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Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Highlighted Article: Judith Curry Statement to the US House Committee On Natural Resources

  • 3/28/19 at 05:00 AM

By: Judith Curry



Hearing on Climate Change: The Impacts and the Need to Act

"... I am increasingly concerned that both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified.1 For the past decade, I have been promoting dialogue across the full spectrum of understanding and opinion on the climate debate through my blog Climate Etc. ( I have learned about the complex reasons that intelligent, educated and well-informed people disagree on the subject of climate change, as well as tactics used by both sides to try to gain a political advantage in the debate.

With this perspective, my testimony focuses on the following issues of central relevance to climate change, its impacts and need to act:

  • The climate knowledge gap
  • The climate change response challenge
  • The urgency (?) of CO2 emissions reductions
  • Resilience, anti-fragility and thrivability
  • Moving forward with pragmatic climate change policies ..."




Tags: Highlighted Article

Warming Significance

Recent research has provided greatly reduced estimates of climate sensitivity to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This research suggests that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, to 540 ppm, would result in an increase of ~1.7°C (~3°F) above pre-industrial global annual average near-surface temperatures. Approximately 1°C (~1.6°F) of this projected increase is reported to have already occurred.


Climate Sensitivity Estimates Declining


Based on recent analyses, that 3°F temperature increase would manifest as an increase of ~1°F in average annual maximum temperatures and an increase of ~2°F in average annual minimum temperatures in many of the most populous nations on the globe; and, as the average for the globe. These changes would be expected to occur over approximately the remainder of the century, assuming rates of global annual CO2 emissions remain relatively constant.

An increase of 1°F in annual maximum temperature would be of greatest concern if it manifested as an increase in the number of very hot days or an increase in the temperatures on the hottest days. However, this is not the case, at least in the US, where the annual number of days reaching or exceeding 95°F has been declining on average over the period from 1900 to 2018; and, declining precipitously since the peak in the 1930s.Rather, the increase has manifested as an increase in the average daily maximum temperature while not significantly affecting the frequency or magnitude of extreme temperatures.


Percent of Days above 95


Similarly, the number of nights reaching temperatures at or below 0°F has decreased over the period 1900 to 2018, indicating that winter temperatures have become less extreme as well.

An increase of 2°F in annual average minimum temperatures would be of greatest concern if the increase were associated primarily with the occurrence of extremely hot days. However, as noted above, the frequency of extremely hot days is decreasing, so it is likely that the increase in average minimum temperature during the summer months is more uniformly distributed.


Percent of Nights Below 0


The combination of the more rapid rise of average annual minimum temperatures, relative to average annual maximum temperatures, and the decline in both hot and cold extreme temperatures has resulted in a decrease in the average daily temperature range of approximately 2°F ,or approximately 10%, in the US over the period from 1900 to 2018. However, this still means that daily average temperatures change by +/- 23°F roughly every 12 hours and +/- 40-50°F seasonally.


Average Daily Temperature Range


Mexico is the only one of the most populace nations in which the annual average maximum temperature is increasing more rapidly than the annual average minimum temperature, though both are increasing more slowly than the global average temperature change.

Russia and Nigeria are the only ones of the most populous nations in which the average annual maximum temperature is increasing more rapidly than the global average temperature change.

China is the most anomalous of the most populous countries, in that the annual average maximum temperature is increasing at only ~7% of the rate of increase of the global annual average temperature; and, only ~3% of the rate of increase of the annual average minimum temperature.


Tags: Climate Sensitivity

Highlighted Videos: Green New Deal

  • 3/21/19 at 05:00 AM

By: Clear Energy Alliance







Tags: Highlighted Article

Highlighted Article: Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet

  • 3/19/19 at 10:27 AM

From: Quillette

By: Michael Shellenberger

February 27, 2019


Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet


“I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward: solar panels on every roof, electric cars in every driveway, etc. The main obstacles, I believed, were political. And so I helped organize a coalition of America’s largest labor unions and environmental groups. Our proposal was for a $300 billion dollar investment in renewables. We would not only prevent climate change but also create millions of new jobs in a fast-growing high-tech sector.

Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.”


Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet


Tags: Highlighted Article

Highlighted Article: Global Mean Surface Temperature: Early 20th Century Warming Period – Models versus Models & Models versus Data

  • 3/14/19 at 05:00 AM



Global Mean Surface Temperature: Early 20th Century Warming Period – Models versus Models & Models versus Data


This is a long post: 3500+ words and 22 illustrations. Regardless, heretics of the church of human-induced global warming who frequent this blog should enjoy it. Additionally, I’ve uncovered something about the climate models stored in the CMIP5 archive that I hadn’t heard mentioned or seen presented before. It amazed even me, and I know how poorly these climate models perform. It’s yet another level of inconsistency between models, and it’s something very basic. It should help put to rest the laughable argument that climate models are based on well-documented physical processes.


Global Mean Surface Temperature: Early 20th Century Warming Period – Models versus Models & Models versus Data


Tags: Highlighted Article

Green New Deal Summary

This series of commentaries has evaluated various aspects of the “Green New Deal” (GND) focused on reducing US emissions of “greenhouse gases” to avoid a projected climate catastrophe.

These commentaries have identified a deadweight loss of approximately $62.5 trillion, mostly resulting from the abandonment of energy resources and energy industry infrastructure. They have also identified costs of approximately $3.5 trillion for a national high-speed rail network; approximately $18 trillion for building retrofit and reconstruction; and, between approximately $3–9 trillion for electric vehicle infrastructure. This represents a total investment requirement of approximately $25-30 trillion.

These commentaries have not addressed the non-emissions related aspects of the GND. Dr. David Wojick has estimated that the total cost of the GND would be approximately $100 trillion, or approximately 50% of the US gross domestic product over the 10-year implementation period.

The GND would require major changes in US society and in the US economy. It exists today only as non-binding House and Senate resolutions. The GND resolutions have 64 House and 9 Senate Democrat co-sponsors, including 6 announced Democrat 2020 presidential candidates. This would appear to assure that the GND will be a subject of very active discussion during the 2020 presidential campaign and numerous 2020 House and Senate campaigns.

The climate change aspects of the GND might well be a “stalking horse” for the socialistic and redistributionist aspects of the GND; and, on a global scale, for the UN Agenda 21.

The concern regarding potential catastrophic anthropogenic climate change remains based strictly on projections produced by unverified climate models fed with uncertain climate sensitivity, forcing and feedback estimates. These remain poor justification for extremely extensive and expensive societal change.


Tags: Green New Deal

Green New Deal and the Road

Transportation applications account for approximately 29% of US energy consumption annually. Approximately 60% of this total is motor gasoline for use by automobiles, light trucks and other small to medium engine applications. Approximately 26% of this total is diesel fuel for use in some automobiles and light trucks, but predominantly in heavy duty trucks, road tractors and farm implements. The GND would require that these transportation applications switch from fossil fuels to either electricity or biofuels to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions.

Ethanol/gasoline blends and biodiesel are currently in use in the US as motor fuels. Internal combustion engines can be designed to run on 100% ethanol, but are not now in common use. Ethanol currently represents approximately 10% of US motor gasoline blend consumption, so ethanol production would have to be increased by an order of magnitude to replace gasoline as a motor fuel. However, straight ethanol is not compatible with current motor vehicle engines and fuel systems; and, adaptation of existing vehicles to run on ethanol would be complex and expensive.

Approximately 95% of current US ethanol is produced using field corn while only 5% is cellulose sourced. Production of cellulosic ethanol is currently more expensive, even though it relies primarily on waste products and grasses as its source. However, an order of magnitude increase in production would require greater reliance on crops grown specifically for use in ethanol production, requiring increased agricultural acreage.

Biodiesel currently represents approximately 5% of US diesel fuel consumption. It can be used interchangeably in current diesel engines. Current biodiesel production relies significantly on waste feedstocks, but replacing petroleum distillate with biodiesel would greatly increase dependence on crops grown specifically to support biodiesel production, requiring increased agricultural acreage.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are currently available for personal use, but offer relatively limited range compared to vehicles operating on gasoline/ethanol blends or biodiesel. Also, battery electric vehicles typically require several hours to recharge their batteries compared to the few minutes required to refuel gasoline and diesel vehicles. Vehicle range and recharging time are functions of the installed battery capacity in the vehicles, the rate at which the batteries can accept charge and the capability of the charging station. The current state of the technology limits BEVs to roughly half the range of current gasoline and diesel vehicles.

The first BEV road tractors are expected to be introduced to the US market in 2019. The road tractor is expected to have an operating range of approximately 500 miles and a recharging time of approximately 30 minutes. BEV transit buses are currently available, with an estimated range of approximately 350 miles, which would satisfy the requirements of many urban routes. This technology could be applied to tour buses as well, though the requirement for under-floor baggage storage would limit volume available for batteries, probably limiting operating range significantly.

BEVs are currently more expensive than gasoline and diesel vehicles, primarily because of the cost of the batteries. BEVs with longer ranges require larger battery packs and consequently are more expensive than those with limited range.

There are currently approximately 270 million motor vehicles operating in the US. The GND would obsolete all of the current vehicles with the exception of the diesel vehicles remaining at the end of the 10 year implementation period, assuming that sufficient biodiesel fuel were available to fuel the diesel vehicles. The residual value of these vehicles, on the order of $1 trillion, would be a deadweight loss.

There are currently 120 million vehicle fossil fuel dispensers in the US. Simply replacing these dispensers with high speed electric vehicle charging Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) would require an investment of approximately $3 trillion. However, the greater time required to recharge electric vehicles might well require a significantly greater number of EVSEs, perhaps doubling or even tripling the investment required.


Tags: Green New Deal

Green New Deal and Buildings

The principal energy efficiency thrust of the “Green New Deal” is "upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification".

Building Green analyzedThe Challenge of Existing Homes: Retrofitting for Dramatic Energy Savings” several years ago. The residential sector includes approximately 125 million dwelling units, including approximately 85 million single family detached structures; and accounts for approximately 20% of US energy consumption.

Intelligent choices regarding building envelope characteristics, window and door choices, appliance and equipment choices can make large differences in building energy consumption, typically at relatively modest cost. Retrofitting existing buildings of any type is far more challenging and expensive.

Building retrofits are an exercise in “Broken Window Economics”, since functional components such as windows and doors, appliances and equipment are being removed and replaced with more efficient equipment before the ends of their useful lives. Improving the insulation in existing structures is also frequently very difficult and expensive. Additional attic insulation and installation of insulation over crawl spaces is relatively straightforward, as is adding insulation to uninsulated walls and replacing caulking and weather stripping. However, adding insulation to walls which are already insulated, though not optimally, can be both very expensive and relatively ineffective. Adding insulation to existing building slabs is typically prohibitive.

The intent of the GND is to accomplish what Building Green refers to as a major energy retrofit, which they estimated would incur an average cost of approximately $50,000 per dwelling unit. Accomplishing a major energy retrofit of 125 million dwelling units in the 10-year time horizon suggested by the GND would cost approximately $6 trillion, assuming the availability of sufficient building materials and sufficient skilled labor to complete the retrofits. The number of dwellings to be retrofitted each year would be an order of magnitude greater than the number of such retrofits being performed each year today.

There are approximately 5.6 million commercial buildings in the US, containing approximately 87 billion square feet of floor space. These buildings consume approximately 18% of all US energy. The average commercial building is approximately 7 times the area of the average residential dwelling.  Applying this ratio to the major energy retrofit cost for the average dwelling suggests that accomplishing a major energy retrofit for these buildings would cost approximately $2 trillion, again assuming the availability of sufficient materials and skilled labor to accomplish the retrofits.

Retrofits of industrial facilities could only be analyzed on an industry by industry basis, since the structures involved vary so greatly, as does the process equipment in use at these facilities. Such an analysis is beyond the scope of this commentary. However, US industry consumes approximately 33% of total US energy consumption, so major energy retrofits would be essential to achieving the energy consumption reduction goals of the GND. The costs could easily approach $10 trillion, assuming that the required alternative energy use technologies and equipment were even available for application.


Tags: Green New Deal

Green New Deal - High Speed Rail #2

A previous commentary discussed: the requirements for a high speed rail system; an approach to designing such a system; and, the US High Speed Rail Plan (HSRP) system design developed by the US High Speed Rail Association. The GND approach to high speed rail focuses on eliminating the need for air travel in the US, while the US High Speed Rail Plan (HSRP) assumes that trips over approximately 1,000 – 1,500 miles would be made by air. This assumption has significant impacts on the HSRP design shown in the map below.


High Speed Rail Map


The HSRP design includes no distance optimized cross country routes, though it does include distance optimized North / South routes along the East and West coasts. The HSRP, including the lower speed feeder routes, has an estimated total cost of $3.5 trillion.

The addition of the following distance optimized cross country routes could displace the HSRP reliance on air travel for longer trips.

  • New York City – Chicago – Seattle                       790 +  2,110
  • New York City – Chicago – San Francisco                      2,135
  • New York City – Chicago – Los Angeles                         2,018

These routes are shown in the map below as black dotted lines. These distance optimized routes would add a total of approximately 7,000 miles to the HSRP developed by the US High Speed Rail Association, at an estimated additional cost of approximately $1 trillion, for a total system cost of approximately $4.5 trillion.


High Speed Rail Map


Chicago O’Hare International Airport currently serves approximately 80 million passengers per year, or approximately 220,000 passengers per day, roughly divided between arrivals and departures. If we assume that approximately half of these passengers have Chicago as their point of origin or destination, then 50,000 passengers per day would arrive and depart Chicago daily on trains taking them to or from their point of origin or destination.

Typical high-speed trains can be assumed to have a passenger loading of 1,000. Therefore, approximately 50 trains would arrive and depart the Chicago rail terminal, in addition to the through, non-stop trains to and from New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Numerous other trains would arrive and depart Chicago to and from other points of origin and destinations.

Annual passenger trips between New York City and Los Angeles total approximately 2.8 million. In addition, annual passenger trips between New York City and Chicago total approximately 2.3 million; and, between Chicago and Los Angeles total approximately 1.6 million. Therefore, the rail lines between New York City and Chicago would move approximately 5.1 million passengers per year, or approximately 14,000 passengers per day or 14 trains per day for that 3.5-hour trip. The rail lines between Chicago and Los Angeles would move 4.4 million passengers per year, or approximately 12,000 passengers per day or 12 trains per day for that 10-hour trip.

Therefore, there would be one train moving on the rail lines between New York City and Chicago non-stop in each direction at any given time.; and, there would be 2 trains moving on the rail lines between Chicago and Los Angeles non-stop in each direction at any given time. There would be additional trains operating on these rail lines serving intermediate stops on each route.


Tags: Green New Deal

Green New Deal - High Speed Rail

     The GND Line is a mighty good road

     The GND Line is the road to ride

     If you want to ride you gotta ride it like you find it

     Get your ticket at the station on the GND Line

     (Apologies to Lonnie Donegan / Rock Island Line)


The “Green New Deal” currently being promoted by socialist Senators and Congresspersons and several Democrat 2020 presidential candidates exists today only as a conceptual framework. A portion of this conceptual framework deals with proposed efforts intended to reduce or eliminate “greenhouse gas” emissions. One of the most challenging of these proposed efforts involves rendering air travel unnecessary, primarily through development of a high-speed rail network throughout the US.

The defining characteristics of a high-speed rail system for the US might be as follows:

  • new dedicated dual track right-of-way
  • dedicated station infrastructure
  • system design for 220 mph operation
  • no grade level crossings
  • continuous intrusion barrier
  • full electronic real-time monitoring
  • electric powered drive systems

These characteristics are common to high-speed rail systems operating in other countries.

The first step in designing such a rail system would be determining the cities to be connected by the system. Since displacing air travel is the objective, the rail system would have to connect the locations of the nation’s most heavily used airports. The connected cities would thus include: New York; Charlotte; Atlanta; Orlando; Miami; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; San Francisco; Seattle; Denver; and, Chicago. Washington, DC would also be included, since this would be a federally funded project. Each of these airports serves more than 40 million passengers per year, or more than 100,000 passengers per day. The route system would then be expanded to include additional cities with significant populations.

The US High Speed Rail Association has developed a US High Speed Rail Plan and maps showing the proposed four stage buildout of a US high speed rail system.


High Speed Rail Map


The US High Speed Rail Plan includes most US cities of 500,000+ population in the 220-mph high speed service Cities of lower population are connected by 110-mph feeder lines which would bring passengers to the higher speed system.

The US High Speed Rail Plan (HSRP) envisions a 17,000-mile system which would be completed by 2030, essentially in line with the GND timetable. However, the HSRP assumes that most trips in excess of approximately 1000 miles would be by air, unlike the GND. A cross-country trip of approximately 3000 miles, which would take approximately 6 hours by air, would require approximately 13.6 hours by non-stop high-speed rail.

Developing the investments required to complete such a plan is an extremely time consuming and costly process. However, the recently cancelled California high speed rail system project provides some idea of the estimated cost of a joint Federal/State high speed rail project. The most recent estimate of the complete project cost for the California system is $77 billion for a 520-mile route, or approximately $150 million per mile. Thus, a first estimate of the cost of the 17,000 mile HSRP would be on the order of $2.5 trillion. A first estimate of the cost or approximately 10,000 miles of 110 mph rail lines would be on the order of $1 trillion.

The issue of international air travel is unaddressed in the GND conceptual framework.


Tags: Green New Deal

Green New Deal - Flights of Fancy

One of the most perplexing aspects of the “Green New Deal” (GND) and one of its most difficult technical and economic challenges in the elimination of the need for air travel, since air travel without the use of fossil fuels appears to be beyond the ten-year time horizon of the climate plan. Just the replacement of all passenger vehicles, small and medium-size trucks and tractor-trailer rigs is a major challenge with currently available technology.

The plan for domestic travel would require the construction of a high-speed rail network using dedicated track to accommodate very high-speed trains operating at speeds up to 220 mph for long haul routes and high-speed trains operating at speeds up to 110 mph for shorter routes. This network would be constructed without grade level crossings, both to avoid the possibility of road traffic damage to the high-speed rails and to avoid the potential for collisions between the trains and road vehicles. The network would require long, sweeping, banked curves to allow the trains to maintain speed along the entire route.

The very high-speed trains would permit cross country non-stop trips of approximately 15 hours, compared to approximately 5 hours for non-stop domestic air travel. Very high-speed trains operating with minimal stops might add 15 – 30 minutes per stop to that cross-country schedule, similar to the experience with domestic air travel. The need to change trains in-route would likely add 1 – 2 hours per stop to the schedule, as is common with domestic air travel. Passenger mile data from the airline industry would likely be used to establish the number of transportation corridors, the number and location of transportation hubs and the number and location of cities served by both the very high speed and the high-speed rail networks.

True high-speed rail service is unknown in the US. The closest approach is the Acela service offered by Amtrak in the Boston – New York – DC corridor, which is very limited in speed relative to the Shinkansen in Japan and other high-speed rail systems. The Acela service has proven to be unpopular and unprofitable, likely because there have been faster alternatives available at relatively similar prices. The unavailability of choice would dramatically change the equation.

The issue of international travel is a totally different matter, since high-speed rail travel between the US and either Europe or Asia is currently unavailable; and, is unlikely to be an option in the ten-year time horizon of the GND. Air travel from the US would not be possible because fossil-based aviation fuels would no longer be available. Air travel to the US would require planes capable of making the round trip without refueling, since fuel would not be available in the US, or the establishment of refueling stops in countries taking a less aggressive approach to emissions reductions.

China, which is taking no approach to emissions reductions during the time horizon of the GND, could perhaps construct giant floating air terminals off the coasts of the US in international waters, in close proximity to the major coastal high-speed rail hubs. Aviation fuel could be provided to these air terminals by supertankers operating from ports in the major oil producing nations. Transportation from the air terminals to shore near the rail hubs could be provided by sail-powered ferries. This arrangement would add significantly to international air travel times to and from the US, which would make such travel far less desirable. The issue of continued fossil-fueled air travel in US air space by non-US airlines is not addressed in the GND at this time.

If this all sounds rather silly, that is because it is rather silly, like the remainder of the “Green New Deal”.


Tags: Green New Deal

Green New Deal - Deadweight Loss

The Green New Deal would be the most extensive exercise in “Broken Window Economics” in the history of the globe. The “Green New Deal” would cause massive deadweight losses in virtually every sector of the US economy, while producing no measurable impact on global climate.

“Deadweight loss can be stated as the loss of total welfare or the social surplus due to reasons like taxes or subsidies, price ceilings or floors, externalities and monopoly pricing. It is the excess burden created due to loss of benefit to the participants in trade which are individuals as consumers, producers or the government.” (The Economic Times)

The following is a list of key industries affected by the climate change aspects of the “Green New Deal”. However, all US economic activity would be affected to some extent, so the total affects are likely significantly understated.



Obviously, the major financial impact is the result of the plan to leave the US substantial energy resources “in the ground”, as has been advocated by numerous environmental groups previously.


The impact of the plan to render air travel obsolete, combined with the intent to halt the production of the fuels required by the airline and air freight industries would expand well beyond the US. Air service to and from the US to other locations would also be impacted, since refueling would not be available in US. International air operations would require that the aircraft carry sufficient fuel for a round trip or add a refueling stop in some country which still permitted production and sale of aviation fuels.

The impact of terminating fossil-fueled electric generation and not only replacing the existing generating capacity but also adding sufficient capacity to power the replacements for direct-fired residential, commercial and industrial energy end uses would be profound. The electric energy required to meet all current electric end use consumption plus the direct end uses currently served by oil and natural gas and their derivatives would be approximately three times the quantity of energy currently provided by existing electric generators. Also, the intermittent nature of current renewable energy systems would require that the installed renewable generating capacity per unit of electric energy consumption be approximately three times the generating capacity of the fossil-fueled generating capacity it replaced; and, that the renewable generating capacity be supported by long duration, transmission-level storage capacity.

Current US electricity production is approximately 4 trillion kWh per year, of which approximately 2.5 trillion kWh is produced using fossil fuels and 0.8 trillion kWh using nuclear generators. Increasing US electricity production to approximately 12 trillion kwh per year would require increasing the current wind and solar electricity production from its current approximately 0.3 trillion kWh per year, or by a factor of approximately 40.

Current US electric generating capacity is approximately 1,000 GW, of which approximately 750 GW is fossil fueled. Replacing this dispatchable fossil fueled generating capacity with a mix of intermittent clean and renewable generation with an average availability of approximately 25-30% would require the installation of approximately 2000 GW of new generating capacity, plus the storage capacity necessary to assure reliable service. US EIA has estimated the cost of installing new solar photovoltaic generating capacity at approximately $3,700 per kW and new wind generating capacity at approximately $1,900 per kW. Assuming an average of $2,800 per kW of clean and renewable generating capacity, the installed cost of 2000 GW of new capacity would be approximately $5.6 trillion.


A trillion here, a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

(with apologies to the late US Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen , R, IL)


Tags: Green New Deal

Not-So-Green New Deal

The “Green New Deal” (GND) is the current fascination of the most liberal / progressive / socialist elements of our society and its elected representatives, as well as several declared candidates for President in 2020. The rallying point of the Democrat GND was replacing our existing national energy infrastructure with “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” by “dramatically expanding and upgrading existing renewable power sources.” However, the Democrat leadership has apparently replaced the original specific deadline for US fossil fuel use with a stated intent to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. While this statement of intent sounds somewhat less extreme, it could only be achieved with high percentage carbon capture and storage combined with active removal of CO2 from the environment. Neither technology is currently commercially viable or economically attractive.

The partial removal of the extreme green “rind” from the Democrat GND “watermelon” exposes the nature of its red interior, as described by its originators, Green Party US.

  1. The Economic Bill of Rights
  2. A Green Transition
  3. Real Financial Reform
  4. A Functioning Democracy

Interestingly, the Green Transition envisioned by the GND developed by the Green Party US is not the rallying point of the plan, as it was in the original Democrat version championed by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Senator Edward Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have introduced a Sense of Congress Resolution outlining the major goals of the GND as follows.

            A: Achieve net-zero “greenhouse gas” emissions

            B: Create millions of new, high-wage jobs

            C: Invest in US infrastructure and industry

            D: Secure for all people of the US:

            clean air and water;

            climate and community resiliency;

            healthy food;

            access to nature; and,

            a sustainable environment.

E: Promote justice and equity

These goals are to be accomplished through a ten-year national mobilization. This accelerated schedule virtually ensures that the process would be more expensive than necessary, since much of the technology required to achieve net-zero emissions has yet to be commercially demonstrated. The costs of achieving the remaining goals is a function of the detailed descriptions of specific objectives to be achieved.

Achieving zero-net emissions would impact every aspect of energy production and use in the US economy.

All electric generation consuming coal, natural gas, propane, biomass and municipal solid waste would either require carbon capture and storage or replacement with clean and/or renewable sources. There is significant dispute in the environmental community regarding the retention or expansion of nuclear and hydroelectric generation.

All direct use of fossil fuels in residential and commercial markets would be eliminated, unless new technology facilitating carbon capture and storage at that scale could be developed and commercialized. Otherwise, all residential and commercial space heating, water heating, cooking and laundry drying appliances would have to be replaced by electric appliances; and, incremental clean and renewable electric generating capacity would have to be built to supply their requirements.

All industrial food preparation and heat processing equipment would have to be equipped with carbon capture and storage capability or replaced with electric equipment; and, incremental clean and renewable electric generating capacity would have to be built to supply their requirements.

All transportation equipment, including personal vehicles, trucks, buses and trains would have to be replaced with electric vehicles; and, incremental clean and renewable electric generating capacity would have to be built to supply their requirements.

Offsets would have to be provided for the “greenhouse gas” emissions from processes such as steelmaking and cement production, for which electric process alternatives are not available.

Current electric power generation of all types provides 38% of US energy consumption, as shown in the chart below. The GND would require the replacement of all or most of the remaining 62% of US energy consumption with clean and renewable energy from incremental sources.

 U.S. primary energy consumption source and sector, 2017

Essentially, the Green New Deal would be the most extensive exercise in “Broken Window Economics” in the history of the globe. I have estimated the investments required to achieve such a transition in the energy economy at $30 trillion, not including the investment in the replacement of equipment and systems which had reached the end of their useful lives. Achieving this transition on the accelerated schedule contemplated by the GND could significantly increase that investment requirement. The lost value of used and useful equipment and systems abandoned as a result of this transition would be very difficult to estimate, but would be enormous, especially in the rapid transition envisioned in the Green New Deal.


Tags: Green New Deal

Wichita Revisited

Wichita, Kansas is located very close to the geographic center of the contiguous United States. The annual average temperature in Wichita is 57°F, which is also the current global average near-surface temperature. Wichita has been used to provide perspective on climate change on this site previously (here), (here) and (here).

The graph below shows the average and record high and low temperatures for Wichita on a monthly basis. Note that the average diurnal temperature range is from 20 – 23°F throughout the year; and, that the average high temperature is 21°F lower than the high temperature record, while the record low temperature is 37°F lower than the average low temperature.


Wichita Temperature Averages


The chart below lists the all-time temperature records for Wichita and the dates on which the records occurred. Note that only the Highest Monthly Average, Highest Annual Average and Lowest Annual Average occurred in the post-1950 period, when increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to influence global climate. Note also that the Record Warmest High and the Record Warmest Low both occurred in the 1936, during the Dust Bowl years in the US.


All Time Record Temperatures


The chart below summarizes annual average temperatures for Wichita, showing the 22°F average difference between average daily high and low temperatures and the 57°F Average Daily Mean temperature.


All Annual Temperatures


The graph below originated on the Powerline blog and has been modified here with the addition of the red and blue bands representing the average diurnal temperature ranges for the peak summer month (July, red) and peak winter month (January, blue) in Wichita. This allows comparison of the global average annual temperature change over the period from 1880 through 2015 (~1.6°F) with the average diurnal and peak seasonal temperature changes in Wichita. Note that the chart temperature range is from -10°F to +110°F, slightly lower than the -22°F to +114°F record temperature range for Wichita.


Wichita Average Annual Global


Bob Tisdale has begun a series of posts (here), (here) and (here) entitled   “…it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.” The graph below, from this series of posts, compares the rate of change of global annual land plus ocean temperatures with the rate of change of the highest annual maximum near-surface temperature and the lowest annual minimum near-surface temperature for the entire globe. Note that the rate of increase of highest annual maximum temperature is approximately 40% of the rate of increase of the lowest annual minimum temperature; that is, the lowest annual minimum temperature is increasing 2.5 times as rapidly as highest annual maximum temperature. That suggests that, of the approximately 1.6°F global annual average near-surface temperature increase, only 0.6°F represents an increase in maximum summer temperatures, while the remaining 1.0°F represents an increase in the minimum winter temperatures. That seems an unlikely scenario for the “fireball earth” envisioned by the consensed climate science community.


Temperature Anomalies


The graph below, also from this series of posts, compares the rate of change of global annual land plus ocean temperatures with the rate of change of the highest annual maximum near-surface temperature and the lowest annual minimum near-surface temperature in the contiguous US. Note again that the rate of increase of highest annual maximum temperature is approximately 40% of the rate of increase of the lowest annual minimum temperature; that is, the lowest annual minimum temperature is increasing 2.5 times as rapidly as highest annual maximum temperature. Note also that the rates of change of temperature maxima and minima are both approximately 30% lower in the US than the global rates. However, the average difference between the highest maximum and the lowest minimum in the contiguous US is approximately 70% greater than the global average.


Temperature Anomalies


The two Tisdale graphs above also illustrate the point made in the graph of Wichita temperatures, namely that the warming which has occurred over the past 100+ years is relatively modest compared to the total range of temperatures experienced over the same period and to the range of diurnal and seasonal temperatures. The Tisdale graphs also show that the warming over the period is of lower magnitude than the annual changes in both maximum and minimum temperatures, to which the respective populations have been adapting successfully.

We are becoming far more aware of what is happening in our climate but are still challenged to understand why those changes are happening. That should be the focus of climate research.


Tags: Global Temperature, Temperature Record

Highlighted Article: Reassessing the RCPs

  • 2/7/19 at 06:29 AM



Reassessing the RCPs


"A response to: “Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?”. This post demonstrates that RCP8.5 is so highly improbable that it should be dismissed from consideration, and thereby draws into question the validity of RCP8.5-based assertions such as those made in the Fourth National Climate Assessment from the U.S. Global Change Research Program."


Reassessing the RCPs


Tags: Highlighted Article
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