Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Primary Content Skip to Footer Navigation

In the Wake of the News

Weather/Climate Events

Current climate change research is focused on what has happened in the past and what is projected to happen in the future. The study of the past relies on retrieval and analysis of temperature proxies, collection and “adjustment” of data and observations of event frequency and intensity. The projections of the potential future are based on climate models, fed with estimates of climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks and “tweaked” to approximate the measured past. The accuracy of the information obtained from proxies is limited. The accuracy of “adjusted” measurements is questionable. The climate models are being progressively falsified by observations. The state of the “settled science” is relatively unsettled.

While the focus of climate change research has been on anthropogenic climate change, climate continues to change as the result of natural variation as well, as it did prior to anthropogenic influences. It is not currently possible to isolate the anthropogenic change from the natural variation. The causes of the natural variation are not well understood; and, therefore, the ability to predict future natural variation is extremely limited.

The earth has fluctuated between glacial and interglacial periods. The factors which result in the initiation and termination of these periods are not well understood, since our knowledge of the transitions is based on proxies.

Within the Holocene (current) interglacial, there have been multiple fluctuations such as the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Again, the factors which result in the initiation and termination of these fluctuations are not well understood, since our knowledge of them is again based on proxies. There remain questions regarding the geographical extent of these fluctuations, though recent studies continue to suggest that they were global in extent. There also remain questions about the potential future occurrence of such fluctuations, their timing and duration.

There are numerous other weather and climate phenomena which we have been able to observe and study, but which again are not clearly understood and are not being aggressively studied. For example, we have observed that the sun passes through sunspot cycles, each of approximately 11-year duration; and, that successive cycles are of progressively decreasing strength, until they revert to higher strength for reasons that we do not understand. The Maunder Minimum coincided with the Little Ice Age. The sunspot cycle is now approaching another minimum, though its depth is still uncertain.

Another example of climate phenomena we observe but do not understand are the major ocean currents and cycles: Thermohaline Circulation (the Global Conveyor Belt), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation; the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation; the Indian Ocean Oscillation; and, the El Nino Southern Oscillation. The Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean oscillations are climate events, in that their oscillation periods are greater than 30 years. However, the causes of individual oscillations are uncertain, as is their duration. We do not know whether there are significant variations in the strength of the oscillations over some cycle.

The ENSO oscillation is a weather event because of its much shorter, multi-year period. The strength of ENSO events varies considerably, as does the timing between events. We have experienced very strong Super El Ninos in 1997 and 2016, with numerous lesser events in the interim, not always accompanied by subsequent La Nina events of similar strength.

Most recently, we have observed an event in the North Pacific Ocean commonly referred to as the “Blob”. The first observed “Blob” occurred during the winter of 2013/2014. There is currently another “Blob’ forming for the winter of 2019/2020. It is too early to tell how the strength and duration of this new “Blob” will compare with the previous event.

In summary, there is a lot we do not currently know or understand about significant global weather and climate events, which drastically limits our ability to predict their future occurrence and the potential impacts of those occurrences.

There is much more climate science to be done before the “science is settled”.

 

Tags: Estimates as Facts, Settled Science, Natural Variability

Highlighted Article: How the UN’s climate change panel created a “scientific consensus” on global warming

From: Medium

By: Dr. Ronan Connolly

Date: September 23, 2019

 

How the UN’s climate change panel created a “scientific consensus” on global warming

"The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC for short) is a highly influential organisation that has heavily shaped public and scientific opinion on climate change. In their most recent Assessment Report — published in 2013/2014 — they concluded that most of the climate change since at least the 1950s was human-caused.

"The IPCC reports have been used to justify international efforts to try and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, such as the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the more recent Paris Treaty (2015). They also are heavily relied on by scientists studying climate change. Many scientists treat the IPCC reports as “the Climate Bible” and they are assumed to reflect “the scientific consensus” on global warming.

"For that reason, it might surprise many people to know that their 1st Assessment Report (1990) was unsure whether global warming was human-caused or natural.

"So, in this post, we look at the changes in the IPCC’s views on whether recent climate change is human-caused or natural. Why did the IPCC decide in their 1990 Assessment Report that the recent climate change could be either human-caused, natural or both? And, why did they change their mind for the most recent 5th Assessment Report (2013) and conclude that it was mostly human-caused (from greenhouse gas emissions)?" ...

How the UN’s climate change panel created a “scientific consensus” on global warming

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Stark Reality

The focus of the UN-led initiatives regarding climate change has been almost exclusively on mitigation programs, although attention is now turning toward adaptation as well. This is a timely and welcome change, though mitigation is still the primary objective.

The climate of the earth has changed continually over the period of history we have been able to study, cycling between glacial and interglacial periods. Within the interglacial periods, such as the current Holocene, there have been cycles of lesser magnitude and duration, such as the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and the Little Ice Age. It is only over the most recent ~70 years that the concept of a human contribution to these climate cycles and changes has been contemplated; and, over the most recent ~40 years that efforts to mitigate the human contribution have been devised and implemented.

However, the stark reality is that none of the mitigation efforts have demonstrated any success in slowing, halting or reversing the perceived changes in the climate resulting from the human contribution, no less the changes resulting from natural variation. The UN, through the UNFCCC and the IPCC, has been encouraging the nations of the globe to make Herculean efforts to reduce emissions of “GHGs”, but their achievements have so far fallen short of their commitments; and, far short of the achievements believed to be necessary to halt and reverse the perceived human contribution.  Pleas for increased “ambition” have been largely ignored.

Humans have a long history of successful adaptation, including to weather events and climate changes. Humans moved into caves, constructed lean-to shelters and tents, built elevated shelters for protection from animals and discovered fire to warm themselves and cook their food. Humans progressed from nomadic hunter-gatherers to farming and animal husbandry. They developed progressively more capable and useful tools for hunting, farming and construction.

Humanity has accumulated records of historical precipitation, seasonal temperatures, frost and freeze dates and growing season duration which assist in crop selection and planting dates. We have also developed approaches to extending growing seasons, such as greenhouses and shade structures. We have learned to dam rivers and streams to impound water for our own consumption, animal consumption and for crop irrigation. We have developed insect, disease and drought resistant crop plants which allow increased yields.

Satellites have made it possible to identify potential weather threats sufficiently in advance to permit orderly evacuations, which have resulted in drastically reduced loss of life from weather events. Observations have established areas most likely to be affected by various types of weather events and the periods during which they are most likely to occur, facilitating advanced preparation. Construction materials and designs have improved the resistance of buildings to weather events.

Regardless of human progress on weather and climate adaptation, humans persist in living in and investing in areas prone to adverse weather and climate change impacts. Increasing property values and continuing investment increase the economic value of at-risk property and thus the potential economic losses from adverse weather events, or ultimately from climate change.

 

Tags: Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation

Socrates Shrugged

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.”,  Socrates

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell”, Carl Sandburg

 

Socrates apparently did not envision a situation in which the debate was not allowed to occur, but the slander occurred regardless. In this sense, the response of the consensed climate science community and climate alarmists to Socratic skepticism and the existence of non-conforming data has not been particularly Socratic, but rather strongly Sandburgian sophistry. The Socratic “philosophical method of systematic doubt and questioning of another to elicit a clear expression of a truth supposed to be knowable by all rational beings” appears to have been replaced in climate science by a political method of massive indoctrination and repetition to elicit unquestioning belief in scary scenarios produced by unverified climate models.

Climate alarmists have proclaimed climate change to be a “crisis”, an “emergency” and an “existential threat”. These proclamations have been presented without any evidence of events which would justify such descriptions; and, in fact, in contravention of the mass of existing evidence. Observations and data support the assertion that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons, excessive precipitation and drought, tornadoes, etc. have remained stable or declined over the decades since organized data and observation collection has been practiced.

Financial damage from severe storms has increased in absolute terms but declined as a percentage of global GDP. The absolute increase has been the result of increased asset values and continued construction of high value infrastructure in areas prone to storm impacts, largely low-lying coastal areas. The loss of human lives, on the other hand, has declined precipitously as the result of early warnings of impending events and mandatory evacuations from areas expected to be impacted.

The actions of the consensed climate science community and the climate alarmists would suggest that the debate has not been allowed to occur because those groups have concluded that the debate could not be won. The consensed climate science community is surely aware of the weakness of the near-surface temperature record, the ongoing falsification of the climate models resulting from their failure to accurately predict observed temperatures, their inability to explain the differences between the near-surface and satellite temperature anomalies, their inability to explain the differences between the tide gauge and satellite sea level rise measurements and the incongruity of the global greening measured by the satellites.

The consensed climate science community is also surely aware of the observational data showing the decline of the frequency and magnitude of severe weather events. They are also clearly aware of the nearly 20 year warming hiatus, for which they provided more than sixty possible explanations before declaring that it did not happen.

Research which suggests lower climate sensitivity, issues with the magnitude of forcings and feedbacks, solar influence on cloud formation, a greater role for natural variation and other alternatives to anthropogenic CO2 emissions as the sole or predominant cause of recent warming continues to be excluded from consideration by the IPCC process, continues to be resisted or rejected for publication in major journals and continues to be ignored or vilified. Skeptical researchers continue to be referred to as “deniers” and “dis-informers” and “anti-science”.

 

Tags: Climate Alarmists

Highlighted Article: Pathway 2045 - Edison’s Roadmap to Energy Hell

 

From: Watts Up With That?

By: Rud Istvan

Date: November 8 - November 14, 2019

 

Edison’s Roadmap to Energy Hell

 

Pathway 2045 – Part 1

Pathway 2045 – Part 2

Pathway 2045 – Part 3

Roadmap 2045 – Part 4

Pathway 2045 – Part 5

Pathway 2045 – Part 6

 

"California WUWT reader Cal B alerted Charles the Moderator to a new document just published by Edison International, the holding company parent for SoCal Edison, the largest electric utility for southern California. Cal B asked if WUWT posters might like to take it on? In his usual charming fashion, CtM got me (after some initial reluctance) to volunteer today over a lunch overlooking South Florida’s Intercoastal Waterway. The key was his sensible solution to my ‘too big a subject’ objection—break it into parts! ...

"My reasons for agreeing were several.

"First, most of the technical difficulty issues buried in Pathway 2045 I previously covered, albeit at posts over at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc and/or in my ebook Blowing Smoke. So there was not a whole lot of new research required.

"Second, it is stunning that an electric utility could foist such technical and economic nonsense onto its California customers. One presumes it was forced by coming California requirements imposed by Newsom worse than the crazy 2030 requirements to which SoCalEd already crazily responded in 2017.

"Third, as WUWT matures and changes from just the climate science to the climate politics, it is attracting new readers that may not be familiar with long past technical analyses. This is an opportunity to “bundle’” the big ‘Green New Deal’ energy fact picture together again."

 

Pathway 2045 – Part 1

Pathway 2045 – Part 2

Pathway 2045 – Part 3

Roadmap 2045 – Part 4

Pathway 2045 – Part 5

Pathway 2045 – Part 6

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Precautionary Adaptation

“The precautionary principle is the concept that establishes it is better to avoid or mitigate an action or policy that has the plausible potential, based on scientific analysis, to result in major or irreversible negative consequences to the environment or public even if the consequences of that activity are not conclusively known, with the burden of proof that it is not harmful falling on those proposing the action.” , New World Encyclopedia

The Precautionary Principle has been a tenet of UN climate change efforts since the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Rio Summit in 1992. It was one of the principal drivers of both the Kyoto Protocols and the Paris Climate Accords.

Climate alarmists have cited the principle as the basis for their demands for aggressive global mitigation efforts to reduce and eliminate anthropogenic CO2  emissions by some future date certain. However, their resort to the principle as justification for action has become less frequent as they have adopted the position that the consequences of anthropogenic emissions are “conclusively known”, since “the science is settled”. The models have spoken and “climategeddon” must be avoided at all costs. However, the developing nations appear less concerned about “climategeddon” than about economic development and the UN Green Climate Fund.

Others in the consensed climate science community have become concerned that the mitigation efforts agreed to in the Paris Accords are not aggressive enough to avoid significant adverse climate change impacts; and, that even those efforts are not being implemented consistent with national commitments. They have begun shifting emphasis from precautionary mitigation to what I refer to as precautionary adaptation.

The recent formation of the Global Commission on Adaptation is one effort to emphasize the need for adaptation and to plan for the diversion of funds to deal with perceived adaptation infrastructure needs. The Commission accepts the notion that climate change is a crisis requiring far greater response from the global community. It has identified the need for funding of $140 - 400 billion for adaptation. This is in addition to the $100 – 400 billion sought for the UN Green Climate Fund. So far, the nations expected to provide funding for these programs appear to view them as less urgent than the nations demanding the funding.

Precautionary adaptation is not a new phenomenon. The Netherlands has perhaps the oldest and most ambitious adaptation to sea level rise and storm surge in its Sea Wall. The country has not only protected its largely low-lying land mass, but also added approximately 12% to its land area which lies below the adjacent sea level. England has installed the Thames Barrier to manage storm surge in the upper Thames River.

New Orleans, Louisiana has installed a network of levies to control Mississippi River flooding and to contain storm surge. However, due to general land subsidence, these levies are sinking, reducing their effectiveness, as was demonstrated clearly during Hurricane Katrina. Funding had been provided to raise and reinforce the levies, but was diverted to fund other projects, to disastrous effect.

Numerous nations with exposures to the global oceans, particularly areas with historical exposure to hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis are considering the construction of sea walls and other infrastructure projects to deal with what they believe will be inevitable future sea level rise and increasing storm frequency, magnitude and intensity. Others are investigating construction of dams and other alterations to riverbeds to deal with both projected increased floods and droughts.

However, against this background of climate change concern, infrastructure investment in areas prone to sea level rise and storm surge continues apace, increasing the financial exposure to storm damage.

 

Tags: Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation

Highlighted Article: COLD WATER? The Oceans and Climate Change

 

From: The Global Warming Policy Foundation

By: David Whitehouse

Date: November, 2019

 

COLD WATER? The Oceans and Climate Change

 

"Executive summary

  • The study of ocean heat content (OHC) is a subject struggling with inadequate data, but exposed in a public forum.
  • Only since the introduction of data from the Argo array have there been convincing estimates of errors. The inhomogeneity of different data sets is a major problem.
  • There is no real understanding of the difference between random and systematic errors in OHC data.
  • Changes in OHC are at the limits of our ability to measure, and made with much uncertainty and many unknowns.
  • It is likely that OHC has increased over the past few decades, although this is not a highly robust result. Movements in energy are typically 1022 J from year to year, with large uncertainties. For comparison, this is about the energy the Earth receives from the Sun every day and about twice the world’s energy consumption. It represents a small change in the ocean’s total heat content (about 165 × 1025 J).
  • It is difficult to put these changes into a proper historical context. There is much uncertainty about long-term ocean cycles, and the OHC earlier in the Holocene seems to have been larger than today and changing on the same timescales as seen today. In addition, the timescales for change in the deep ocean are very long. This could mean that some (possibly most) of what is happening there has nothing to do with recent human activity.
  • The jump in the OHC data seen at the time of the introduction of the Argo floats is a big problem. Post-Argo behavior is different to what it was before Argo. A case could be made to disregard all OHC observations made before the Argo deployment and treat Argo data on its own, and this is sometimes done; when it is, evidence for changes in OHC is much reduced.
  • There are major uncertainties in our understanding of the way heat is transported from the ocean surface to the depths.
  • Almost all of the ocean warming is coming from one region, 30°–50°S, in the Pacific Ocean." ...

 

COLD WATER? The Oceans and Climate Change

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

“If I Had A Hammer”

 

“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” — Twain/Maslow/Kaplan/Baruch/Buddha/Unknown

Climate activists are aggressively pushing the notion that climate change is a “crisis” or an “emergency”, or an “existential threat” in an effort to move governments and their citizens to demand dramatic and heroic actions to halt and reverse climate change. Once such a notion was adopted, only dramatic and heroic actions would be deemed to be acceptable to address the threat. These actions are extremely expensive and frequently require technology which is non-existent or not commercially available.

There are essentially only two approaches to addressing the projected effects of climate change – mitigation and adaptation. The primary focus of climate activists has been on mitigation, with demands that fossil fuel consumption be halted globally, or that CO2 emissions be reduced to net zero, by some near-term future year. However, there appears to be growing recognition among climate activists that their deadlines will not be met and that adaptation approaches must receive higher priority.

The recent formation of the Global Commission on Adaptation is one effort to emphasize the need for adaptation. The Commission accepts the notion that climate change is a crisis requiring far greater response from the global community. Unfortunately, the acceptance of the crisis notion focuses the Commission on dramatic and heroic adaptation strategies. Also, it assures demands that this response not diminish the demanded mitigation efforts.

“Global actions to slow climate change are promising but insufficient. We must invest in a massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable: higher temperatures, rising seas, fiercer storms, more unpredictable rainfall, and more acidic oceans.”

Adaptation is not an alternative to a redoubled effort to stop climate change, but an essential complement to it. Failing to lead and act on adaptation will result in a huge economic and human toll, causing widespread increases in poverty and severely undermining long-term global economic prospects.”

The scope adopted by the Commission goes far beyond mere adaptation to projected future climate change effects. Rather, its scope envisions resolving global inequity and vastly improving global infrastructure for water, sewer, transportation, etc. Based on this scope, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has estimated that adaptation funding requirements would be $140 – 400 billion per year by 2030. This would be in addition to the $400 billion per year estimated for mitigation under the UN Green Climate fund by 2030. It is very likely that continued exaggeration of the current and potential future magnitude of the climate crisis would lead to demands for further increased funding of both mitigation and adaptation.

The estimates of funding requirements for mitigation and adaptation are based on unverified climate models and unverified attribution models, frequently run using worst case scenarios. The estimates of funding requirements to improve existing infrastructure and add new, resilient infrastructure, as well as to correct existing societal inequities, are based on consensus opinions of what constitutes adequate and resilient infrastructure and what constitutes societal equity.

The history of the UN Green Climate Fund suggests that it is highly unlikely that the funding needs envisioned for both mitigation and adaptation will be met. Much of the perceived need for both mitigation and adaptation funding is based on societal failure to recognize that climate is not and has never been static and is not ever likely to become static, even as the result of massive mitigation funding. Even if global mitigation efforts were successful in halting anthropogenic climate change, it is highly unlikely that they would be capable of halting natural climate change.

 

Tags: Climate Alarmists, Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, Natural Variability

Highlighted Article: An Overview of the Latest Climate Science for Policymakers

 

 

By: Irish Climate Science Forum

Date: February 2019

 

An Overview of the Latest Climate Science for Policymakers

 

“This paper provides a brief overview of the latest Climate Science, compiled by the ICSF for the Information of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action and of the Draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), 2021-2030.  It is a summary compilation of the latest climate research and Observations by independent scientists worldwide.  The summary does not claim to be scientifically Rigorous in every aspect, but hopefully encapsulates the key facts in this rapidly-evoking field.  The latest research and observations indicate that while there is an anthropogenic Green-House Gas (GHG) influence, it is considerably less than depicted by the IPCC.  Much more is also now understood about solar and other natural influences, weather events and many physical observations.  Objective analysis of the facts points to prudent mitigation action but does not indicate a looming climate crisis.  Therefore the ICSF proposes that national climate policy should be based on ongoing energy innovation, efficiency and conservation measures compatible with continued economic growth, rather than imposing any economically and socially-regressive measures.”…

 

An Overview of the Latest Climate Science for Policymakers

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Pointless Panic

Current conversation regarding climate change is largely couched in terms such as “crisis”, “emergency” and “existential threat”. However, the use of these descriptors is political posturing, not scientific assessment. The General-Secretary of the World Meteorological Organization recently warned against climate alarmism and criticized the media for “provoking unjustified anxiety”. This political posturing is intended to increase public awareness and anxiety regarding climate change and build acceptance for the dramatic actions proposed by climate alarmists.

Against this raucous background, it can be difficult to dispassionately assess the current climate and its impacts on global civilization. There is always climate and climate change, as there is always weather and weather change. Global weather and thus global climate have always included temperature change, precipitation change, storm frequency and intensity change and numerous other changes. There is no official definition of normal global climate or ideal global climate. During the instrumental global climate record there have been periods of warming and of cooling, against a background of warming during recovery from the Little Ice Age. The warming early in the 20th century was followed by cooling from the 1940s through the 1970s, which was then followed by warming again through the end of the century and relative stasis early in the 21st century.

The political posturing focuses on the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations resulting from the use of fossil fuels, primarily since the middle of the 20th century. The increased CO2 is charged with being largely responsible for an increase of approximately 1°C over the past approximately 150 years. The increased CO2 is also thought to be largely responsible for significant global greening over the same period and, to be partially responsible for progressively increasing crop yields globally.

Observations indicate that global precipitation and drought extremes, global heat and cold extremes, global storm frequency and intensity have declined over the period for which we have data. These are all good things, but they are not clearly attributable to any documented change in global climate. There have also been periods of extreme weather of various types, but these periods are of insufficient duration to be classed as climate or to be attributed to some change in climate.

There are no documented instances of people dying as the result of climate change. There are no documented instances of mass migration as the result of climate change. There are no documented climate refugees. There is no documentation of island nations lost to sea level rise driven by climate change. There are no documented instances of areas becoming uninhabitable due to climate change, nor are there any documented instances of areas becoming habitable due to climate change.

In the absence of documented instances of the situations listed above, it is ridiculous to assert that there is a climate crisis and it is pointless to create panic and demand dramatic action because of the alleged crisis. It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change activism is a means to an end unrelated to climate change, driven by a globalist / socialist / communist agenda.

 

Tags: Climate Alarmists, Climate Change Myths, Climate Refugees, CO2 Emissions, Climate History, Severe Weather

Highlighted Article: Does the Climate System Have a Preferred Average State? Chaos and the Forcing-Feedback Paradigm

 

 

From: Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

 

Does the Climate System Have a Preferred Average State? Chaos and the Forcing-Feedback Paradigm

 

"The UN IPCC scientists who write the reports which guide international energy policy on fossil fuel use operate under the assumption that the climate system has a preferred, natural and constant average state which is only deviated from through the meddling of humans. They construct their climate models so that the models do not produce any warming or cooling unless they are forced to through increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols, or volcanic eruptions.

This imposed behavior of their “control runs” is admittedly necessary because various physical processes in the models are not known well enough from observations and first principles, and so the models must be tinkered with until they produce what might be considered to be the “null hypothesis” behavior, which in their worldview means no long-term warming or cooling.

What I’d like to discuss here is NOT whether there are other ‘external’ forcing agents of climate change, such as the sun. That is a valuable discussion, but not what I’m going to address. I’d like to address the question of whether there really is an average state that the climate system is constantly re-adjusting itself toward, even if it is constantly nudged in different directions by the sun." ...

 

Does the Climate System Have a Preferred Average State? Chaos and the Forcing-Feedback Paradigm

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Energy War Similarities

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

                Martin Niemöller

 

First they came for nuclear and I did not speak out, because it was a competitor.

Then they came for oil and I did not speak out, because it was a competitor.

Then they came for coal and I did not speak out, because it was a competitor.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

Environmental activists have waged war on the US energy industry in the press and in the courts for decades but lacked the power to inflict major damage. They have since allied themselves with the political left, which has provided them with access to power and funds they lacked previously. This alliance has also enhanced their access to the media, which have provided ample exposure and support for their efforts.

The US nuclear industry has been faced with organized resistance to new power plant siting, resistance to existing power plant life extension programs and demands for premature plant closures. This resistance has been loosely tied to environmental concerns, though not with climate change, because nuclear generation is the only reliable, dispatchable generation technology which emits no CO2 or other “Green House Gasses (GHGs)”.

The alliance with the political left then led to the 2009 US EPA Endangerment Finding regarding motor fuels (oil distillates) and to massive government subsidies for electric vehicles. The Endangerment Finding was based on projected environmental damage estimates produced by unverified climate models, run with uncertain climate sensitivity, forcing and feedback estimates and extreme Representative Concentration Pathways. These models and their uncertain inputs are suitable for generation of scary scenarios, but not as the basis for public policy. This Endangerment Finding is now under review for possible revision or withdrawal.

Success with the Endangerment Finding then led to the EPA Clean Power Plan, intended to require premature closure of existing coal generators and require the application of carbon capture and sequestration technologies, which have not been commercially demonstrated and appear uneconomical, to any new coal generating stations. This Clean Power Plan is being replaced by a far more flexible Affordable Clean Energy Rule.

Environmental activists and state government entities are also resisting coal industry efforts to increase the capacity of US coal export facilities. These facilities could partially offset the loss of domestic markets with export sales to developing nations which are currently unconstrained in expanding their use of coal for power generation. The stated intent is to eventually shut down the US coal industry.

The environmental attacks on nuclear and coal generation, in combination with advanced natural gas combined cycle generating technology and dramatically increased availability and reduced prices of natural gas as the result of hydraulic fracturing has caused the electric utility industry to move towards natural gas as their generating fuel of choice. This shift to natural gas generation has been the primary factor in the impressive US reductions in CO2 emissions, since natural gas combustion results in half the CO2 emissions of coal combustion and the combined cycle generators are also approximately twice as efficient as coal generators. Massive subsidies for wind and solar have been far less effective in reducing CO2 emissions.

Environmental activists have also worked with the political left and the media to prevent or delay construction of new and expanded oil and gas pipeline capacity to connect new and expanded production fields to new and growing markets. The delay or denial of oil pipelines has forced incremental oil supplies to be moved to market by rail, resulting in both higher transportation costs and increased environmental risk. The delay or denial of new natural gas pipelines has impeded the electric generating industry in its efforts to site new natural gas combined cycle generating facilities because of constrained delivery capacity.

More recently, these delivery constraints are also forcing natural gas utilities to halt new customer service connections to protect supplies for existing customers. The State of New York has recently denied necessary permits for two natural gas pipelines, one intended to increase delivery capacity to upstate New York and New England and the other intended to increase delivery capacity to Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. Both actions have caused the serving natural gas utilities to halt new customer connections. Ironically, the Governor of New York has asked the New York State Public Service Commission to investigate the utility decisions to halt new connections. The New York State ban on hydraulic fracturing has also dramatically constrained in-state natural gas production.

Most historic US natural gas utilities have been acquired by or merged into electric utilities, forming or expanding existing combination utilities, effectively converting inter-company competition to intra-company competition, which ultimately devolves to market allocation for convenience. This is particularly true as constrained pipeline capacity has tightened competition for available pipeline capacity between the utility generating unit and the gas distribution unit. Since generation typically represents 70-80% of combination utility assets, generation typically has priority on available supply.

The electric utility industry has been aggressively marketing and lobbying for an all-electric economy for decades. They have been aided and abetted in these efforts by US Department of Energy Appliance Efficiency Standards and site-based building energy efficiency standards, both of which largely ignore the inefficiencies of the electric power generation, transmission and distribution systems and their higher environmental emissions.

The electric industry has found a new ally in municipal bans on new natural gas connections, imposed in the alleged interest of avoiding increased climate change.  Berkeley, California has imposed such a ban, effective beginning in January 2020. The City of Seattle, Washington is also considering such a ban. Other cities will likely follow suit, particularly in California, Oregon and Washington, at least initially.

These bans, as well as suspensions of new connections as the result of government-imposed supply constraints deprive new residents and commercial businesses of fuel choice for heating, water heating, cooking, laundry drying and other competitive energy end uses. They also prohibit the installation of automatic standby generators, which will become progressively more necessary as reliable, dispatchable generating systems are increasingly replaced by intermittent and non-dispatchable generators, such as wind and solar.

The ultimate intent of the environmental activists and the political left are to move the US toward an all-electric energy supply system, powered by “clean energy” such as wind and solar, supported by battery or other energy storage systems. This approach is questionable from a national security standpoint, since many of the materials required for the construction of the wind and solar generators are controlled by China.

The estimated $30 trillion investment required to achieve this transition and the resulting higher energy costs for the US economy appear to be of little real concern to its advocates. The unsuitability of the resulting energy supply system for process industries, iron and steel production and cement production also appear to be of little concern. One advocate recently suggested that perhaps certain types of production might not be able to be conducted here, even though relocating them to nations with weaker environmental rules would make no difference regarding their contributions to anthropogenic climate change.

The electric utility industry has apparently decided to pursue appeasement of the environmental activists and the political left and, as Winston Churchill suggested, “feed the alligator in the hope that it will eat you last”. The recent fascination of the political left in the US with nationalization of industries suggests that the alligator’s meal might not long be delayed.

 

Tags: EPA Endangerment Finding, Nuclear Power, Electric Power Generation

Highlighted Article: Putting Climate Change Claims to the Test

 

From: The Global Warming Policy Foundation

By: Dr John Christy

Date: June 18, 2019

 

Putting Climate Change Claims to the Test

 

"When I grew up in the world of science, science was understood as a method of finding information. You would make a claim or a hypothesis, and then test that claim against independent data. If it failed, you rejected your claim and you went back and started over again. What I’ve found today is that if someone makes a claim about the climate, and someone like me falsifies that claim, rather than rejecting it, that person tends to just yell louder that their claim is right. They don’t look at what the contrary information might say."

"OK, so what are we talking about? We’re talking about how the climate responds to the emission of additional greenhouse gases caused by our combustion of fossil fuels. In terms of scale, and this is important, we want to know what the impact is on the climate, of an extra half a unit of forcing amongst total forcings that sum to over 100 units. So we’re trying to figure out what that signal is of an extra 0.5 of a unit." ...

 

Putting Climate Change Claims to the Test

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Hurricane Dorian

The weather system which has developed into Hurricane Dorian was first identified as a tropical depression on August 24th, 2019 approximately three quarters of the way from Guinea-Bissau on the northwest coast of Africa to Venezuela the northeast coast of South America. It was upgraded to a tropical storm later that same day. The system was then upgraded to a hurricane (Cat 1) on August 28th and finally to a Cat 5 hurricane on September 1st.

The weather system has changed direction from West Northwest to Northwest and back to West Northwest. It is currently projected to change direction again to North Northwest, then to North and finally to Northeast over a period of 5 days. These projected changes of path would avoid landfall on the US East coast. The storm is also expected to weaken to Cat 1 over the same period.

Meteorologists do not know why this weather system became a tropical depression at this location at this time. They do not know why it developed into a tropical storm and then into a major hurricane. They do not understand why it is moving very slowly, or why it has made the multiple changes in direction to date, or why it would make the further changes in direction projected for the next several days.

The historical records of the storm tracks of similar hurricanes have not been particularly enlightening for this weather system, as shown below. The computer models have also been of limited value until very recently.

The broadly variant paths of past hurricanes of similar intensity, the significant range of modeled paths for the current system and the inability to predict system intensity suggest the highly questionable nature of computer-based attribution modeling studies used to calculate the affects of climate change on the path, speed and intensity of this and future similar storms.

History tells us that hurricanes will occur in the Atlantic basin, typically beginning in June and extending through November, with the greatest number of hurricanes occurring in September and October. However, the actual events are not predictable as to initiation, location, speed, intensity and likelihood of landfall. This is clearly illustrated by the recent 12-year long absence of land falling strong hurricanes in the US, followed by a very active hurricane season in 2018, neither of which was predicted.

There has been limited recent discussion of possible approaches to weakening hurricanes or causing them to disintegrate to avoid the effects of major landfalling hurricanes. This 60-year old idea has not matured into a successful approach with demonstrated positive results and probably will not due so.

Major hurricanes contain a huge amount of energy and mass, which can do enormous damage in the event of landfall. Hurricanes pre-existed anthropogenic climate change. We have no documented observations that demonstrate that hurricane occurrence or intensity has been affected by climate change, or would be affected by the cessation of climate change. While many have urged application of the Precautionary Principle to our approach climate change, the simple precaution of not building susceptible infrastructure in hurricane-prone areas has been largely ignored.

 

Hurricane Dorian

 

Tags: Precautionary Principle, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: Understanding the Climate Movement

From: Watts Up With That?

By: Dr Paul Rossiter

Date: September 26 - October 6, 2019

 

Understanding the Climate Movement:

  1. The Impotence of Science

  2. Noble Cause Corruption

  3. Follow the Money

 

"Like many other ethical and well-meaning scientists, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the climate “science” debate. By resorting to rigorous measurement and analysis of real data, we have a reasonable (but perhaps naïve) expectation that the facts will determine the outcome of the AGW argument. And yet, despite the huge amount of information available, much of it through sites such as WUWT, it appears that the popular debate is clearly being won by the alarmists. Seemingly reputable organisations like IPCC, WHO, WWF, NASA, NOAA, CSIRO, EPA keep issuing reports heralding pending climate doom that appear to be at odds with any unbiased examination of the facts. And when they do, they are immediately picked up by an opportunistic mainstream press and amplified through social media, leading to widespread fear amongst the population, clearly evident in the recent “strikes for the climate”. Ill-informed adolescents become the new Messiahs, preaching the climate doom gospel and given standing ovations in the fact-free climate gab-fests. School children are now the upset victims of corporate (i.e. fossil fuel) greed and government stupidity." ...

 

  1. The Impotence of Science

  2. Noble Cause Corruption

  3. Follow the Money

 

Tags: Highlighted Article
Search Older Blog Posts