficient fuel supplies due to heavy demand for natural gas. Other natural gas generators found their access to fuel curtailed by state rules that give priorities to other customer classes when supplies run short. In addition, a larger than usual amount of generation was off-line for scheduled maintenance – one estimate put this quantity at about 12,000 MW. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Department of Energy Seeks To Cut Solar Costs By 75 Percent

The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday it will spend $27 million on a new effort to reduce the costs of solar power by 75 percent by the end of the decade in a bid to make the renewable power source as cheap as fossil fuels.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu dubbed the program a "sun shot" that was patterned on President John F. Kennedy's "moon shot" goal in the 1960s that called for the United States to land a man on the moon.

Chu said cutting the cost of installed solar power by 75 percent would put the price at about $1 per watt, he said, or about 6 cents per kilowatt hour.

"That would make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies of any kind," he told a conference call. (Reuters)

Um, haven't we been pouring money down this particular dry hole for more than 40 years with exactly the same aim... and no useful return? It don't matter how hard you flog a dead mule, it ain't gonna your wagon another step. Not doing it for you? How about: "the sun don't shine in a snowstorm"? Or, to put it another way, sun worshipping won't power modern society, at any price.


Green Jobs Are Not Evergreen Jobs

After receiving at least $43 million in aid from the state of Massachusetts, Evergreen Solar announced last month that it would be closing its manufacturing plant in Devens, Mass., laying off its 800 workers and moving its manufacturing operations to China.

Warning: These are the "green jobs" that President Obama has touted as part of his "winning the future" agenda. (Debra J. Saunders, Townhall))


Top nuclear official: New reactor approvals possible this year

By Andrew Restuccia

The approvals could pave the way for construction to begin on the first new nuclear reactor in the United States in decades.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


More people panic: UN 'concerned' by world population growth trends

The world population growth rate must slow down significantly to avoid reaching unsustainable levels, says a new UN report.

To have a reasonable chance of stabilising world population, fertility must drop to below "replacement level".

It must then be maintained at that level for an extended period, says the report.

This replacement level is the fertility level at which a population replaces itself from one generation to the next. (BBC News)


Defeating the BPA fear entrepreneurs

My latest HND piece takes a look at the so-called Precautionary Principle, and how the fear entrepreneurs have used it to propose bans on bisphenol-A (BPA). (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


That same old song...Obesity epidemic risks heart disease "tsunami"

More than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, are obese -- more than double the number in 1980 -- as the obesity epidemic spills over from wealthy into poorer nations, researchers said on Thursday.

And while rich nations made big strides in cutting rates of high cholesterol and hypertension, or high blood pressure, the overall number of people with high blood pressure rose from 600 million in 1980 to nearly 1 billion in 2008, fueled by an aging and expanding global population.

"Overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer Western problems or problems of wealthy nations," said Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London and Harvard University, who led the studies published in the Lancet journal. (Reuters)

Oddly enough being overweight appears protective where heart attacks are concerned with greater survival and fewer recurrence rates and cholesterol, well nothing really, cholesterol levels seem to be the most overhyped, overtreated nonevent in medicine. One out of three, very high blood pressure is not good for you and you should do something about it.


Road traffic tied to poverty-stricken kids' asthma

Teenagers living close to a busy road are more likely to have allergies and asthma than those living farther from traffic, a study of one shantytown in Peru suggests.

The findings, published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, extend evidence linking traffic pollution to children's asthma risk. Until now, most studies have been done in urban areas of wealthier nations, where specific pollution sources can be hard to pin down.

But in the shantytown in the current study -- located in the outskirts of Lima -- there is only one high-traffic roadway. And there are no nearby sources of industrial air pollution, said senior researcher Dr. William Checkley, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

That setting, he told Reuters Health, makes it easier to zero in on the potential effects of road traffic on asthma risk. (Reuters Health)

They may finally have found a small attributable effect with a plausible biological mechanism.


Indoctrination begins early: Germany sells vision for 'green toys' to world

NUREMBERG, Germany -- The hottest "green" toy in Germany isn't made of organic or recycled materials. That's so 2010. This one has a solar panel and only runs if kids remember to insert bright red "energy stones" that power the rest of the space station.

Germany, a pioneer in many renewable energy initiatives, is also at the forefront of creating environment-friendly toys aimed at making kids think about where energy comes from and how much of it they can use, raising awareness through play. (Associated Press)



EPA takes hardline in first GHG permit

The first permit to emit greenhouse gases under the EPA’s new climate rules has been issued by Louisiana for a Nucor steel facility. While that’s the good news, the Obama administration may be planning to take this opportunity to make cap-and-trade look like it would have been a walk in the park compared to EPA regulation. (Green Hell Blog)


Crony Capitalism Or Raw Corruption?

Favoritism: It's good to have friends in high places. Last month, the White House issued tough new rules on CO2 emissions. This month, its biggest corporate supporter wins an exemption. Something smells here.

This has become a pattern for this administration: Impose costly new regulations on the economy, then let some corporations and unions avoid them. (IBD)


Inhofe sees Dem backing for plan to kill EPA climate rules

By Ben Geman

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Wednesday that his bill to upend EPA climate change rules could gain traction in the closely divided Senate, claiming several Democrats are potential backers.

"I think there are a lot of Democrats, particularly some coming up in 2012, that might want to be on my side of this issue," he told reporters in the Capitol.

"I could name several — I won't — but I could name several Democrats that would like to be in support of my bill," Inhofe said.

Inhofe, the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, is working with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on legislation they're circulating this week.

Their plan would overturn EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries, factories and other facilities.

But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has already attracted several centrist Democrats, including a few facing potentially tough races in 2012, to his competing bill to suspend EPA's rules for two years without nullifying the agency's authority. (E2 Wire)


Do the causes of temperature changes matter?

A key part of the climate panic methodology is to take the data and numbers out of their proper context. This procedure is being systematically applied to all quantities describing the atmosphere, all climatic phenomena, all weather events, as well as their real or hypothetical impacts.

But I will choose to discuss the most important one, the importance of particular temperature changes.

Can temperature be consistently broken to a piece that is important for decisions and a piece that is not?

During the last 100 years, the temperature changed by something like 0.6 °C. Is that much? Well, the world hasn't noticed. This temperature change is

  • smaller than the range in which the temperature of the human body is naturally moving - and be sure that warm-blooded animals like us and birds use sophisticated mechanisms to keep the temperature this constant - otherwise the variations would be much higher (for cold-blooded animals, the oscillations are much higher)
  • smaller than the temperature accuracy that most of us may "feel" in a room
  • a small fraction of the temperature difference between night and the early afternoon at a given place
  • equivalent to the warming we experience if we move to a lower altitude, by 100 meters
  • equivalent to the warming induced by moving 100 km towards the equator
  • equivalent to the one-week seasonal warming in the Spring or cooling in the Fall at a fixed place
  • equivalent to the change of the global mean temperature resulting from a transition from La Nina to El Nino
  • equivalent to the cooling induced by a large volcano eruption such as 1991 Mt Pinatubo
  • equivalent to 5-10 percent of the temperature difference between interglacials and ice ages
  • smaller than the typical difference between the average monthly temperature at a given place during January YYYY and January YYYY+1
  • equal to the difference between the global mean temperature in January 2010 (warmer) and January 2011 (cooler)
  • 2 percent of the total warming induced by the greenhouse effect on Earth
Any sensible comparison shows that regardless of the cause, the temperature trend we have been observing in the instrumental era is totally negligible. Nevertheless, some people - especially the people inclined to be infected with the climate panic - often suggest that we shouldn't compare temperature changes caused by different things.

Oh, really? Should we apply double standards here? Why?

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


Headline looked promising... Investors Charged With Managing Risk Mustn't Confuse Ideology With Science

As our planet's climate has continued to change, those who aren't convinced by the scientific evidence have increasingly turned to attacking climate scientists.

When scientists happen to discover a problem that might require government intervention — from lead in water, to acid rain, to aerosols eating away at the ozone layer — industry groups and the politicians they influence have aligned to attack the scientists instead of honestly debating policy. (Scott A. Mandia, IBD)

How disappointing to find its another idiotic propaganda piece from the Union of Crackpot Socialists, that bunch of misanthropists yet to identify a genuine real-world problem.


Gasbags America can't recognize genuine pollutants either: Public health groups launching campaign to defend EPA climate rules

By Andrew Restuccia

A coalition of public health organizations in the coming weeks plans to step up efforts to oppose legislation that would block or delay Environmental Protection Agency climate rules.

The American Lung Association recently hired Peter Iwanowicz, a former New York state environmental official, to head up a new campaign to pressure lawmakers to reject efforts to limit EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Iwanowicz is working to build a coalition of public health groups to inform lawmakers about the health risks of increased levels of pollutants like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

You'd expect a lung association to know that carbon dioxide is a ventilation aid, wouldn't you? But, according to these dipsticks the gas that actually triggers exhalation and keeps you breathing is "pollution". What depths of ignorance this country now plumbs...


Loons looking to leverage media disaster porn: Wild weather could help blow in the new carbon tax

The general public was more receptive to the arguments for global warming the last time the weather was big news, when Australia was dealing with record drought and lethal bush fires.

They might be willing to listen again following the counter events of massive flood and wild winds across much of the continent. (The Punch) | Government's global warming adviser Ross Garnaut warns of worse natural disasters to come | We risk deep subversion of climate effort: Ross Garnaut | Cyclones, floods to get worse as warming increases: Garnaut

There's been a great deal of hand waving about Cyclone Yasi but I've yet to see a higher wind recording than 185 Km/hr (100 knots or 115 mph), which means Yasi was (just) a category 3 storm under the Saffir-Simpson scale. For reference the standard roller shutters on my house are rated for that and they are nothing special. Claims of "super storm" status are simply more media hype. She was still an impressive natural event and wonderful demonstration of how Australia's normally arid interior receives flooding rains but nowhere near the monsters geological records demonstrate have been regular visitors to our shores during the Holocene (current interglacial period). Cyclones and floods can certainly be expected to get worse by comparison with the lull we have recently experienced but this has nothing whatsoever to do with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Click here to see how common cyclones have been in Australia's eastern region over the past century, here for the relative quiet of post Great Pacific Climate Shift and here for the period preceding.


Cyclone Yasi has been exaggerated by Govts and beaten up by media

February 4th, 2011 by

This ABC online story quoting an experienced north Queensland storm chaser starts to reveal the truth that Yasi was unlikely to have been a category 5 cyclone as it hit the coast – the damage simply is not there for that. Luckily for residents windspeeds must have decayed quicker than we have been told. Just to remind us what cyclone damage can look like – here is a photo from Darwin after Tracy (thanks National Archives) and here is a website with other photos.

I have thought all along that the BoM sticking with their first 295km/h “estimate” has been misleading – and we have all heard the Govt hype then further media hype on top. Even now 8am on the 4th the Ch9 Today TV show is beating up pictures of damage – which show many houses near intact – luckily for most residents.

Cardwell post YasiThis photo from the ABC on an article about damage at Cardwell - on examination shows only moderate damage. Click for larger version. My comments – in a cyclone prone region shops and houses are built this near the coast ? I see two places with roof damage yet the row of beachfront shops with their verandahs and service station with forecourt roof are pretty intact. Also at far right the quite large pretty fragile looking carport/leanto looks OK.

My graphic of weather obs data from Lucinda - ~80km (50 miles) south of Mission Beach which has been quoted as where Yasi crossed the coast. These are the closest obs to the Yasi track I can find on the coast. Note the temperatures up to +60C – obviously some instruments went haywire for a while. (Warwick Hughes)

Warwick's graphic is repeated below - note that it reads chronologically from right to left like the time series from a paper scroll (hours before present) rather than the left to right format to which regular readers of this site may have become accustomed.


Gore's Unending Blizzard Of Lies

Hoaxes: As the nation digs itself out, the grand wizard of global warming comes out of hiding and blames it all on that SUV stuck in your driveway. A blizzard is a terrible thing to waste.

What has been dubbed the Groundhog Day Blizzard has caused Al Gore to poke his head out of his massive carbon-generating mansion in Nashville, Tenn., to blame the 2,000-mile storm on our alleged obsession with fossil fuels.

Sorry, Al, but in Chicago the solar panels were buried under upward of two feet of snow as citizens cranked up those polluting snow blowers, a scene repeated in much of the country. In the middle of blowing snow, blowing smoke does not help. Get our drift? (IBD)


Ooh! Bad timing... Wolverine population threatened by climate change

BOULDER—The aggressive wolverine may not be powerful enough to survive climate change in the contiguous United States, new research concludes.

Wolverine habitat in the northwestern United States is likely to warm dramatically if society continues to emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, according to new computer model simulations carried out at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study found that climate change is likely to imperil the wolverine in two ways: reducing or eliminating the springtime snow cover that wolverines rely on to protect and shelter newborn kits, and increasing August temperatures well beyond what the species may be able to tolerate.

“Species that depend on snow cover for their survival are likely to be very vulnerable to climate change,” says NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, the author of the study. “It’s highly uncertain whether wolverines will continue to survive in the lower 48, given the changes that are likely to take place there.” (UCAR)

Not exactly a shortage of snow at present, eh? And wolverines? Not exactly your big-eyed and cuddly sympathetic critter, are they?


Self Regulation Of The Climate System By Deep Cumulus Convection

We have published a set of papers that discuss an under recognized climate feedback which constrains how warm and cold the troposphere can become. These papers present a constraint based on the temperatures of the sea surface and the deep cumulus response to these temperatures.

The idea is straightforward and originated in an idea from Ben Herman at the University of Arizona. When cold air masses travel over unfrozen ocean, vertical mixing through deep cumulus convection mixes the air through the troposphere such that temperatures at 500mb, for example, hardly ever becomes colder than -40C to -45C.  These cold values are actually reached in November in the Northern Hemisphere despite several more months of winter.

This limit on tropospheric cooling  is reported on in our paper:

Chase, T.N., B. Herman, R.A. Pielke Sr., X. Zeng, and M. Leuthold, 2002: A proposed mechanism for the regulation of minimum midtropospheric temperatures in the Arctic. J. Geophys. Res., 107(D14), 10.10291/2001JD001425

Tsukernik, M., T.N. Chase, M.C. Serreze, R.G. Barry, R. Pielke Sr., B. Herman, and X. Zeng, 2004: On the regulation of minimum mid-tropospheric temperatures in the Arctic. Geophys. Res. Letts., 31, L06112, doi:10.1029/2003GL018831

Herman, B., M. Barlage, T.N. Chase, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2008: Update on a proposed mechanism for the regulation of  minimum mid-tropospheric and surface temperatures in the Arctic and Antarctic. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 113, D24101, doi:10.1029/2008JD009799.

Herman, B.M. M.A. Brunke, R.A. Pielke Sr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2010: Global and hemispheric lower tropospheric temperature trends. Remote Sensing, 2, 2561-2570; doi:10.3390/rs2112561.

Since, as discussed in my post

The Westerlies Explain The Recent Extreme Winter Weather, Not “Global Warming”

it is the cold tropospheric air towards the poles and the warmer tropospheric air to the south that drives the westerlies, if the coldest that the troposphere can achieve is -40C to -45C, irrespective of a global average surface temperature trend, this is a self-regulation of the climate system.

Similarly, tropospheric temperatures cannot become warmer that about -5C at 500mb  in the tropics for very long as deep convection over the warmest oceans still results in temperatures at that level of ~-5C.  This deep convection is prevalent over tropical oceans as air travels around the globe.

Only if the high latitude oceans warm to well above freezing almost everywhere (which means most of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice disappears) and/or the tropical oceans warm substantially above their current values, will this self-regulation of the climate system change.  The role of human climate forcings would have to  be large enough to alter these surface temperatures.

The latest sea surface temperature and temperature anomaly maps show that large enough changes have not yet occurred to alter this self-regulation of the climate system - as illustrated below. The 2007 IPCC, and more recent pronouncements have  ignored assessing the role of this self-regulation of the climate.

(Roger Pielke Sr.)


They could hardly get worse... New Discoveries Improve Climate Models

Underwater Ridges Impact Ocean's Flow of Warm Water

New discoveries on how underwater ridges impact the ocean's circulation system will help improve climate projections.

An underwater ridge can trap the flow of cold, dense water at the bottom of the ocean. Without the ridge, deepwater can flow freely and speed up the ocean circulation pattern, which generally increases the flow of warm surface water. (USGS)

I wonder if this means they'll begin rethinking the absurd CO2 enhanced greenhouse myth? Probably not, that seems remarkably reality-proof.


Good News for Sea Turtles from the Great Barrier Reef

If you haven’t heard the news, global warming is causing sea level to rise and causing storms to become more severe, and the net result is shoreline erosion throughout the world. This pillar of the apocalypse is particularly easy to sell—gather up some pictures of shoreline erosion, throw in some images of turtle nest destruction, and you are on your way to winning a Nobel Prize for putting all the pieces together.

A recent issue of Global and Planetary Change contains an article on this subject written by two scientists with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland; funding was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency-Queensland. Dawson and Smithers focused on Raine Island located on the northern portion of the Great Barrier Reef, and if you don’t know, Raine Island is “a globally significant turtle rookery.” So it’s all here—an island on the Great Barrier Reef, turtles, sea level rise, relatively frequent tropical cyclones, sand beaches easily eroded—we are sure the global warming alarmists cannot wait to see how bad things have become at this sacred location.

But, alas, the results from Raine Island are about to rain on their parade of pity. (WCR)


Mr. President, You’re in Contempt

Anyone who has ever watched Law & Order knows that someone is held in contempt of court when they egregiously disrespect the role of the court and the rule of law. Holding someone in contempt is a powerful sanction in a judge’s arsenal to redress an intentional disregard for the law and the courts.

So it is no small matter when yesterday Federal District Court Judge Martin Feldman held the Obama Interior Department in contempt of court for dismissively ignoring his ruling to cease the job-killing drilling moratorium imposed by President Obama last year.

Feldman wrote: “Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the reimposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this Court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt of this Court’s preliminary injunction order.”

President Obama first ordered the halt of offshore drilling in response to the BP oil spill in April 2010. While some reasonable observers concluded that a temporary stoppage was necessary to assess the status of safe drilling operations in the Gulf, nearly nobody has supported the permanent moratorium the Obama administration has since enforced. Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Judge holds Interior in contempt over drilling ban

By Ben Geman

A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday held the Interior Department in contempt for re-imposing a deepwater oil-drilling ban last year after the judge had struck down an earlier version of the moratorium.

The contempt finding provides political ammunition for Republicans and pro-drilling Democrats who say Interior is blocking offshore development. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) quickly called the order a “sharp rebuke of the Interior Department for continuing to place politics before all else following the BP spill.”

Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling — which is stuffed with harsh words for Interior — orders the department to pay attorneys' fees in the case against last year’s drilling ban brought by several offshore oil services companies.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Shell scraps bid to drill off Alaska’s coast this year

By Ben Geman

Shell Oil announced Thursday that it's abandoning efforts to drill in icy waters off Alaska’s northern coast this year, a decision that prompted Alaska's senators to accuse the Obama administration of blocking access to large domestic supplies.

The company’s plans to drill in Arctic waters have long been under attack from environmental groups. The Interior Department, after the BP oil spill, halted the oil giant’s plan to drill in 2010.

Now the company – which is awaiting air quality permits and Interior’s permission – is throwing in the towel on 2011 too. The Houston Chronicle reports:

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Gasland: turning good news into bad

Shale gas might help solve a global energy shortage. So why is Josh Fox’s Oscar-nominated doc so down on it?

It’s a ‘game changer’. After years when America’s reserves of fossil fuels have been dwindling, an enormous new source of energy has become available: shale gas. Enough exploitable natural gas - 1,000 trillion cubic feet - has been found under states like Pennsylvania to supply US needs for 45 years. In Europe, there are 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. No drilling in deep water, no nasty oil spewing out, and substantially lower carbon emissions than you get from burning coal. Isn’t this good news all round? (Rob Lyons, spiked)


D'oh! Alternative energy investors not seeing green yet

BOSTON - President Obama laid out an ambitious goal in his latest State of the Union address: By 2035, America will get 80 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources.

Achievable? Maybe, if you consider that Obama's expansive definition of clean energy includes nuclear and emerging clean coal technologies, which many environmentalists don't embrace as ways to combat greenhouse gases.

A less-obvious question is whether mutual fund investors will have the patience to stick with green investing principles that have recently left them in the red.

The stocks of renewable energy companies, such as wind and solar power providers, have been big losers. The Clean Edge Global Wind Energy Index, which tracks wind energy stocks, is down about 27 percent over the last 12 months.

That disappointment came as oil company stocks and the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index both surged about 20 percent. (CNBC)


80% “Clean” Energy by 2035: What Does This Mean?

[Editor’s Note: Ken Kok has 35 years experience in nuclear energy and R&D project management, including business development, facility management, proposal preparation and project planning. He has a master's from Michigan Technological University in Business Administration and Nuclear Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer and ASME Fellow.]

President Obama proposed in the 2011 State of the Union Address (SOU) that we have a goal of 80% of our energy coming from “clean” sources by 2035. “Clean” was [not] defined, but one must assume it is a generation mix of politically correct renewables, e.g. wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, etc. as defined by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), nuclear, and others such as clean coal.

So what are we really talking about in such a major energy transformation?  As calculated in Table 1, the staggering answer is 750+ large nuclear plants and 1.4 million + large wind machines–not to menntion some 500 new gas-fired power plants to firm up the wind.

Table 1 – Evaluation of the electric energy production

Table 1 was generated based on the above numbers using data currently displayed by the EIA. As noted in the Table 1 footnote, the number of wind turbines is based on a 20% capacity factor. Because of the variability of wind and the need for stability in the electric grid the wind generation capacity needs to be augmented by a conventional, fast-responding generating technology. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Still haven't quite got it, but better: Clean Tech Innovation and the "Iron Law"

From GreenBeat:

Cleantech companies just can’t seem to get it right.

At least, that’s the notion Peter Thiel — a co-founder of PayPal and president of Clarium Capital — subscribes to when he looks at cleantech companies as potential investing opportunities. He made the comments at a Commonwealth Club event in San Francisco Wednesday.

Despite all his talk about a distinct lack of innovation that improves everyday life in silicon valley, Thiel has been surprisingly bearish when it comes to cleantech companies — those that specialize in producing more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly energy, transportation methods and others. That’s not because he doesn’t believe in the technology — he just doesn’t like the way the companies are run, he said.

“Most of the people who run cleantech companies are sales people, not engineers,” Thiel said. “Something seems to have gone quite wrong with cleantech.”

As a result, most cleantech companies that try to develop alternative energy forms are building power sources that are more expensive. Solar panels, for example, are still not a cost-efficient way to generate power because companies have made the assumption that people will pay more for more environmentally friendly ways of producing energy, Thiel said.

“We need something cheaper, not more expensive,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if the energy is cleaner, it doesn’t work if it’s more expensive.”

There is no doubt that unrealistic expectations about governments increasing the costs of energy through cap-and-trade legislation contributed to the notion that clean tech would become competitive by making the alternatives cost more.  Thiel may be right about the need for more engineers in the industry, but they may need more pragmatic policy analysts as well.  His bottom line is right on target -- we need less expensive energy. (Roger Pielke Jr.)

Fact is "alternatives" exist only as subsidy farmers and are not really useful energy sources - never will be.


King Canute Revisited

Texas, indulging in its famed braggadocio, loves to talk up the fact that it is the biggest wind power state and even ranks high world-wide compared to other countries. But somehow, that didn’t seem to serve the residents of the great Lone Star State on February 2. [Read More] (Philip E. Lewis, ET)


EU leaders to dodge energy efficiency at summit

EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday (4 February) are expected to announce a review of the bloc's energy savings plan only for 2013 and have no intention of making their 20% savings target legally binding, EurActiv has learned.

With the EU set to miss its target for reducing energy consumption by 2020, stakeholders have criticised the EU for lowering its ambitions.

By the Commission's own admission, the EU is set to miss its target to slash its energy consumption by 20% by 2020, telling EurActiv in December that the 27-member bloc is poised to reduce its energy consumption by only 9%.

Despite the shortcomings, EU leaders are expected to agree at Friday's summit to review energy-efficiency policy only in 2013, instead of 2012 as previously planned, and plan to consider further measures only ''if necessary''.

The Hungarian climate minister said last week that he could not see member states agreeing to a binding target because at least half of the ministers were against it. (EurActiv)


Study calls antibiotic-asthma link into question

While some studies have suggested that giving babies antibiotics might boost their risk of asthma later on, a new analysis concludes that much of that evidence is flawed.

The theory behind the proposed link is that early exposure to bacteria and other microbes trains the immune system to move into infection-fighting mode, and away from a tendency to attack harmless substances -- which is at the heart of allergic reactions and asthma.

But the new analysis, of 21 studies conducted since 2002, found that the majority had limitations that could have biased them toward finding a link between infant antibiotic use and asthma risk.

According to the researchers, several studies were hampered by "reverse causation" -- the fact that babies' wheezing symptoms could have prompted the antibiotic prescriptions, rather than antibiotics causing wheezing and asthma to develop later on.

Babies and young children commonly develop wheezing when they have a respiratory infection, so doctors may prescribe an antibiotic. But for some children, that wheezing is an early indication of asthma. (Reuters Health)


Literal heartbreak from losing the Super Bowl or silly statistics?

What do you get when you combine an alarming study with the signature U.S. sporting event?

The media loves a good game. And with the Super Bowl coming up, they just couldn’t resist reporting on a the results of a new study published in Clinical Cardiology which appears to claim that losing the Super Bowl is bad for our hearts. But the media was gamed: it lost its critical eye to simple questions of study design, and even causation versus correlation. (Rebecca Goldin, STATS)



EPA chief slams bills to block climate rules, affirms Obama's veto threat

By Ben Geman

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said "nothing has changed" on White House threat to veto bill blocking greenhouse gas regulations.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Sen. Boxer says climate science hearings are 'absolutely' in the works

By Ben Geman

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is issuing a challenge to skeptics of climate change science: Bring it on.

Boxer said Wednesday that she's expecting hearings on the issue.

She said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who is expected to head the panel's oversight subcommittee, "is working on getting us going with some hearings."

"We are going to absolutely look at the science of carbon pollution and its impact on our people, on our planet," Boxer said at a committee hearing on drinking water safety. "We are absolutely going to keep up with the science."

Read more... (E2 Wire)

On the one hand it will be terrific to finally expose the lack of science underpinning humanity's greatest folly but don't for a moment assume that just because climate hysteria is clearly established as a nonsense that any rational course will then be followed. History demonstrates otherwise:

In April 1972, after seven months of testimony, EPA Administrative Law Judge Edmund Sweeney stated that “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man. ... The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. ... The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.”*

Two months later, EPA head
[and Environmental Defense Fund member/fundraiser] William Ruckelshaus - who had never attended a single day’s session in the seven months of EPA hearings, and who admittedly had not even read the transcript of the hearings - overturned Judge Sweeney’s decision. Ruckelshaus declared that DDT was a “potential human carcinogen” and banned it for virtually all uses.**

* Sweeney EM. EPA Hearing Examiner’s recommendations and findings concerning DDT hearings. 25 April 1972 (40 CFR 164.32)
** Ackerly RL. DDT: a re-evaluation, part II. Chemical Times and Trends. October 1981:55


Mann et al. try old lie on new Congress

Hokey stick creator Michael Mann and a number of fellow alarmists sent a letter to Congress yesterday asking it to take a “fresh look at climate change.”

In the letter’s section “Climate Change Deniers,” Mann et al. state:

… no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why.

Some quick thoughts:

  • The claim presumes that alarmist research has provided any scientific understanding in the first place. Every climatic prediction made by the alarmists has turned out to be wrong in one way or another. If your “understanding” doesn’t provide for reasonably accurate predictions, then your “understanding” isn’t. Don’t forget Kevin Trenberth’s Climategate e-mail to Tom Wigley:

    Hi Tom
    How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!

    That doesn’t sound like understanding to us.

  • Even the alarmists own research doesn’t support their position — remember how they had to “hide the decline”?
  • Click here for an article about a December 2007 study that directly contradicts the assertion about “no research results” contradicting alarmism — and there are many more.

In addition to choking off funding for the EPA, Congress needs to stop taxpayer funding of Mann et al. Let’s see if Penn State is willing to support Mann’s nonsense without taxpayer largesse. (Green Hell Blog)


Sheesh! EU needs €2.2 trillion to meet carbon targets

Europe must bridge a €2.2trillion (£1.9trn) "carbon capital chasm" if it is to meet 2020 carbon emissions reduction targets.

The EU needs to invest €2.9trn in changes to its buildings, energy and transport infrastructure to reduce emissions. And given the state of public finances most of that will have to come from financial institutions, a study from Accenture and Barclays Capital said.

The headline number is equivalent to about 2 per cent of Europe's GDP, while finance to the low-carbon sector has fallen by around three-quarters since before the global financial crisis. But with tweaks to government policy and new financial instruments such as "green bonds", the 2020 target can still be met, Accenture's managing director of sustainability, Peter Lacy said. (Independent)


Orwell is back: Bulb ban is freedom (The Michigan View 2.2.11)

In a leap of Orwellian logic, USA Today — America’s second-largest newspaper — argues in its lead editorial Tuesday that banning the incandescent light bulb is a victory for free markets.

“The best way for government to boost energy efficiency isn’t to micromanage by picking winners and losers, a job better suited to free-market innovation. It is to set a reasonable standard — miles per gallon or light per watt, for example — and let the market sort it out,” spins the editorial in support of picking winners and losers. “That’s what Congress did in 2007″ in banning the bulb.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Banning is choice. Regulation is freedom.

One wonders if USA Today’s editors would tolerate this doublethink if applied to their own industry. Were Congress to ban newspapers in order to force them onto the more “planet-friendly” Internet, would USA Today swallow this as free market economics? (Henry Payne)


A Challenge to the Climate Research Community

I’ve been picking up a lot of chatter in the last few days about the ’settled science’ of global warming. What most people don’t realize is that the vast majority of published research on the topic simply assumes that warming is manmade. It in no way “proves” it.

If the science really is that settled, then this challenge should be easy:

Show me one peer-reviewed paper that has ruled out natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.

Studies that have suggested that an increase in the total output of the sun cannot be blamed, do not count…the sun is an external driver. I’m talking about natural, internal variability.

The fact is that the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming has never been rejected: That natural climate variability can explain everything we see in the climate system. (Roy W. Spencer)


UAH Update for January 2011: Global Temperatures in Freefall

…although this, too, shall pass, when La Nina goes away.


2010 01 0.542 0.675 0.410 0.635
2010 02 0.510 0.553 0.466 0.759
2010 03 0.554 0.665 0.443 0.721
2010 04 0.400 0.606 0.193 0.633
2010 05 0.454 0.642 0.265 0.706
2010 06 0.385 0.482 0.287 0.485
2010 07 0.419 0.558 0.280 0.370
2010 08 0.441 0.579 0.304 0.321
2010 09 0.477 0.410 0.545 0.237
2010 10 0.306 0.257 0.356 0.106
2010 11 0.273 0.372 0.173 -0.117
2010 12 0.181 0.217 0.145 -0.222
2011 01 -0.009 -0.055 0.038 -0.369

January 2011 experienced a precipitous drop in lower tropospheric temperatures over the tropics, Northern Hemisphere, and Southern Hemisphere. This was not unexpected, since global average sea surface temperatures have been falling for many months, with a head start as is usually the case with La Nina. (Roy W. Spencer)


Watermelons hoping for disaster: Cyclone May Be Tipping Point In Australia Climate Policy Debate

Australia has endured two of its deadliest summers on record, blamed in part on global warming, but record fires, floods and cyclones have not persuaded it to take strong action on climate change.

But some experts hope that Wednesday's arrival of giant Cyclone Yasi on the coast of Queensland, already hit by massive floods last month, will help bring more of a sense of urgency to the political debate over climate policy.

Environmentalists have despaired that one of the world's highest per-capita carbon polluters will ever embrace the need to cut emissions, given that most politicians and voters have not made a strong connection with disasters and manmade global warming.

They say they are baffled why weather-beaten Australians are not pushing for stronger policies to cut carbon emissions from power stations, mines, transport and refineries. (Reuters) [em added]

Let me explain it then. Basically it's because Australians are generally not completely stupid and the country has a significant population who can actually remember the 1960s and 70s (if we can remember the 60s, does that mean we weren't really 'there'?).

In short most of us know that current weather conditions are nothing special and quite a few even did a little geography about our land in what used to be termed primary school "social studies". We even learned Dorothea Mackellar's "My Country" in poetry and related it to Australia's perpetual cycle of drought and flood (kid's don't learn such things now, of course, it's all about how European settlers raped and plundered Gaia's masterpiece with the sin of development).

Back then we all chuckled over the typicality of John O'Brien's (pen name of Patrick J. Hartigan) Said Hanrahan, ruefully recognizing quite a few farming friends and relatives in that relentlessly dour conversation.

Even a lot of "townies" today understand this wide brown land of ours and know claims of catastrophic "climate change" are such utter garbage. We certainly will not try shouting at the thunder in an attempt to frighten storms away. Weather's weather - we've had a good run and now it's going to get rougher for a bit. And the defense against that? Lots of energy, flat out development and wealth generation - there's no other choice.

Will we destroy our affordable energy supply and our mining industries to appease the stupid greenies' imaginary weather gods? Not a chance Chucky, not a chance.


Can we ease off the disaster porn now? Relief as Australia mops up from giant cyclone

Australians voiced relief and surprise after one of the world's most powerful cyclones spared the nation's northeast coast from expected devastation on Thursday, with no reported deaths despite winds tearing off roofs and toppling trees. (Reuters)

The media has certainly had a lot of fun, dashing around hoping for disaster but the fact is these storms do happen fairly regularly and developed countries can afford the infrastructure to warn the populace and get the vulnerable out of harm's way. Granted, Yasi was a big bitch with plenty of grunt, a certain recipe for disaster in poorer and less developed regions but wealth generation and development is highly protective, something we have been trying to point out for a very long time now.

Take this as an object lesson. Storms will always prang crops and structures but on the whole that's not really a big deal. The big deal is that we can protect people, provided we do not allow misanthropists to obstruct wealth generation and development - basically it means maintaining abundant, reliable and affordable energy supplies and letting entrepreneurs do what they do best.

As the world cools over the coming decades we will see more violent and more frequent severe weather events. The thing to do is to be ready, increase the available and affordable energy supply, generate wealth and always remember that "Mother Nature" is no nurture figure, she's a malevolent old cow out to get you.

Natural cycles have been quite kind for last few decades but this lull will inevitably end. It isn't "anthropogenic climate change" or any of the hysterical nonsense promoted by misanthropists, con artists and those who simply seek dominion over others - it's just the way the world works.

For storm junkies here's a link to a series of infrared satellite images depicting Yasi's development from a tropical low to full-blown cyclone, with development of the eye in the warm peripheral band of the Coral Sea to its collapse over Australia's sparsely populated "Gulf Country".


Cyclone Yasi in Context

As the incredibly powerful Cyclone Yasi bears down on Queensland, I thought that it might be worthwhile to put the storm into longer term context.  The Crompton and McAneney (2008) paper that I have cited several times of late on normalized Australian insured losses from extreme weather events includes this noteworthy comment:
The average annual weather-related normalised damage over the 40-year period is AUD$820 million with a standar deviation of AUD$960 million. The recent past has been relatively benign in terms of loss activity, with annual damage over the most recent 5 years averaging AUD$420 million, close to half the average annual loss over the entire period of the Disaster List.
In the absence of systematic evaluations of data, it would be all too easy to consider recent experience (whether that be the past week or the past decades) to somehow be "normal" and thus the basis for expectations of the near future. Such expectations, when out of sync with a longer term perspective, can easily lead to misplaced judgments of risk and contribute to poor decision making.

Such a systematic evaluation of the long-term tropical cyclone landfall record in eastern Australia was published last summer in Climate Dynamics by Jeffrey Callaghan and Scott Power (2010).  Callaghan and Power find a long-term trend of much fewer landfalls of intense cyclones (i.e., Category 3, 4, and 5) in the region.  They write:
The linear trend in the number of severe TCs making land-fall over eastern Australia declined from about 0.45 TCs/year in the early 1870s to about 0.17 TCs/year in recent times—a 62% decline.
The figure at the top of this post comes from their paper and comes with the following caption:
Fig. 1 The number of severe tropical cyclone (TC) land-falls in each TC season from 1872/1873 to 2009/2010 inclusive. The corresponding linear trend of -0.0021 TCs/year is also shown. This represents a decline of approximately 60% over the full period.
They find evidence for a relationship between intense cyclone landfall activity and the ENSO cycle, reflecting the natural variability of the system. They speculate about a connection between the significant decrease in landfalls and global warming, but find little convincing evidence of such a link. (Roger Pielke Jr.)


Warmer Summers May Actually Slow Down Greenland Glacier Flow

by Marlo Lewis
02 February 2011 @ 5:43 pm

In his Academy Award-winning scare-u-mentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore warned that global warming could raise sea levels by 20 feet, and implied it could happen in our lifetimes or those of our children. 

Gore explained that the Greenland Ice Sheet could break apart and slide into the sea as ”moulins” (ice crevices and fissures) transfer surface melt water during warm summers down to the underlying bedrock, thereby lubricating glacial ice streams and accelerating their seaward flow.

In CEI’s July 2009 film Policy Peril, climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels handily debunked Gore’s 20-foot hobgobblin. A month later, I provided additional information and links to relevant studies here.  

Gore’s thesis was always a bit goofy, because his main “evidence” was a 2002 study in Science magazine finding that summer ice melt enhanced…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Sea-Ice in the Arctic

The strong decline of the Arctic winter sea-ice extent, as touted by the NSIDC, is largely a consequence of their unrealistic definition of the Arctic

There are two major organizations measuring, via satellite reconnaissance, the extent of the sea-ice in the Arctic, namely the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) (1) and the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) (2). Their measurements differ routinely by nearly 1,000,000 km^2 ( or about 10%). Why are they so different? (Klaus L.E. Kaiser, CFP)


Energy Price-Control Lessons for ObamaCare (remembering a classic WSJ editorial from 1979)

For decades I have enjoyed the opinion-page editorials of the Wall Street Journal, both the unsigned editorials and the guest opinions. During the 1970s energy crisis, and today amid climate alarmism and the futile crusade to regulate carbon dioxide, the Journal has been a bastion of sound thought.

I was recently reminded of perhaps my favorite WSJ energy editorial of all, “Buffer of Civility,” published during the dark days of energy rioting in summer 1979 (yes, the U.S. experienced fuel riots from federal price controls that caused energy shortages). What brought this to mind was another WSJ editorial, “Sebelius’s Price Controls,” which reported on a 136-page price-regulating rule under ObamaCare–and this message to state governors from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

urging them “to prevent unjustified and excessive health insurance premium growth.” Apparently, “unreasonable” means rate increases that exceed 10% next year, except when it doesn’t. If an insurer crosses this arbitrary threshold, “The review process would then determine if the increase is, in fact, unreasonable.” So that’s cleared up.

The Journal added:

This discretion is typical of the vast ad hoc powers that ObamaCare handed to regulators, though Ms. Sebelius’s true goal is to punish the insurance industry for rising health costs that the new entitlement is already turbocharging. Like so much else in U.S. health care, no one seems to find it odd that the government is decreeing how much businesses are allowed to charge for a product that consumers want to buy, regardless of the economic reality.

Economic reality: maximum price controls cause shortages, and shortages cause social strife, even violence. This brings us back to June 1979 and a plea to recognize the real virtue of the free market,  our buffer for civility.

Here is the classic editorial. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Canada-U.S. Pipe Would Cut Mideast Oil imports: Study

A proposed pipeline from Canada's oil sands to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico would help "essentially eliminate" U.S. oil imports from the Middle East in a decade or two, according to a new study commissioned by the Department of Energy.

Oil deliveries from the $7 billion pipeline, combined with a projected drop in U.S. fuel demand, would potentially turn the United States into a net exporter of products like gasoline, jet fuel and diesel, said the report, called "Keystone XL Assessment."

The Obama administration is divided over Keystone XL, a project that could ease reliance on oil from politically unstable regions, but boost dependence on Canadian oil sands, a crude that many environmental groups oppose. (Reuters)


OPEC´s Oil Reserve Revisionism

What’s with OPEC member’s recent oil reserve revisionism? First Venezuela, then Iraq, followed closely by Iran, and then again by Venezuela, in anticipation of further upgrades from Kuwait and Iraq. [Read More] (Andres Cala, ET)


Obama Administration Plans Second Front in War on Appalachian Coal Production

by William Yeatman
02 February 2011 @ 11:14 am

Last week Tim Huber of the Associated Press broke news on yet another front being opened in Obama’s war on Appalachian surface coal mining (I blogged about the other front yesterday).

The AP story pertained to a controversial rule derivative of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), known as the “100 feet buffer rule. As its name would suggest, it basically prohibits mining waste from being deposited within 100 feet of intermittent or perennial streams. According to the AP article, the Obama Administration’s preferred interpretation of this rule would cost 7,000 mining jobs, almost exclusively in Appalachia. And that’s the Department of the Interior’s own estimate, which is likely a lowball.

Background: The 100 feet buffer rule was largely ignored until…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


'Reducing CO2 Emissions Early Can Save Money in the Longer Term'

In an interview, EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard discusses the upcoming energy summit in Brussels, the need for stronger energy efficiency regulations in Europe, the inevitable use of coal in the foreseeable future and plans for a low-carbon future. (Spiegel)


Fracturing to get close look

But EPA administrator says it's no guarantee more regulation ahead

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is close to launching a broad study on hydraulic fracturing, but the probe doesn't guarantee that the federal government will step in and regulate the drilling technique, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said Wednesday.

Jackson said the agency is about to offer a blueprint for a congressionally mandated study, after hearings in New York and other states on the scope of the probe last year.

"We expect, within the next month or two, to have the work plan for our study finished," she said. "This study will take a while." (Houston Chronicle)


China working on thorium reactors

Ordinary nuclear power plants use uranium, Z=92, as their fuel.

Nuclear fission has done and is doing a great service to the mankind. However, the uranium still has several disadvantages. The waste products remain radioactive for thousands of years. And the world's reserves of uranium are only enough to cover less than a century of the mankind's energy consumption.


Thorium, Z=90, avoids both of these problems and a few others. China has started a new program to develop a molten salt reactor based on thorium:

Brand new nuclear programme within 20 years (Register)

Google News
Note that the thorium reserves are enough to cover something like 8,000 years of the energy needs of the mankind. Moreover, the waste products' half-lifetimes are mostly below 50 years so they don't have to be stored for insanely long periods of time. In particular, plutonium and long-lived minor actinides are almost totally avoided.

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


Adopting watermelon tactics: Eco-bulbs linked to breast cancer

A new study suggests that compact fluorescent light bulbs may cause an increase in breast cancer:

Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, said that the bluer light that compact flourescent lamps (CFLs) emitted closely mimiced daylight, disrupting the body’s production of the hormone melatonin more than older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.  Melatonin, thought to protect against some breast and prostate cancers, is produced and secreted by the brain’s pineal gland around the clock.

Whether or not the study is reliable is irrelevant, we can use the alarmist tactic of the ‘precautionary principle‘ used to justify any number of green ideas to prevent slightly milder weather caused by a trace gas essential to life on Earth. (Daily Bayonet)


Several readers have enquired about this: UK researchers invent 'artificial petrol' costing 19p per litre

UK researchers are developing a synthetic petrol that could cost as little as 19p per litre. The future fuel, developed by Cella Energy in Didcot, ditches hydrocarbons for the cleaner, more abundant element hydrogen.

It could be a fabulously efficient source of energy -- hydrogen has a much higher amount of potential energy than petrol in any given weight. It's notoriously difficult to deal with, however, as it has an unhelpful tendency to explode once it's mixed with oxygen. Cella says it's found a solution that will allow motorists to pour a hydrogen-based fuel directly into a car's standard fuel tank without risk of a Hindenburg-style meltdown at the pumps.

The company plans to store the hydrogen, in the form of ammonia-borane hydride, safely inside nanobeads with a porous polymer coating. The nanobeads -- think of them as tiny M&Ms with hydrogen nuts inside -- protect the volatile chemical from the elements, but their minuscule size and composition mean they behave as a fluid, so they can be transported in much the same way as petrol. (CNET UK)

What do I think of it? In practical terms, nothing. If your purpose is reducing emissions of "terrible" carbon dioxide you should be aware that commercial hydrogen is generally sourced by steam reformation of natural gas, itself energy intensive and the byproduct of which is... carbon dioxide. For all practical purpose hydrogen is not an energy source, merely a transport medium, so unless you have vast quantities of "waste" energy which can be diverted to electrolyzing water then hydrogen is a loser in the energy stakes and in the carbon reduction ones too.

I see Professor Motl has an item on this too, perhaps he has a less jaundiced view:


Cella Energy hydrogen beads: gasoline for $1.50 per gallon

Cella Energy claims to be close to the construction of a new fuel that would be compatible with your car: it could literally replace ordinary gasoline, they claim.

Giz Mag, Google News
However, this new fuel would be made out of micron-sized nanotechnological beads - hydrides stored in small porous polymers. It would be cheaper than the regular gasoline - relatively to the prices in Central Europe, it would be 4 times cheaper.

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


Obama Invites Crisis If He Ignores Ruling

The decision by federal judge Roger Vinson striking down President Obama's signature health care law effectively ends ObamaCare unless some higher court overturns it.

In spite of this overwhelming rebuke of the law, some Birkenstock-wearing legal analysts are trying to argue that Vinson's ruling could be ignored by the administration.

That's why this week's action by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is so significant. Van Hollen has taken the proper step of following the law, which now says that ObamaCare is unconstitutional in its entirety, relieving Wisconsin of any obligation to follow it.

It is the responsibility of every state attorney general in the nation to follow Van Hollen's lead, and halt any actions to implement this unconstitutional law. To do otherwise will open states up to legal liability. (Bill Wilson, IBD)


Senate rejects bid to repeal healthcare law

President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats in the Senate blocked a Republican bid on Wednesday to repeal his healthcare overhaul, a year-old law whose ultimate fate likely rests with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On a party-line vote of 51-47, the Senate rejected a Republican measure to rescind the law that aims to provide more than 30 million uninsured Americans with medical coverage while requiring nearly all to be insured or pay a fine. Sixty votes were needed to clear a procedural hurdle against repeal. (Reuters)


Why Small Business Wants Repeal of ObamaCare

The law is unpopular among small business owners because it is not making employee health insurance more affordable.

One of the major goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”) was for more small companies to provide employee health insurance, since far fewer small businesses than large businesses offer it. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 100 percent of businesses with 200 or more employees offer them health insurance, but only 68 percent with more than two and fewer than 200 employees do. And a Discover Small Business Watch survey reveals that only 8 percent of businesses with two or three employees offer employee health insurance, while only 3 percent of companies with one employee provide it. (Scott Shane, The American)


Chamber pushes broader reg review

By Ben Geman

Check out this story by my colleague Kevin Bogardus.

He reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing for an expansion of the White House's planned review of regulations to include independent federal agencies.

This could affect several energy-related rulemakings because independent agencies include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


EPA to regulate potentially harmful chemical found in drinking water

By Andrew Restuccia

In a reversal of Bush administration policy, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it will regulate a chemical found in drinking water that could affect infant and child development.

EPA said it plans to regulate perchlorate, which is found naturally and used in rocket fuel and fireworks, under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The announcement comes after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called on federal scientists to review the health implications of perchlorate in drinking water.

The agency said perchlorate can affect the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones that are essential for infant and child development.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Available studies suggest otherwise - see Debunkosaurus.com


New York City Council votes to ban smoking in parks

New York City on Wednesday moved a step closer to ban smoking in parks, beaches and other outdoor public spaces, amid grumbling that the city government may have gone too far in its war on salt, fat and smoke.

The city council voted 36 to 12 in favor of the smoking restrictions, extending an existing ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he would sign the bill, and it would come into effect 90 days later. (Reuters)

The Star-Spangled Haranguer?

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the  free  hectored and the home of the  brave  nanny state?


Liberal parents believe the autism-vaccination link

Paul Nurse, the boss of the Royal Society, recently compared climate skeptics to the people who reject modern medicine, or those who doubt the relationship between HIV and AIDS, and who prefer alternative medicine instead.

I have always thought that this analogy is mostly upside down. Modern medicine is primarily rejected by the people who don't really like or trust applied science and technology, i.e. those who are Luddites who love to romanticize the "life in Nature" that existed before people began to develop their civilization. Those folks are inevitably close to the environmental and other left-wing sentiments. (TRF)


Some vaccines tied to lower kids' leukemia risk

Kids who have had certain vaccines might be less likely to develop cancer, especially one type of leukemia, suggests a new study.

The findings, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, showed that kids born in counties where most children had been vaccinated for hepatitis B had about 20 percent lower odds of all types of childhood cancers than those born in counties where fewer were vaccinated.

Those born in counties with high use both of polio vaccines and of a vaccine series that included hepatitis B and polio, among other diseases, had 30 to 40 percent lower odds of getting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that affects the white blood cells.

But despite the apparent relationship, which should become more clear with future research, "we don't think it's the end all be all," said Dr. Michael Scheurer, one of the study's authors from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. It's not "get your kids vaccinated and they won't get cancer." (Reuters Health)



Meeting of saboteurs: Bingaman to meet with Obama Wednesday on 'clean energy standard'

By Andrew Restuccia

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) will meet with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday afternoon to discuss a proposal to significantly expand U.S. low-carbon power generation. (E2 Wire)


U.S. Chamber cool to Obama’s ‘clean energy standard' plan

By Ben Geman

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce signaled Tuesday that it’s likely to oppose President Obama’s call for a “clean energy standard” for electric utilities, alleging the proposal isn’t feasible. (E2 Wire)


Couldn't agree more: Scientists ask Congress to put aside politics, take 'fresh look' at climate data

By Andrew Restuccia

"Political philosophy has a legitimate role in policy debates, but not in the underlying climate science," the scientists said.

Read more... (E2 Wire)

Unfortunately the letter's authors are full of crap and seek to promote AGW hysteria, which is the antithesis of science.


Eighteen hardcore AGW alarmists threaten U.S. Congress

How many climate alarmists are there among the U.S. climate scientists? If you count those who are ready to chastise the members of the U.S. Congress, the answer turns out to be eighteen. The Hill brings us the full text of their letter:

Scientists ask Congress to put aside politics and take 'fresh look' at climate data
The word "deniers" only appears thrice in the letter. Michael Mann, Kevin Trenberth, Ben Santer, and 15 of their "peers" need this word in order to demand that the representatives deny the existence of climate skeptics.

» Don't Stop Reading » (TRF)


China takes big lead in CO2 emissions race

The Department of Energy released yesterday its estimates for global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use:

  • Global CO2 emissions from energy use were 30.45 billion metric tons.
  • U.S. emissions were 5.42 billion tons, about 17.8% of global emissions (2nd place).
  • China’s emissions were 7.71 billion tons, about 25.3% of global emissions (1st place).
  • India has overtaken Russia for third place (1.60 vs. 1.57 billion tons).
  • South Korea’s growing emissions (528 million tons in 2009) is on the verge of passing Canada’s declining emissions (541 million tons).
  • North Korean emissions increased 14.5% to 79 million tons from 2008 to 2009, while U.S. emissions declined 7.1% during that period.

For those who wonder why we can’t be more like the Chinese, here are a few more facts:

  • US GDP in 2009 was $14.1 billion according to the World Bank.
  • China’s GDP was a mere $4.98 billion.
  • For every ton of CO2 emitted, the U.S. added $2.60 to GDP.
  • For every ton of CO2 emitted, China added about $0.64 to its GDP.
  • The figures for France, Japan, Germany and the UK are $6.68, $4.62, $4.35 and $4.18, respectively.

While the U.S. is not the most efficient user of energy, as measured in terms of CO2 emissions, it is way ahead of China. There can be no doubt that heavy reliance on nuclear power by France (79%)  and Japan (61%) is what makes those economies so efficient emissions-wise.

(h/t Willie Soon for CO2 data) (Green Hell Blog)


HSBC research reveals China's coal rush

THE myth of China's switch to so-called clean energy has been blown right out of the water by research from HSBC Bank.

China already has easily the world's biggest coal-fired power sector. It's roughly double the size of the US's coal-fired power generation - and about 15 times the size of ours.

Most of the huge growth planned for Chinese electricity generation over the next ten years is also going to come from coal-fired power. This leads to two broad conclusions.

Our thermal coal industry will be able to sell as much coal into world markets as it can dig up. Because in addition to the coming huge increase in demand from China, there is also India following a similar path.

Secondly, if emissions of carbon dioxide do cause global warming, go short on long winter woolies.

There is nothing, nothing the developed world can do to offset the CO2 that is going to be pumped by China and India. Short that is, of stopping the world, so we can all get off. Which is exactly what the Green movement would like us do. (Terry McCrann, Herald Sun)


Your health hostage to whacky weather worries: NHS managers ordered to look at environmental impact of decisions

Health service 'route map' sets out measures to meet greenhouse gas targets

Flower arranging classes for ulcer patients, water-powered air conditioning for hospitals and instructions to doctors on using the correct bin – all are key elements of a greener future for the National Health Service to be set out today.

Health service managers will be handed a "route map" laying out some of the measures they need to take to meet the government's greenhouse gas targets. The NHS, which produces nearly as much carbon dioxide annually as Croatia, must cut its carbon emissions by 10% by 2015.

Under the plans, the NHS will have to change its focus from curing sickness to becoming a "preventative and tailor-made wellbeing service", taking into account the environmental costs of decisions as well as their financial implications. This could potentially include the radical redeployment of health service funds, such as paying for home insulation for older people, which could reduce hospital admissions in winter. (Guardian)


Is the University of Virginia biased against professors that challenge the idea of global warming?

For months, the University of Virginia has been involved in a legal battle with state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli over an investigation into government grants given to a university professor who allegedly used the money to falsify research supporting climate change. Now, some are also accusing the university of treating a professor whose views do not exactly accept the mainstream view of man-made global warming unfavorably.

At issue are the documents and research materials of two former university professors: Pat Michaels and Michael Mann. The university received Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for research materials from both professors, but its response to the respective requests has left some accusing the school of bias.

When Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall submitted a request for the research materials of Mann, he was told by university officials that the documents had been destroyed because the professor was no longer an employee.

When Greenpeace, a national environmental advocacy organization, requested the same materials for Michaels, university officials promptly began the process of complying with the FOIA and told the organization how much the fee would be.

But in an interview with The Daily Caller, Michaels said that when he found out about the disparate treatment, he called the school but it “became pretty obvious they did not want to talk to me.”

Michaels and Mann were both employed by the environmental sciences department, both did extensive research in the climatology field, and both left the university within just a couple years of each other. (Amanda Carey, The Daily Caller)


Climate change: A new religion complete with evangelists, tithes, indulgences and superstitions

Last night BBC Four aired a documentary which took a look at climate change sceptics and in particular one of the movement's most prominent poster boys, Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount of Brenchley.

The programme, like climate science itself, attracted controversy before it even came on air. James Delingpole, a vocal climate change sceptic who appears in the documentary, yesterday called the programme "another hatchet job" on his Telegraph blog.

The presenter of the programme, Rupert Murray, concluded by saying that despite the arguments of the sceptics he did not want to take the risk that they were wrong. He was, he said, willing to give up some of his freedom if it helped to stop climate change.

This was a rather startling thing to say, especially as his own programme did not conclude that the warmists are right and the sceptics wrong. In fact he appeared to be saying he would give up his freedom just in case the warmists are right.

There was worse still in the programme, with one scientist effectively saying that democracy might need to be suspended in order for governments to successfully prevent a climate catastrophe.

Such statements are of course why sceptics such as James Delingpole and Lord Monckton have become all the fiercer in their criticism of climate change activists in recent years, seeing in climate change activism a threat not just to prosperity but to liberty.

The great problem with climate change is that it no longer seems like a scientific theory, but more like a 21st century version of the pre-Reformation Catholic Church, complete with evangelists, tithes, indulgences and bizarre superstitions.

Just as in medieval times when the people were expected to (and often did) believe everything they were told by the priest, now we see that it is the scientist whose word is gospel. Even today panellists on programmes such as BBC Question Time who question climate change can be booed and jeered at by people who read scientific papers on the issue even less than illiterate medieval peasants read the Bible, at the time still un-translated from the Latin. (William Dove, IBT)


Global Warming, Totalitarianism and the Political Left

BY MICHAEL R. FOX PHD - The president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus has offered some remarkable observations about environmentalism and global warming and how the measures currently being proposed to curb climate change are a threat to human freedom. Klaus’s advice is especially important to Americans.

I estimate there are at least two generations of Americans who have not been properly taught about the horrendous 20th century history of global communism, socialism, and other forms of totalitarianism.

As such we are extremely vulnerable and uninformed about the deceptive practices of these governments and maltreatment of people who lived under these regimes during the last 100 years. Strong remnants of those days live on today in North Korea, Cuba, China, and elsewhere. Klaus’s advice is also important simply because he is a survivor and eye-witness to communism in Czechoslovakia as his native country was then known. It is easy for him to recognize totalitarian government agendas, and the corruption needed to foist them onto an unwary public ( http://tinyurl.com/4oh68un ). (Hawaii Reporter)


Mythologising Monckton

There is only one climate sceptic in the world. His name is Christopher Monckton. This is the only conclusion you could draw from Rupert Murray’s film, Meet the Climate Sceptics,  broadcast on BBC4 tonight.

The film portrays Monckton single-handedly attacking the entire global scientific establishment, sabotaging any possibility of climate legislation in the USA, and thereby demolishing any possible global deal on emissions-reduction through the UNFCCC process. Along the way he destroys Kevin Rudd’s administration and the Australian ETS… In Murray’s fantasy, Christopher Monckton is to climate scepticism what James Bond is to the UK.

The film belongs to a strand on BBC TV, called Storyville. But Rupert Murray doesn’t just tell a story, he constructs a mythology. (Ben Pile, Climate Resistance)


Despite their desire to include AGW there is some genuine information reported in this piece - a major improvement (excerpted to save you wading through the whole thing): Queensland's cycles of havoc

Nott says Yasi could be the severest cyclone to directly affect Cairns since European settlement.

It could rival Cyclone Mahina in 1899, which hit land at Bathurst Bay north of Cooktown, destroying the pearling fleet and killing 400 people.

Given its width and intensity, Yasi could be worse than the twin cyclones of 1918, one of which put the central business district of Mackay under 5m of water.

But it would still not rival more extreme weather events, the evidence of which is still carved into the tropical landscape.

Nott is an expert on the incidence of super cyclones. By analysing ridges of broken coral pushed ashore by storm surges, he has catalogued the incidence of super-cyclones over the past 5000 years.

In a paper published in the scientific journal, Nature in 2001 his research shows the frequency of super-cyclones is an order of magnitude higher than previously thought.

Nott's work puts into perspective current debate about whether climate change is responsible for the extreme weather events in Queensland.

Over recent centuries, massive cyclones have been relatively common. And after an extended period of relatively little activity their return is overdue regardless of rising global temperatures.


Most of the cyclone data used by climate scientists only dates back to the 1980s.

Prior to 1960 it was only really possible to measure cyclones opportunistically if they happened to pass over a boat or weather station.

From the late 70s to 80s the quality of data improved dramatically with the availability of very good satellite images.

According to Jones, the historical data was not sufficient to make concrete predictions. There is a clear link, however, between recent floods and cyclonic activity and the El Nino and La Nina weather patterns governed by Pacific Ocean surface temperatures.

The return of a La Nina weather pattern is a sure signal that tropical cyclone activity will intensify.

According to a paper by BOM Queensland weather forecaster Jeff Callaghan, the frequency of severe land-falling tropical cyclones had declined to low levels in recent decades in line with the El Nino weather patterns. Callaghan's analysis shows that landfalls occurred almost twice as often in La Nina years as they did in El Nino years and that more than one cyclone only ever hit land during La Nina years.

Callaghan says it would be imprudent to suppose the low number of tropical cyclones crossing the coast in recent decades would continue and planning should reflect the possibility of a rapid return to higher landfall rates.

Callaghan's research confirms Nott's analysis that tropical Australia is overdue for a dramatic intensification of cyclonic activity, regardless of whether there is a climate change signal in what is happening now or not.


What the longer term records show, however, is that the frequency of extreme cyclones follow a predictable long-scale pattern.

"What the record shows is we go through extended periods, hundreds of years, of high activity and extended periods of little activity," Nott says.

"The past 100 to 150 years has been very quiet in Queensland in terms of what happened in the past. The couple of hundred years prior to that were very active."

According to shorter term decadal scale-that uses a 10-year cycle- Queensland can also expect a big increase in the number of severe cyclones.

The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation indicates the tropical north is due to emerge from a three-decade period of low cyclonic activity and return to the conditions of the 50s, 60s and 70s. (Graham Lloyd and Andrew Fraser, The Australian)

One thing I find really curious about all the AGW handwringing over storms is that warmers view cyclones (hurricanes) as bad things. If they are really worried about global warming then they should be delighted to see these storms transporting ocean heat through the troposphere (and past the bulk of the atmosphere's greenhouse gases) to be radiated off to space. These storms also massively increase surface mixing in the oceans, cooling surface waters and reducing potential for coral heat stress and bleaching events. Moreover, the additional precipitation over land transports essential nutrients to the sea and enhances carbon sequestration as organic detritus is buried in silt plumes on the continental shelf and beyond while freshwater systems receive a good flush and channels are scoured, opening tidal marshes to the sea, keeping them clean and healthy and topping up river deltas, as nature intended (or would intend, were "nature" actually sentient).

Technical note for those who insist on comparing storms, Australian tropical cyclone categories are rather weak compared with the Saffir-Simpson scale with our Cat 1 cyclones equating to about the bottom half of an SS "tropical storm" rating, our Cat 2 cyclone corresponds to the upper half of the SS "tropical storm" and a Cat 3 roughly the same as your Cat 1 hurricane, our Cat 4 is a SS 2 to weak 3 and our Cat 5 is anything above a weak Saffir-Simpson moderate Category 3. That said Yasi would still manage a category 5 rating under Saffir-Simpson. You can see some scale images here to get some idea of the awesome size and power of this storm. A lot of Pacific Ocean heat is being transported up through the atmosphere.


Warmist’s Answer to High Food Prices: “Climate Tax” On Milk and Meat.

As you no doubt have read in the papers, or seen on the TV news, food prices have recently shot up, leading the warmists to blame global warming, of course. Sensible people point to the insane practice of turning food into biofuels that no one wants. but everyone is feeling the pinch of higher food prices, with the poor especially hard hit by the rise.

So it should come as no surprise then, to read that the warmist’s answer to this is to call for a hefty “climate tax” on all milk, dairy produce, and meat products. (htl)


Climatitis pandemic

by Michael Kile

Apocalypse fatigue: Reduced interest in current or potential environmental problems due to frequent dire warnings about those problems.

A new pandemic is sweeping the planet. A rogue form of climatitis, it is more virulent than Trundle-Mann’s dyscalculia, Pitfall’s paradigmnesia, Robyn’s rancoria, Steffenowsky’s thermomania, Flannery’s fever and the delirium typical of advanced cases of Gaia nervosa. Medical experts have a name for it: apocalypse fatigue syndrome, AFS.

Climate alarmists fear AFS more than their direst predictions, with good reason. There is no effective cure. Concoctions of Chinese herbs have been tried in some countries, but with ambiguous results and high patient mortality.

In the West, universities, royal societies, centres of excellence and departments of climate change are desperately seeking an AFS antidote. It is a challenging task, according to those familiar with their work. (Quadrant)


From CO2 Science Volume 14 Number 5: 2 February 2011

Special Issue
This week we announce the release of our newest major report, Carbon Dioxide and Earth's Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path. Based on the voluminous periodic reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ongoing rise in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration has come to be viewed as a monumental danger -- not only to human society, but to the world of nature as well. But are the horrific "doomsday scenarios" promulgated by the climate alarmists as set-in-stone as the public is led to believe? Do we really know all of the complex and interacting processes that should be included in the models upon which these scenarios are based? And can we properly reduce those processes into manageable computer code so as to produce reliable forecasts 50 or 100 years into the future? At present, the only way to properly answer these questions is to compare climate model projections with real-world observations. Theory is one thing, but empirical reality is quite another. The former may or may not be correct, but the latter is always right. As such, the only truly objective method to evaluate climate model projections is by comparing them with real-world data.

In what follows, we conduct just such an appraisal, comparing against real-world observations ten of the more ominous model-based predictions of what will occur in response to continued business-as-usual anthropogenic CO2 emissions: (1) unprecedented warming of the planet, (2) more frequent and severe floods and droughts, (3) more numerous and stronger hurricanes, (4) dangerous sea level rise, (5) more frequent and severe storms, (6) increased human mortality, (7) widespread plant and animal extinctions, (8) declining vegetative productivity, (9) deadly coral bleaching, and (10) a decimation of the planet's marine life due to ocean acidification. And in conjunction with these analyses, we proffer our view of what the future may hold with respect to the climatic and biological consequences of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content, concluding by providing an assessment of what we feel should be done about the situation.

Click on the links below to read the report, or download the full report in a pdf file (2.5 mb in size) by clicking here.

Next week we will return to our regular format for CO2 Science.


Carbon Dioxide and Earth's Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path



   1. Unprecedented Warming of the Planet

   2. More Frequent and Severe Floods and Droughts

   3. More Frequent and Severe Hurricanes

   4. Rising Sea Levels Inundating Coastal Lowlands

   5. More Frequent and Severe Storms

   6. Increased Human Mortality

   7. Widespread Plant and Animal Extinctions

   8. Declining Vegetative Productivity

   9. Frequent Coral Bleaching

   10. Marine Life Dissolving Away in Acidified Oceans





U.S. Chamber energy plan calls for more drilling, end to regulatory ‘barriers’

By Ben Geman

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday floated energy policy principles that the powerful business group said would spur job and economic growth.

The plan includes expanded offshore oil-and-gas drilling and renewables development on federal lands, as well as a self-funding “Clean Energy Bank” to provide loan guarantees and other financing options for technologies like nuclear power and renewables.

It also calls for ending “regulatory barriers” that the group alleges prevent the certainty needed to spur private investment in new energy projects of various stripes, including coal plants and renewable-energy projects.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Would We Drill For $200 Oil?

Energy Security: As unrest spreads in the Middle East, threatening oil transport and oil-rich kingdoms, our laughable energy policy may come home to roost. Better get those wind turbines spinning in a hurry.

Between them, the Suez Canal and adjoining pipeline transport some 4.5 million barrels of oil per day. More than 35,000 ships used the canal in 2009, about 10% of them oil tankers. The thought of the Muslim Brotherhood in control of it should give us pause. Yet that's a real possibility as the well-disciplined and ruthless mother of all Islamofascist groups lies in wait.

The street protests that began in Tunisia and have consumed Egypt have spread to Jordan, prompting King Abdullah II to sack his prime minister and ask a predecessor in that post to form a new government that would push for reforms and get ahead of the curve of unrest in the region.

Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan do not have much in the way of domestic energy supplies, but just down the road are the kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.

The possibility of upheaval visiting their shores must be considered, especially with an ambitious and meddling Iran nearby. (IBD)


Terence Corcoran: Oil price clashes with carbon price

Economics 101 versus Green Economics 101

The great economic divide between the reality of oil pricing and the fantasy of carbon pricing, already at oceanic proportions, looks even greater today as the price of oil shoots up past US$100. The turmoil in Egypt explains part of Monday’s price increase, but there’s clearly more going on in the oil market than political coups in the Arab world. Global monetary inflation, stoked by the U.S. Federal Reserve and central bankers around the world, also seems to be a major factor. More real growth in the United States and elsewhere also stimulates demand for fossil fuels.

Whatever the causes, the run-up in the market price of crude oil is a major inconvenience for fans of carbon pricing. Rising market prices have the effect of boosting the profits of the oil industry and encouraging new expenditures on exploration. Exxon’s profits rose 53% to $9.25-billion in the fourth quarter, a sign the industry could soon be back to the boom times of 2008.

Read More » (Financial Post)


Gas Drilling Technique Is Labeled Violation

Oil and gas service companies injected tens of millions of gallons of diesel fuel into onshore wells in more than a dozen states from 2005 to 2009, Congressional investigators have charged. Those injections appear to have violated the Safe Water Drinking Act, the investigators said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday.

The diesel fuel was used by drillers as part of a contentious process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives — including diesel fuel — into rock formations deep underground. The process, which has opened up vast new deposits of natural gas to drilling, creates and props open fissures in the rock to ease the release of oil and gas.

But concerns have been growing over the potential for fracking chemicals — particularly those found in diesel fuel — to contaminate underground sources of drinking water.

“We learned that no oil and gas service companies have sought — and no state and federal regulators have issued — permits for diesel fuel use in hydraulic fracturing,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California and two other Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, in the letter. “This appears to be a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

Oil and gas companies acknowledged using diesel fuel in their fracking fluids, but they rejected the House Democrats’ assertion that it was illegal. They said that the E.P.A. had never properly developed rules and procedures to regulate the use of diesel in fracking, despite a clear grant of authority from Congress over the issue.

“Everyone understands that E.P.A. is at least interested in regulating fracking,” said Matt Armstrong, a lawyer with the Washington firm Bracewell & Giuliani, which represents several oil and gas companies. “Whether the E.P.A. has the chutzpah to try to impose retroactive liability for use of diesel in fracking, well, everyone is in a wait-and-see mode. I suspect it will have a significant fight on its hands if it tried it do that.”

Regardless of the legal outcome, the Waxman findings are certain to intensify an already contentious debate among legislators, natural gas companies and environmentalists over the safety of oil and gas development in general, and fracking in particular. (NYT)


NJ Gov. Christie Signs Bill To Get More Power Plants Built

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday signed a bill into law to promote the construction of new power plants and make electricity more affordable in a state with some of the highest costs for power in the nation.

A spokeswoman for the governor said Monday that the governor's office would later in the day issue a statement on the new law, which establishes a long-term capacity agreement pilot program, from Senate Bill 2381/Assembly Bill 3442.

The new law is an effort by the state to encourage the construction of up to 2,000 megawatts of new generation to create jobs and reduce energy costs by offering power plant builders long-term, ratepayer subsidized energy contracts.

A couple of potential beneficiaries of the new law include private power developers Competitive Power Ventures, of Silver Springs, Maryland, and LS Power Group, of New York City, which have each developed plans to build new plants in New Jersey.

A spokesman at Competitive Power Ventures recently told Reuters that there was no appetite in the market to finance new generation without a long-term contract and that the bill could provide the incentive needed to get these plants built. (Reuters)

Guaranteeing an end to carbon hysteria would do far more and would cost nothing.


‘Gresham’s Law of Green Energy’ (Jonathan Lesser on bad energy driving out good)

by Eric Lowe
February 1, 2011

[Editors note: this post is a summary/review of the article by Jonathan Lesser, "Gresham's Law of Green Energy: High-Cost Subsidized Renewable Resources Destroy Jobs and Hurt Consumers" (Regulation magazine, Cato Institute).]

“Industries that require never-ending subsidies simply cannot increase overall economic welfare. To conclude otherwise is to believe in ‘free-lunch’ economics of the worst kind. Yet, free-lunch economics are driving the push for renewable energy.”

- Jonathan A. Lesser

Jonathan A. Lesser, of Continental Economics Inc., has written a penetrating essay describing the unmet promises of subsidies to so-called green energy (or politically correct, nonhydro renewables). He looks at the supposed benefits of these subsidies and the associated costs and comes to a familiar conclusion: government-subsidized energy is uneconomic energy.

The arguments for green energy subsidies are numerous; perhaps most used are those pertaining to putting people to work and even creating wholly new industries that will re-invigorate the entire economy (the Obama fantasy). At its core, Lesser’s refutation of these notions provides quite a good lesson in some of the foundational theories of microeconomics (and good common sense).

Lesser begins by exploring the history of electricity markets, and how with the creation of markets for “installed capacity” (backup power to meet peak demand), several states reacted with price-suppression policies. The principle lesson one learns in microeconomics is that markets are intended to get the prices “right”. If extra capacity comes free, that drives down the market clearing price other utilities can receive, thus meaning they exit the market (cannot make a profit). Less competition is never good for consumers.

He refers to this principle as “Gresham’s Law of Green Energy,” an application of a principle that says that bad can drive out good (rather than the other way around) from government interference with consumer preference in an open market. Elsewhere in the piece he uses a more appropriate metaphor: transferring wealth instead of creating it. Subsidies for green energy are taken from taxpayer dollars, meaning that you and I are less well-off while the owners and employees of green energy companies are better off. But factor in ratepayers, all losers, and the wealth transfer is negative and pernicous indeed. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Pulling Back the Curtain on Wind Power

Because wind turbines are minimally productive more than half the time, fossil fuel power plants will be needed as backups and will contribute to greenhouse gases.

Ever wonder why sailing ships no longer ply the oceans with goods and passengers? It’s a question wind energy advocates might ask themselves. They ignore the fact that the wind doesn’t blow consistently, even though its intermittent nature makes wind an undependable source of power and restricts wind generators from consistently reaching their potential. (Ajax Eastman, Baltimore Chronicle)


Judge rules against health law, cites Obama’s words

In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.

Judge Vinson, a federal judge in the northern district of Florida, struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional on Monday, though he is allowing the Obama administration to continue to implement and enforce it while the government appeals his ruling. (Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times)


Editorial: ObamaCare Is No Longer A Law

The Law: Already bruised and unpopular, ObamaCare has now been issued a death sentence. Yet the White House says it will "proceed apace" with its implementation. Has anyone there heard of checks and balances?

It's worth noting that Monday's ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson that the Democrats' health care overhaul is unconstitutional is only the latest setback for the badly flawed legislation inflicted on the nation last March.

The measure was already invalidated by the courts once before, the House has overwhelmingly passed a bill to repeal it, insurance companies are bailing out of markets left and right because of its profit-killing mandates and the government has issued Obama-Care waivers by the hundreds.

And now 47 lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of a repeal bill in the Senate.

Despite all this, and with no sense of irony, the White House contends Vinson "overreached" in his decision, vows that the revamping of the world's best health care system will continue and warns states against using the ruling to delay its implementation.

What is it about "unconstitutional" that this administration doesn't understand?

True, Vinson didn't grant an injunction against ObamaCare in his 78-page ruling. But that's because he clearly considers his judgment to be an injunction in itself. He expects the executive branch to comply with the law as he has ruled. "There is no reason to conclude that this presumption should not apply here," he wrote.

As one of the lawyers for the 26 states that sued to block Obama-Care put it: "The statute is dead." (IBD)


Obama admin vows to continue implementing health care law despite ruling

Obama administration officials are vowing to continue implementation of the president’s health care law “apace” despite a second ruling that the law is unconstitutional, calling the decision by Judge Robert Vinson “a plain case of judicial overreaching” well outside mainstream legal thought.

“We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld,” said Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter in a blog post published at WhiteHouse.gov.

Senior administration officials vowed implementation of the law would “proceed apace.” The Justice Department is appealing the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. (Jonathan Strong, The Daily Caller)


Health care repeal ruling emboldens Senate Republicans

An emboldened caucus of Senate Republicans came out in full force in favor of a bill to repeal the new health care law Monday, just hours after Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled the law unconstitutional.

All 47 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors to a repeal measure in the Senate, said South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, chairman of the Senate Steering Committee. (Chris Moody, The Daily Caller)


Michael Foreman's Chinese drywall inspection protocol is now available for free download

This is big news.

Foreman and Associates, Inc. has been leading the way in Chinese drywall (more appropriately called tainted corrosive drywall) testing and remediation since August, 2008. Bear in mind that the Consumer Product Safety Commission—the lead federal agency on this matter—officially started receiving complaints in December, 2008.

Go here to download the free protocol. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


Tonsil removal, childhood obesity link

CHILDREN who have their tonsils removed are more likely to become obese, US researchers claimed today.

A tonsillectomy - the most common major surgical procedure performed in children - can increase kids' body mass index by as much as 5.5 per cent, according to new research published in the head and neck surgery journal Otolaryngology.

In one analysis of 127 children, their average body mass index increased by about seven per cent in the six months following surgery. In another analysis of 249 children, 50 to 75 per cent of children gained weight after they had their tonsils or adenoids removed. (NewsCore )

So, kids with their chronic illnesses cured by surgery tend to eat more. Imagine that?


Only In Government Do All Benefits Justify Costs

Despite the old saying, "Don't cry over spilled milk," the Environmental Protection Agency is doing just that.

We all understand why the Environmental Protection Agency was given the power to issue regulations to guard against oil spills, such as that of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska or the more recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

But not everyone understands that any power given to any bureaucracy for any purpose can be stretched far beyond that purpose.

In a classic example of this process, the EPA has decided that since milk contains oil, it has the authority to force farmers to comply with new regulations to file "emergency management" plans to show how they will cope with spilled milk, how farmers will train "first responders" and build "containment facilities" if there is a flood of spilled milk.

Since there is no free lunch, all of this is going to cost the farmers both money and time that could be going into farming — and is likely to end up costing consumers higher prices for farm products.

It is going to cost the taxpayers money as well, since the EPA is going to have to hire people to inspect farms, inspect farmers' reports and prosecute farmers who don't jump through all the right hoops in the right order. All of this will be "creating jobs," even if the tax money removed from the private sector correspondingly reduces the jobs that can be created there.

Does anyone seriously believe that any farmer is going to spill enough milk to compare with the Exxon Valdez oil spill or the BP oil spill?

Do you envision people fleeing their homes, as a flood of milk comes pouring down the mountainside, threatening to wipe out the village below?

It doesn't matter. Once the words are in the law, it makes no difference what the realities are. The bureaucracy has every incentive to stretch the meaning of those words, in order to expand its empire. (Thomas Sowell, IBD)



Second judge strikes down Dems' healthcare law as unconstitutional

A federal judge in Florida struck down the entire healthcare reform law Monday afternoon, ruling that the requirement for individuals to purchase insurance is unconstitutional and is too central to making the law function.

In the highest-profile challenge to the reform law yet, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the so-called individual mandate exceeds congressional power. Further, he said the whole law cannot stand because the law depends on the mandate to work.

"I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit,” Vinson wrote. (The Hill)


Federal Judge: Obamacare is Void

Today’s decision by Judge Vinson is another stinging defeat for the administration in its defense of Obamacare. Defenders of the health care bill had tried to paint any legal challenge as “frivolous.”  When then-Speaker Pelosi was asked by a reporter “where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate,” Pelosi responded incredulously, “Are you serious? Are you serious?”  To wit, Judge Vinson offered a serious response, striking down not only the mandate, but the whole of the health care bill.

In a 78-page opinion, Judge Vinson dissects the two major claims at issue in this case: whether Obamacare violates the spending clause, particularly the coercion principles announced in South Dakota v. Dole, and whether the mandate to purchase health insurance violates the Commerce Clause.

On the first claim, Judge Vinson sided with the administration.  In the second, he offered a detailed analysis of the law which reads like a treatise.  Rather than picking and choosing his cases, as many proponents of Obamacare like to do, he went through all of the relevant case law at length before concluding that the mandate violated the Commerce Clause.  He correctly observed that “it would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause.”  He then concluded that “the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit. The individual mandate cannot be severed.”  As such, he appropriately struck down the entire law.  Today’s decision should be a major source of concern for the Obama administration for at least five reasons.

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Blinder tries leading the blinder?

Economist Alan Blinder is trying to hoodwink the 112th Congress into a carbon tax.

In an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, Princeton University professor and Clinton administration economic advisor called the carbon tax a “miracle cure” for our ailing economy and federal budget problems. (Green Hell Blog)


White House starts messaging battle on new energy plan

By Ben Geman

The White House wants a "clean energy" standard, but some conservatives are criticizing it as a relative of cap-and-trade legislation.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Flashback 1975: Holdren Says Real Threat to USA Is Cheap Energy

I see that Climate Depot are having a bit of fun at the moment doing a round-up of John Holdren’s bizarre pronouncements, so I thought I join in by reminding us all of Holdren’s bizarre 1975 essay on the perils of cheap energy. (htl)


Rockefeller floats bill to delay EPA climate rules by two years

By Andrew Restuccia

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced his bill to delay by two years the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions Monday.

“We must give Congress enough time to consider a comprehensive energy bill to develop the clean coal technologies we need and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, protect West Virginia and improve our environment," Rockefeller said in a statement. "We can address emissions and secure a future for the U.S. coal industry, but we need the time to get it right and to move clean coal technology forward.” 

Six centrist Democrats co-sponsored the legislation. They include: Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Senate Republicans offer sweeping plan to block climate rules

By Ben Geman

Several leading Senate Republicans floated broad legislation Monday that would prevent the federal government from regulating greenhouse gases or taking them into account when implementing various laws.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, is the lead sponsor. His eight co-sponsors thus far include Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and a potential 2012 White House contender, and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The bill’s findings claim that controlling emissions would harm the economy, and also include a nod to skepticism about climate science, noting that Earth’s climate is “dynamic” and that changes stem from a “complex combination of factors.”

Barrasso, in a statement, claims Americans rejected cap-and-trade legislation (which collapsed in the Senate last year amid opposition from several industry sectors) because it would raise energy prices and cost jobs.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


New Mexico Supreme Court Issues Backwards Ruling

by William Yeatman
31 January 2011 @ 10:06 am

Last week the New Mexico Supreme Court blocked Governor Susana Martinez’s attempt to stop a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme from taking effect, on the grounds that the Governor failed to follow proper administrative procedure. In delivering the ruling, Chief Justice Charles Daniels admonished Governor Martinez, saying that “no one is above the law.” This is ridiculous. Governor Martinez was trying to block a cap-and-trade that had been imposed by her predecessor (ex-Governor Bill Richardson), during a lame-duck session, and after the state legislature had opposed it. When a state executive imposes an energy tax over the will of the legislature, isn’t he acting “above the law”? Fortunately, Governor Martinez still can block the regulation. She’ll have to wait until it’s published…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Trade talks could wreck climate change measures, campaigners warn

Protests staged in London during attempt to promote Canadian tar sands as energy source

Trade talks between Europe and Canada could leave the door open to companies suing states for losses incurred by efforts to fight climate change, campaigners claimed today. (Guardian)

Good, misanthropists should be held responsible for their antisocial behavior. Furthermore it should be proportional to the harm they cause, say 20 years for attempting to disrupt the power supply, life for actually succeeding in doing so and death for repeat offenders. Now, I have no doubt such realistic sentencing will upset even rational people so let me just point out that any disruption in power supply puts lives at risk - not just the infirm requiring energy for life-sustaining equipment but people trapped in elevators who cannot access necessary treatment, people killed and maimed in traffic accidents because safety and control equipment was compromised as well as those injured or killed in household falls in the dark and so on and on. Our society requires reliable and affordable energy and antisocial morons attempting to disrupt that supply are literally attempting mayhem and mass murder - they should be treated accordingly.


Uh-huh... Liberals plan to ‘uncloak’ the Koch brothers

The liberal activist group Common Cause is rallying its supporters to protest David and Charles Koch’s convocation of conservative heavy hitters in California this weekend. The billionaire Koch brothers, whose family business is one of the largest private companies in the world, are longtime funders of many conservative causes, including Tea Party groups, and initiatives to defeat Obamacare and global warming legislation.

A couple of hundred conservative donors, activists, politicians, and businessmen are expected to join the Koch’s event in Rancho Mirage. Past meetings have featured movement pillars like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sen. Jim DeMint and several Supreme Court Justices.

“This conference brings together some of America’s greatest philanthropists and most successful business leaders whose companies have created millions of real jobs,” Nancy Pfotenhauer, conference spokesperson told The Daily Caller. “Attendees will discuss solutions to our most pressing issues and strategies to promote policies that will help grow our economy, foster free enterprise and create American jobs.”

Common Cause and its allies see a more sinister agenda. They’ll be shouting outside — and in at least one case, from above. Greenpeace has chartered a blimp emblazoned with the words “dirty money” to fly over the conference. (Caroline May, The Daily Caller)


Oh... The Kochs vs. Soros: Free markets vs. state coercion

Palm Springs, California -At the front gates of the Rancho Las Palmas resort, a few hundred liberals rallied Sunday against "corporate greed" and polluters. They chanted for the arrest of billionaires Charles and David Koch, and their ire was also directed at the other free market-oriented businessmen invited here by the Koch brothers to discuss free markets and electoral strategies.
Billionaires poisoning our politics was the central theme of the protests. But nothing is quite as it seems in modern politics: The protest's organizer, the nonprofit Common Cause, is funded by billionaire George Soros.

Common Cause has received $2 million from Soros's Open Society Institute in the past eight years, according to grant data provided by Capital Research Center. Two panelists at Common Cause's rival conference nearby -- President Obama's former green jobs czar, Van Jones, and blogger Lee Fang -- work at the Center for American Progress, which was started and funded by Soros but, as a 501(c)4 nonprofit "think tank," legally conceals the names of its donors.

In other words, money from billionaire George Soros and anonymous, well-heeled liberals was funding a protest against rich people's influence on politics. (Timothy P. Carney, Washington Examiner)



I really can’t decide whether I should hate Al Gore… or thank him for giving me something to write about.

He has caused the spread of more pseudo-scientific incompetence on the subject of global warming (I’m sorry — climate change) than any climate scientist could possibly have ever accomplished. Who else but a politician could spin so much certainty out of a theory?

As someone who has lived and breathed meteorology and climate for 40 years now, I can assure you that this winter’s storminess in the little 2% patch of the Earth we like to call the ‘United States of America’ has nothing to do with your SUV.

Natural climate variability? Maybe.

But I would more likely chalk it up to something we used to call “WEATHER”.

Let me give you a few factoids:

1) No serious climate researcher — including the ones I disagree with — believes global warming can cause colder weather. Unless they have become delusional as a result of some sort of mental illness. One of the hallmarks of global warming theory is LESS extratropical cyclone activity — not more.

2) If some small region of the Earth is experiencing unusually persistent storminess, you can bet some other region is experiencing unusually quiet weather. You see, in the winter we get these things called ’storm tracks’….

3) Evidence for point #2 is that we now have many years of global satellite measurements of precipitation which shows that the annual amount of precipitation that falls on the Earth stays remarkably constant from year to year. The AREAS where it occurs just happen to move around a whole lot. Again, we used to call that “weather”.

4) Global average temperature anomalies (departures from seasonal norms) have been falling precipitously for about 12 months now. Gee, maybe these snowstorms are from global cooling! Someone should look into that! (I know…cold and snow from global cooling sounds crazy….I’m just sayin’….)

I could go on and on.

Now, I know I’m not going to change the minds of any of the True Believers…those who read all of Reverend Al’s sermons, and say things like, “You know, global warming can mean warmer OR colder, wetter OR drier, cloudier OR sunnier, windier OR calmer, …”. Can I get an ‘amen’??

But I hope I can still save a few of those out there who are still capable of independent reasoning and thought.

NOW can I go to bed? (Roy W. Spencer)


Climate looters

by Walter Starck

Climate alarmists join looters in exploiting flood tragedy

Disasters bring out the best and worst in humanity. For most, it’s a time to set aside petty differences and unite in a common cause. Altruism becomes the norm and genuine heroism common. For a rancid few, however, the temptation to take advantage of tragedy and chaos cannot be resisted. As always, the recent floods have been accompanied by a smattering of looting and price gouging amidst overwhelming acts of selflessness.

Nor has the looting been restricted to property and purse. Some have seized the chance to blame climate change and push the alarmist agenda. They are what might aptly be described as climate looters. To their credit, the majority of proponents of global warming have not attempted to claim the floods as due to human induced climate change. However, for a few it seems the temptation was too great to resist and, as might now be expected, the media have afforded them prominent coverage. Also not unexpectedly, the ABC has been prominent in propagating this blatant alarmist opportunism. (Quadrant)


Pakistan floods last summer could have been predicted

WASHINGTON—Five days before intense monsoonal deluges unleashed vast floods across Pakistan last July, computer models at a European weather-forecasting center were giving clear indications that the downpours were imminent. Now, a new scientific study that retrospectively examines the raw data from these computer models, has confirmed that, if the information had been processed, forecasters could have predicted extremely accurate rainfall totals 8-10 days beforehand.

The study also finds that the floods themselves could have been predicted if this data, which originated from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), had been processed and fed into a hydrological model, which takes terrain into account. (AGU)


Everyone's a winner

This comment just appeared on the Met Office thread, courtesy of Thinking Scientist. It's too good not to have a post of its own:

I looked at the documents Katabasis got from the FOI of the MET office. The predictions from the Met are even poorer quality than appears at first glance because their categories for mild average and cold overlap!

Mild -0.1 to +1.3 Probability 30%
Average -0.5 to +0.6 Probability 30%
Cold -1.5 to +0.4 Probability 40%

That also means their probabilities make no sense, and gives them a double dip, or even a triple dip! If the actual anomaly was, say, 0.0 then it would be in all three categories. Brilliant! Everyone's a winner...

Can anyone think of a rational explanation? (Bishop Hill)


Arctic Ice “Tipping Point” Rejected

A common rhetorical device to make potential future climate sounds even scarier, is to invoke the concept of “tipping points”—events that no one is sure when or even if they will happen, but suggest that when and if they do come to pass, they will lead to some sort of catastrophe that can’t be recovered from. Of course, global warming will push us closer to reaching these “tipping points.”

President Obama’s advisor on Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, is a fond user of such scare tactics. (WCR)


Idiots! An atlas of pollution: The world in carbon dioxide emissions

Continuing expansion of China has offset the reduction in carbon emissions in recession-hit western countries (Guardian)

They start out talking about "pollution" but really mean "essential trace gas" (we would also have accepted "environmental asset" or "biosphere resource").


Ocean Fertilization: summary for policymakers

Geoengineering schemes involving ocean fertilization to affect climate have a low chance of success, according to the first summary for policymakers on the issue. (IGBP)

Not a bad thing since we don't really want anyone to try wasting so valuable an asset as atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Oil Spill Commission Ignored Mechanical Causes of Spill

President Obama’s oil spill commission spent six months examining the “root causes” of the Gulf disaster, yet never inspected the failed blowout preventer — the part of the well that could have, as its name suggests, prevented the explosion.

At a House Natural Resources Committee hearing this week, the co-chairmen of the National Oil Spill Commission faced a barrage of questions from Republicans and Democrats about why their final report is long on regulatory recommendations but short on engineering explanations.

Lawmakers took issue with the commission’s apparent lack of effort to explain the failure of the blowout preventer. Republicans said it calls into question the commission’s recommendations — and, more seriously, leaves the Gulf vulnerable to a similar malfunction in the future.

“Why should we take [the commission] seriously if [it] did not even make that modicum of effort to determine the actual cause of the disaster?” asked Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “We’ve never had a blowout failure like this one. Until we find out why it failed, it could happen again. It could happen anytime — and the commission has not advanced our understanding of how to prevent that. … We have before us a report recommending bureaucratic solutions to engineering problems authored by bureaucrats rather than an engineering solution authored by engineers.” Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Section 1603 Extension: The Renewable Energy Bailout of 2011

by Lisa Linowes and Bill Short
January 31, 2011

In the waning hours of the tax bill debate last December, the Obama Administration and GOP leaders released the terms for continuing the Bush-era tax cuts. The framework negotiated between the parties initially omitted any reference to extending the renewable energy programs introduced in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which were scheduled to sunset at the end of 2010.

The renewable industry responded ferociously. A media blitz hit overnight, and wind and solar lobbyists huddled with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Repeated warnings about job loss and the immediate harm to green energy businesses worked. Lawmakers relented and sanctioned a 1-year extension. The windfall? A check from the U.S. Treasury for 30 percent of a project’s qualifying cost.

With the fuss now behind us, we decided to examine one of the more popular renewable subsidy programs to be extended, the Section 1603 cash grants. Our analysis revealed a pattern of rewarding inflated project costs and decreased energy production, while shifting a substantial portion of the development risks to American taxpayers.

Supersubsidy upon Subsidy

Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, tax-based policy incentives lost much of their effectiveness as the number of tax equity investors declined. Provisions under ARRA were designed to fill the void by reducing, and essentially eliminating, the need for tax advantaged investors. The Section 1603 cash grant program enabled developers to secure direct monetary outlays from the Federal government to cover 30 percent of a project’s qualifying cost. (Greenwire October 14). The criteria for receiving the grant were not onerous, and the Treasury Department was prohibited by law from ranking the projects before distributing the funds.

Spanish energy giant Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., which received nearly a billion in cash grants alone, argued the money was crucial to promote jobs and economic opportunity (as if the money spent elsewhere would not have done the same….).

But a preliminary evaluation of the grant outlays published last year found that 61% of the grant money distributed through to March 2010 “likely would have deployed under the PTC [production tax credit] if the grant did not exist.” In many cases, money went to projects that were already under construction, and in some cases already producing electricity. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


EU Wind Power Construction Slows, Coal Gains -EWEA

Construction of new wind farms slowed in Europe by about one tenth last year, while coal power construction gathered pace, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said on Monday.

Newly installed wind power capacity was 9.3 gigawatts in 2010, compared to 10.5 gigawatts in 2009, the industry body said in a statement.

"For only the second time since 1998, the EU installed more coal power capacity than it decommissioned in 2010," it added. (Reuters)


Vestas Says Has Cut 2,200 Jobs Out Of 3,000

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas said on Friday it had carried out 2,200 out of 3,000 planned layoffs mainly at five plants in Denmark and Sweden and would implement the rest before the end of June.

The layoffs due to overcapacity in Europe were announced in October.

"In January and February 300 of the 800 will be dismissed primarily in Europe and across business units," Vestas Wind Systems A/S said in a statement.

About 500 more job reductions will occur from March to the beginning of June, said Vestas, which has more than 22,000 employees around the world. (Reuters)


Key senator backs nuclear in clean energy proposal

WASHINGTON -- A clean energy standard that includes nuclear power has the support of the Senate energy committee chairman, as long as it's done in a way that also helps the development of renewable energy.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico made his position known Monday, following President Barack Obama's call in last week's state of the union for 80 percent of the nation's electricity to come from clean sources by 2035. Obama expanded on previous efforts that would have focused exclusively on renewable sources like wind and solar by adding nonrenewable sources like nuclear, natural gas and "clean coal."

In the past, Bingaman has been skeptical of a broader mandate that includes nuclear. He said Monday that the White House has reached out to his committee to help develop the clean energy plan through legislation. (Associated Press)

And someone cares what Bingaman thinks, why?


Nuclear Progress All At Sea

As public concern rises over the safety and ecological soundness of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, the nuclear power industry is quietly ramping up to build new, smaller types of reactors that can be deployed as sealed power units. Russia is moving ahead with plans to locate floating nuclear power plants along its northern coast and a French company has designed a small offshore nuclear power plant called Flexblue. At the same time, efforts by the US Department of Energy's Savannah River Site to host a range of proof-of-concept units from several vendors has run afoul of bureaucratic infighting. Around the world, nuclear power is progressing, while former nuclear technology leader America founders. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


House Dems question whether diesel 'fracking' is affecting drinking water

By Andrew Restuccia

Oil and gas services companies are breaking federal drinking water standards by injecting diesel fuel into the ground to get access to valuable natural gas supplies, an investigation by three senior House Democrats has found.

The investigation found that 32 million gallons of diesel fuel or diesel fuel mixture has been injected into the ground as part of a controversial drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The investigation found instances of diesel fuel use in 19 states from 2005 to 2009.

The investigation was conducted by House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), ranking member of the Energy panel's Oversight and Investigations subcommitee.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


Senate panel to put ethanol under the microscope

By Ben Geman

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s agenda this year includes new scrutiny of ethanol.

A spokesperson for committee Democrats said a hearing is in the offing but hasn’t been scheduled yet. Whenever it occurs, the session will highlight the ongoing Capitol Hill battle over the renewable fuel.

Ethanol is already under attack from interests ranging from environmentalists to food industry groups to oil refiners, as well as a left-right coalition of lawmakers seeking to strip tax subsidies. Opponents of expanded ethanol use include Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Environment and Public Works Committee's top Republican.

But ethanol retains powerful political support from farm-state lawmakers, who last year beat back an effort to end tax credits that are vital to the sector. Ethanol backers call the fuel a way to reduce reliance on oil and a driver of rural economies.

Read more... (E2 Wire)


E15 Gas: A green disaster for your car

The EPA has mandated that E15 gasoline will become the norm for most drivers in the US. The agency decided the 15% ethanol, 85% gasoline mix is safe for use in cars dated 2001 and newer: (Daily Bayonet)


HWGA: New federal dietary guidelines released

Federal officials Monday released the government's latest advice to Americans on what they should be eating, including specific new recommendations to limit salt intake. (WaPos)


When you have neither the facts nor the law on your side...

Sometimes, the fiercest battles are fought not only in a court of law, but also in the court of public opinion. In the latter arena, some combatants think the most effective weapon isn't persuasion or even propaganda, but outright intimidation.

For instance, some activists and their allies who were determined to defeat a recent California ballot initiative worked to identify members of groups supporting it, targeting them for psychological and physical abuse.

Their efforts had a chilling effect on actual and would-be supporters of the initiative, prompting many to self-censor rather than incur the wrath of uncivil opponents. When such onslaughts are tolerated, it places our right to free speech in jeopardy.

Resorting to intimidation generally indicates the advocate has a weak position, not to mention a deep ethical deficit.

Plaintiff's attorney Stephen Tillery may know a thing or two about intimidation. He hoped to reap a bountiful harvest from six Madison County class action lawsuits against makers of atrazine-based weedkillers. Representing the Holiday Shores Sanitary District, he alleged that atrazine runoff poses an unsubstantiated hazard to its drinking water supply.

Without logic or science on his side, Tillery fertilized his complaint with pure speculation and raw emotion, demanding that defendant, Syngenta Crop Protection Services, disclose its memberships in industry groups and identify its lobbyists.

When Syngenta complied, Tillery sent subpoenas to the groups for membership lists, communications with members, and names of contributors.

The groups objected to this infringement of free speech rights and Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder partially sustained their objections. Later the Fifth District Appellate Court upheld the decision.

The Courts struck a blow for free speech and Stephen Tillery lost a possible weapon in an aging, flimsy case. What next? Yelling and pounding the table? (The Record)


Overcoming the tragedy of the commons: In Novel Approach to Fisheries, Fishermen Manage the Catch

An increasingly productive way of restoring fisheries is based on the counter-intuitive concept of allowing fishermen to take charge of their own catch. But the success of this growing movement depends heavily on a strong leader who will look out not only for the fishermen, but for the resource itself. (Bruce Barcott, e360)