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In the Wake of the News

2021 Climate Prospective

Dichotomy 1 : a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

Future US climate policies currently face a clear dichotomy. The policies which will be pursued depend on the outcome of a still contested presidential election between two candidates with grossly different perspectives on the potential future impacts of climate change and the appropriate responses to climate change.

President Trump acknowledges that climate changes but has referred to the characterization of anthropogenic climate change as a “crisis”, or an “emergency”, or an “existential threat” as a “hoax”. He views the Paris Accords as unnecessary and as unfair to the United States and other developed nations. He withdrew the US from the Paris Accords and halted US funding of the UN Green Climate Fund.

President Trump’s EPA administrators ended the EPA practice of “sue and settle”, which was used to impose regulations which might otherwise have been unacceptable. The EPA administrators also began a review of the 2009 EPA Endangerment Finding regarding automotive CO2 emissions, which they believed was unsupported by the science.

These policies would be expected to continue in a second Trump Administration.

President Elect Biden and the Democrat Party have a very different perception regarding climate change and very different policy approaches to addressing the issue. President Elect Biden has described climate change as a “crisis”, an “emergency” and an “existential threat”. He has stated his intention to rejoin the Paris Accords “on day one” and to recommit to funding the UN Green Climate Fund.

He has committed his Administration to a $2 trillion plan to transition the US electricity grid to renewable generation by 2035 and to move the US energy economy to “net zero” CO2 emissions by 2050. This $2 trillion plan would provide financial incentives for a variety of programs, but would compel private investments and expenditures, through legislation and regulation, an order of magnitude greater. The Biden plan is very similar to elements of the Green New Deal and the Blue / Green New Deal, though the President Elect has not officially adopted either.

The President Elect has taken several inconsistent positions regarding oil and gas exploration on public lands and the use of hydraulic fracturing, at one time stating that he would ban hydraulic fracturing on both public and private lands. The position on oil and gas pipelines has been less clear, but new construction would not likely be encouraged and might be actively opposed. This would be consistent with the efforts of environmental activists and several Democrat controlled states to prevent pipeline construction; and, of several Democrat controlled cities to ban new natural gas services.

There are already indications that “sue and settle” would return to EPA and other federal agencies as an approach to rapidly deploying regulations which might face a long and tortuous path to implementation otherwise.

President Elect Biden has expressed a general willingness to use Executive Orders to reverse the Trump Executive Orders which reversed numerous Executive Orders issued by former President Obama. These Executive Orders could be expected to follow rapidly after his inauguration.

The potential futures for the US energy economy and the overall US economy are clear, but which future will eventuate remains uncertain.

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." -H. L. Mencken

 

Tags: Climate Change Debate

Highlighted Article: Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies

 

From: Science Direct

By: Bjorn Lomborg

Date: July 2020

 

Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies


"Climate change is real and its impacts are mostly negative, but common portrayals of devastation are unfounded. Scenarios set out under the UN Climate Panel (IPCC) show human welfare will likely increase to 450% of today's welfare over the 21st century. Climate damages will reduce this welfare increase to 434%.

Arguments for devastation typically claim that extreme weather (like droughts, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes) is already worsening because of climate change. This is mostly misleading and inconsistent with the IPCC literature. For instance, the IPCC finds no trend for global hurricane frequency and has low confidence in attribution of changes to human activity, while the US has not seen an increase in landfalling hurricanes since 1900. Global death risk from extreme weather has declined 99% over 100 years and global costs have declined 26% over the last 28 years.

Arguments for devastation typically ignore adaptation, which will reduce vulnerability dramatically. While climate research suggests that fewer but stronger future hurricanes will increase damages, this effect will be countered by richer and more resilient societies. Global cost of hurricanes will likely decline from 0.04% of GDP today to 0.02% in 2100.

Climate-economic research shows that the total cost from untreated climate change is negative but moderate, likely equivalent to a 3.6% reduction in total GDP." ...

 

Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

2020 Retrospective

“The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft a-gley, And leave us nought but grief and pain, For promised joy.”, Robert Burns


The past year has been a rollercoaster ride for the issue of climate change. The year began with the expectation of an effort to rescind the 2009 EPA Endangerment Finding; and, of expanded hydraulic fracturing supporting continued reductions of US CO2 emissions as natural gas combined cycle power plants replace aging coal generating stations.


The emergence of the COVID19 pandemic in January “sucked all the oxygen out of the room”, refocusing attention from a variety of issues including climate change. Climate activists complained loudly that the focus on their issue had been overwhelmed by the pandemic. A group of approximately 400 media outlets concluded that the climate issue was not receiving sufficient attention to convince the US public that climate change was  a “crisis”, or “emergency” or “existential threat” and began a coordinated effort to provide more intensive coverage.


The US House of Representatives Democrat majority established a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The Democrat presidential candidates established positions regarding climate change, many of which drew heavily on the Green New Deal and the Blue Green New Deal. These positions then evolved into the Democrat Platform for the 2020 election; and, into multi-trillion-dollar climate change action plans and commitments to replace fossil fuels for power generation in the US by 2035.


The IPCC proceeded with development of the Sixth Assessment Report and the CMIP6 ensemble of climate models. The IPCC continued its unofficial policy of excluding research results which do not support the IPCC and consensed climate science community narrative. The consensed climate science community also continued its unofficial effort to prevent non-conforming research results from publication in peer reviewed journals. Several of the CMIP6 climate models project even higher temperature anomalies by the end of the century, despite the fact that the CMIP5 models almost universally over-project future temperature anomalies.


Research continued to suggest that the actual climate sensitivity to CO2 was close to, or even below, the lower end of the climate sensitivity range used by the climate models. These research results suggested that climate change is not now, nor is it likely to be, a “crisis”.


Major aspects of the “settled science” remain far from settled, including:

  •     differences between near-surface and satellite temperature measurements;
  •     differences among various sea surface temperature measurements;
  •     differences between tide gauge and satellite sea level rise measurements;
  •     differences among the projections of the ensemble of climate models; and,
  •     differing positions on the impact of climate change on extreme weather events.


The UNFCCC cancelled its Conference of the Parties 26 because of the COVID pandemic.


The US withdrawal from the Paris Accords became official on November 4th.


The UN Secretary General has called on the leaders of member nations to declare “Climate Emergencies” in their countries.


Numerous organizations have begun calling for restrictions on citizen freedoms like those imposed in response to the COVID19 pandemic to control climate change.

 

Tags: Climate Change Debate

Highlighted Article: The Unstoppable Momentum of Outdated Science

 

From: The Honest Broker Newsletter

By: Roger Pielke Jr.

Date: November 30, 2020

 

The Unstoppable Momentum of Outdated Science

 

Much of climate research is focused on implausible scenarios of the future, but implementing a course correction will be difficult

 

"A 2015 literature review found almost 900 peer-reviewed studies published on breast cancer using a cell line derived from a breast cancer patient in Texas in 1976. But in 2007 it was confirmed that the cell line that had long been the focus of this research was actually not a breast cancer line, but was instead a skin cancer line. Whoops.

Even worse, from 2008 to 2014 — after the mistaken cell line was conclusively identified — the review identified 247 peer-reviewed articles putatively on breast cancer that were published using the misidentified skin cancer cell line. A cursory search of Google Scholar indicates that studies continue to be published in 2020 mistakenly using the skin cell line in breast cancer research.

The lesson from this experience is that science has momentum, and that momentum can be hard to change, even when obvious and significant flaws are identified."...

 

The Unstoppable Momentum of Outdated Science

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

CO2 Saturation

The effect of CO2 in the globe’s atmosphere on global temperature is the result of the absorption of infrared radiation emitted from the surface of the globe toward space. The quantity of radiation emitted by the surface of the globe is finite. CO2 absorbs infrared radiation only in limited portions of the radiation spectrum. As the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, the fraction of the radiation in those portions of the spectrum absorbed by CO2 increases, within the limits of the total radiation emitted in those portions of the spectrum. Therefore, as the CO2 concentration increases, the quantity of radiation available to be absorbed by the next increment of CO2 decreases logarithmically, as shown in the graph below.

Heating Effect of CO2 per 20ppm Increment

AMO physicists William van Wijngaarden and William Happer have recently completed an extremely detailed study of radiation absorption by the principal “greenhouse” gases including water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). Their paper has been released as a preprint entitled “Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases”. Their research regarding CO2 determined that the wavelengths at which CO2 absorbs radiation from the surface of the globe are essentially “saturated”, meaning that the current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is sufficient to absorb virtually all the radiation emitted at the wavelengths in which CO2 absorbs.

This is an extremely important conclusion, since it indicates that emission of additional CO2 into the atmosphere will have little or no effect on global temperatures, confirming the logarithmic relationship shown in the graph above, but based on far more detailed research. The conclusion confirms that there is no climate “crisis” now and that there would be no climate crisis in the future, regardless of the quantity of additional anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

The conclusions of this study are obviously inconsistent with the consensed climate science community’s narrative and with the political science narrative of the UN and numerous national governments and NGOs. They would be even less consistent with the revised narrative being prepared for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and with the projections embodied in the CMIP6 ensemble of climate models.

The authors released the report as a preprint after it was rejected for publication by three peer reviewed journals. These rejections of the work of two renowned scientists recall the efforts of the consensed climate science community to prevent publication of research which does not support the consensus narrative, as revealed in the Climategate emails in 2009 and 2010. It is extremely likely that this research will not be included in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report for the same reason.

It is long since time for the consensed climate science community to transition from defending the narrative to advancing the science. This cannot occur in an atmosphere in which serious scientific research is ignored or worse buried. The consensed climate science community is aware of the weaknesses of its narrative and the public is becoming increasingly aware as well, due to the history of failed predictions of imminent calamity.

 

Tags: CO2 Emissions

Highlighted Article: Cultural Motivations for Wind and Solar Renewables Deployment

From: Climate Etc.

By: Andy West

Date: November 19, 2020

 

Cultural Motivations for Wind and Solar Renewables Deployment


“For me the question now is, now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?”. – Michael Schellenberger

Introduction

"There have been many technical analyses of Wind and Solar energy, covering a raft of issues from energy density and efficiency, through subsidies and land usage, to maintenance, grid impacts, intermittency and more. The angle examined here is in no way intended to replace such necessary views, whether they lean to the pessimistic or the optimistic or anywhere in-between. Rather, a complementary view is provided regarding an aspect that such technical analyses cannot address, albeit it often features in the conclusions and questions these analyses raise at the end. Right here at Climate Etc, the first of the excellent analyses by ‘Planning Engineer’ (on his retirement revealed to be Russ Schussler, ex-VP of Transmission Planning at Georgia Transmission Corporations), laudably highlighted the limitation of technical analyses with his very first line: “Power System Planners do not have the expertise or knowledge to say whether or not the benefits of reducing carbon emissions are worth the costs. However they should be respected as experts for obtaining a better understanding of what the implications and costs of such programs are.”...

 

Cultural Motivations for Wind and Solar Renewables Deployment

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Evidence Communication

A recent article in the journal Nature suggested five fundamental rules for evidence communication which apply well to science communication, though they are not always followed, particularly in climate science.

  • Inform, not persuade
  • Offer balance, not false balance
  • Disclose uncertainties
  • State evidence quality
  • Inoculate against misinformation

Evidence communication in climate science (IPCC) occurs at multiple levels, beginning with the scientists who conduct the research, followed by selection of the research to be included in the Working Group reports, then summarization in the Working group report summary, then summarization in the Summary for Policymakers, and finally reporting in the media and utilization by policymakers (politicians). Arguably, this process flows from inform to persuade, culminating in scare headlines and proclamations of an imminent crisis which must be avoided at all costs.

The IPCC process has largely avoided any effort at balance by excluding research which does not support the IPCC narrative that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing climate change which is having deleterious effects on the global population. This process largely “buries” research by skeptical scientists, regardless of the merits of their research, offering a false balance by including research which only supports some elements of the consensus narrative.

The IPCC Working Group reports are relatively careful to disclose the uncertainties regarding the research upon which they report. However, recognition of the uncertainties effectively disappears in the Summary for Policymakers and is obliterated by false certainty in the media reporting of the conclusions. The media reporting almost exclusively uses words like “will” rather than “might” to discuss future scenarios, though the futures they describe are highly speculative.

Climate science typically avoids discussions of evidence quality. Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are blamed for temperature increases, sea level rise and weather event frequency and severity, though there is no direct evidence for causation. The accuracy of the global near-surface temperature anomaly is typically reported to two decimal places, ignoring the facts that the temperature measurements used to develop them are measured to one decimal place, are “adjusted” to resolve expected or known inaccuracies in the measurements, and are “infilled” where no data are available.

Climate science currently ignores the discrepancies between the satellite temperature anomaly products and the near-surface temperature records. Climate science also currently ignores the difference between tide gauge and satellite sea level rise data.

Climate science also currently ignores the differences among the projections of future temperatures of the climate models and the differences between the climate model projections and the observations provided by both the satellite and near-surface temperature anomaly products.

The climate science community effectively inoculates the media, politicians and the public against “misinformation” by suppressing research which does not support the consensus narrative, effectively classifying it as “misinformation” and attacking the authors of non-conforming studies as “deniers” or “anti-science”.

Much of the evidence of anthropogenic climate change is circumstantial, resting on the conclusion that science has discovered no other satisfactory explanation for the changes which have occurred.

“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

 

Tags: Climate Change Debate, Climate Predictions, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: The U.S. National Temperature Index, is it based on data? Or corrections?

  • 12/10/20 at 03:00 AM

 

From: Watts Up With That

By: Andy May

Date: November 24, 2020

 

The U.S. National Temperature Index, is it based on data? Or corrections?

 

"The United States has a very dense population of weather stations, data from them is collected and processed by NOAA/NCEI to compute the National Temperature Index. The index is an average temperature for the nation and used to show if the U.S. is warming. The data is stored by NOAA/NCEI in their GHCN or “Global Historical Climatology Network” database. GHCN-Daily contains the quality-controlled raw data, which is subsequently corrected and then used to populate GHCN-Monthly, a database of monthly averages, both raw and final. I downloaded version 4.0.1 of the GHCN-Monthly database on October 10, 2020. At that time, it had 27,519 stations globally and 12,514 (45%) of them were in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Of the 12,514 U.S. stations, 11,969 of them are in “CONUS,” the conterminous lower 48 states. The current station coverage is shown in Figure ..."

 

The U.S. National Temperature Index, is it based on data? Or corrections?

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

"Anti-Science"

skepticism


1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain
2b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
scientific skepticism: an impartial attitude of the mind previous to investigation

Merriam-Webster

 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D, RI) has renewed his threats to hold “star chamber” hearings in the US Senate to expose and attempt to humiliate those he describes as “climate deniers”. He appears willing and anxious to harass anyone who does not accept the “climate crisis” and support heroic actions to diffuse the “crisis”. The senator is a “climate hawk” who has delivered more than 250 speeches on the subject on the Senate floor. His choice of the descriptor “denier” in reference to such individuals characterizes his attitude toward them.

The senator is highly unlikely to find a true “climate denier”, or a true “climate change denier” or even a true “anthropogenic climate change denier” to harass in his “star chamber”, though he will likely find numerous serious climate scientists who possess and profess a healthy skepticism of a climate “crisis” or “existential threat”. Numerous climate scientists understand that climate science is hardly “settled” and can speak with authority regarding the numerous areas of uncertainty regarding our understanding of earth’s climate.

Skeptical scientists would point to the ensembles of climate models which produce “spaghetti diagrams” projecting future temperatures which differ by a factor of five among themselves; and by a factor of 2-3 from numerous actual observed temperature records over 30 or more years. Skeptical scientists would also note that the model mean in these “spaghetti diagrams” is merely the mean of an ensemble of model outputs, at least all but one of which, if not all, are incorrect. They would point out that not one of those models has ever been verified.

Skeptical scientists would point out the use of a range of estimated values for climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 (3+/-1.5) which has been in use for more than 30 years without resolution. They would also note that the majority of recent studies of climate sensitivity have reported values close to or even below the range of values used by the IPCC.

Skeptical scientists would also note that measurements of the rate of sea level rise taken by satellites show rates of rise twice the rate measured by tide gauges located at geologically stable sites; and, the current inability of the climate science community to explain and rationalize this difference.

Skeptical scientists would note the differences between global temperature measurements made by satellites and those made by near-surface measurement systems; and, they would note the differences among the various near-surface temperature anomaly products. They would also point out the ongoing need to “adjust” the near-surface data to resolve suspected data inaccuracies; and, the need to “infill” temperature estimates where no data exist.

Skeptical scientists would also point out the differences between assertions of increases in hurricane, tornado, drought and flood frequency and severity and actual observations and data. They would also note the inaccuracies of “attribution” studies which purport to show a climate change contribution to the frequency and intensity of severe weather events.

In summary, skeptical scientists would express doubt about particular aspects of the climate science consensus, highlight the uncertainty of current climate knowledge and would suspend judgment regarding the existence of a climate “crisis”. Skeptical scientists would recognize that, based on current knowledge, assertions of a “climate crisis” or an “existential threat” are political constructs unsupported by the science.

Those such as Senator Whitehouse who attack scientific skepticism are “anti-science”.

 

Tags: Climate Alarmists, Climate Skeptics

Guest Post: Get Ready For Nationwide Blackouts Under Biden

Guest Post

From: International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

By: Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

The power disaster unfolding in California will soon occur across the country, if Joe Biden gets his way. The Golden State has been sweeping away the forms of energy that have provided reliable electricity for decades, under the same agenda the former Vice-President is planning for America as a whole.

Power outages are now commonplace in California. Last summer, the state suffered its first rolling blackouts in nearly 20 years. Imagine if this happened in Chicago in the middle of winter.

California’s trouble is explained by officials who now openly admit to an over-reliance on wind and solar power. The governor said there was not enough wind to keep the turbines going, while cloud cover and nightfall restricted solar power. The Los Angeles Times recognized the root of the problem:

“… gas-burning power plants that can fire up when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing have been shutting down in recent years, and California has largely failed to replace them …”

Consequently, the state has fallen thousands of megawatts behind its needs. Governor Gavin Newsom admitted, “we failed to predict and plan for these shortages” and took (nominal) responsibility for the rolling blackouts. Now he wants everyone to conserve power, while the state looks for new sources of energy, most likely fossil fuel-generated power from neighboring states.

All this is happening while California continues its intention to transition to 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% “climate-friendly energy” by 2045, as required by state law.

Indeed, in their October 6 open letter to Newsom, the heads of the California’s Energy Commission, Independent System Operator and Public Utilities Commission wrote: “We are unwavering in our commitment to meeting California’s clean energy and climate goals.”

Team Biden plans to go even further, committing to making the entire nation 100% renewable within 15 years. The United States would fall tens of millions of megawatts behind on its electricity needs.

Like the California government, the incoming Biden-Harris administration is acting entirely under the unfounded belief that climate change is a manmade calamity that can be stopped by eliminating fossil fuel use. They are clearly unaware of the Climate Change Reconsidered series of reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

These documents summarize thousands of studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals that either refute or cast serious doubt on the climate scare. They conclude that we are not causing a climate crisis.

Yet, in their October 6 report, Preliminary Root Cause Analysis – Mid-August 2020 Heat Storm, the same heads of California’s Energy Commission, Independent System Operator and Public Utilities Commission highlighted the “climate change-induced extreme heat storm across the western United States” as the first cause of the blackout.

In their view, apparently, shutting down coal, gas and nuclear power plants in California and in states from which California imports electricity played only minor roles.

California’s determination to shift to so-called “green” energy – which is actually anything but clean, green, renewable and sustainable – is being echoed by politicians across the nation. The result, especially in states that don’t enjoy California’s mostly benign weather, is going to be that those in the poorest neighborhoods and those on fixed incomes may be forced to choose between heating and eating.

It also means people trying to run their homes, offices, factories, hospitals and schools on intermittent, weather-dependent, much more expensive wind and solar power will have to get used to never knowing when or for how long their electricity will be on or off. Now in California; soon in the entire USA.

Coherent energy systems are designed with the understanding that portions of the system will be offline from time to time. Power companies compensate for this with reserve power at the ready. However, California has closed its margin for error in response to anti-nuclear and anti-fossil fuel sentiments and climate change concerns. Team Biden intends to do this for the entire United States.

Power outages cannot always be avoided and are more common than one may think. For example, between 2008 and 2017, Illinois had 871 outages, the tenth most by state. Texas had nearly twice as many, giving it the dubious distinction of ranking number two in the list.

But these pale in comparison to California which has the least reliable electrical power system in the nation. It leads in power outages every year. Between 2008 and 2017, it had 4,297 power outages!

The origin of the problem is partly California’s Senate Bill 1368, which in 2006 established the state’s emission standards to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants. Following that year, eleven coal-fired power plants were closed and three were converted to biomass. Only one coal-fired plant remains.

The state also reduced its normal reliance on energy from out of state coal plants.

Yielding to anti-nuclear activists, the state also closed all but one nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon. That plant generates about 18,000 Gigawatt-hours of reliable electricity every year, fully 8.6% of California’s total generation.

But Diablo Canyon will soon be closed too. Not surprisingly, during its construction and operation, anti-nuclear protests were common; nearly two thousand people were arrested for civil disobedience during a two-week period in 1981. In response, in 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a Pacific Gas & Electric Joint Proposal to phase out the state’s remaining nuclear power. That means the operating licenses for Diablo Canyon’s two units will not be renewed when they expire in 2024 and 2025.

Ironically, the Commission did not approve Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposal for resources to replace the station’s output. It does not appear to matter that nuclear reactors produce no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. They are hated by the enviro-radicals who drive California’s energy policy and are steadily putting the state even further behind the 8-ball.

It gets worse. California now requires that all new homes be nearly entirely electric. It wants citizens to switch their natural gas stoves to electric, as part of their global warming initiatives. More than 30 cities have already enacted bans on gas appliances, including San Francisco. The state also hopes to eliminate all gasoline and diesel cars in favor of plug-in electric automobiles.

This means demand for reliable, affordable electricity will rise by leaps and bounds, just as supplies are steadily reduced, and partially replaced by expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent power.

Just as Mr. Biden promises for the nation as a whole, California is sacrificing reliable electrical power as part of its impossible crusade to “stop climate change.” Of course, this will have no impact on our planet’s climate, because (a) climate change is mostly natural and not driven by carbon dioxide, and (b) all those wind turbines, solar panels and backup batteries will be manufactured overseas, mostly in China, using fossil fuels and simply moving the source of ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it will certainly spur sales of candles, flashlights, propane heaters, and natural gas, gasoline and diesel generators.

So, welcome to America’s future under a Biden-Harris-Kerry- AOC Administration. America, the blackouts are coming.


_______________________________________________________

*Ohio-based Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Advisor to the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). Tom Harris is Executive Director of ICSC.

 

Tags: Guest Post

Highlighted Article: Preventing Future Forest Infernos

 

From: Watts Up With That

By: Paul Driessen

Date: November 22, 2020

 

Preventing Future Forest Infernos

 

"The 2020 fire season is nearing its end. But monstrous wildfires continue to rage across America’s western states, devastating towns and habitats, and killing hundreds of people and millions of animals. Politicians and environmentalists continue to rage that climate change is the primary factor, allowing few responsible, commonsense forest management actions that could actually reduce the risks.

Manmade climate change is a convenient scapegoat, but it cannot be separated from natural climate fluctuations and effects. Moreover, even assuming fossil fuel emissions play a dominant role in the human portion of this equation – and even if the Pacific Northwest or entire USA eliminated coal, oil and natural gas – China, India and scores of other nations will not do so anytime soon.

And they will certainly be using fossil fuels to manufacture the wind turbines, solar panels and batteries envisioned by Green New Dealers – and to mine and process the raw materials those technologies require.

The key ingredient in these monstrous, devastating forest fires is fuel. A century of Smokey the Bear fire suppression, coupled with half-century bans on timber harvesting, tree thinning and even insect control has filled western forests with dense concentrations of brush, fallen branches, needles and leaves, skinny young trees and huge older trees – many of them dead or dying – ready to be turned into conflagrations under hot, dry summer and autumn conditions that prevail most years in California and other western states." ...

 

Preventing Future Forest Infernos

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate (In)sensitivity

The consensed climate science community has consensed on the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are largely or totally responsible for the recent increase in global average surface temperature. Some even refer to CO2 as the climate “control knob”. The climate alarmist community and numerous progressive politicians perceive the recent increase in global average surface temperature as an “existential crisis”, which they assert would ultimately leave the earth uninhabitable.

The ensemble of climate models project widely varying increases in global average surface temperature, almost all of which have been higher than the observed global average surface temperature. If one accepts the hypothesis that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are responsible for recent warming, while there are numerous factors which contribute to the variations in the model projections, the two most influential factors would be the future CO2 concentration and the sensitivity of the climate to increasing CO2 concentrations.

Future atmospheric CO2 concentrations are a function of both anthropogenic and natural CO2 emissions and are unknowable. The consensed climate science community deals with this issue by using a set of four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5) which project atmospheric CO2 concentrations into the future.

 

RCP Atmospheric CO2 graph

 

Much of the concern regarding an “existential crisis” is driven by studies based on RCP8.5, though many climate scientists now believe this concentration pathway is unreasonable or even unachievable based on resource constraints.

The sensitivity of the climate to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations is currently unknown. The IPCC uses a range of 1.5 – 4.5°C per doubling (nominally to 540ppmv). A recent analysis by David Middleton of climate sensitivity estimates based on instrumental data from 40 studies conducted since 2002 concludes that the estimates of climate sensitivity resulting from these studies are declining over time, as shown in his graph below. Note that the values range from a low of 0.5 to a high of 4.8, or 2.65+/-2.15.

 

CO2 Climate Sensitivity Estimates

 

The graph above displays the mean values established in the various studies. The graph below shows the range of high and low estimates for most of the mean values displayed.

 

CO2 Climate Sensitivity Estimates

 

While most of the studies displayed identify significant uncertainty, the uncertainty in numerous studies is enormous, such as the second 2009 study displayed above. This study has a mean of 3 with uncertainty of -2 and +7.

Clearly, if CO2 is the “climate control knob”, our knowledge regarding climate sensitivity to CO2 concentration hardly qualifies as “settled science”. However, as shown in the graphs above, recent instrumental studies suggest an equilibrium climate sensitivity toward the low end of the IPCC range of estimates. Such a relatively low sensitivity suggests that climate change, as it has been occurring over the past ~70 years, does not represent an “existential crisis” now, nor is it expected to represent such a crisis in another ~70 years when the doubling of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be expected to occur.

Efforts to accurately determine climate sensitivity, climate forcings and feedbacks are climate science. Proclamations of an “existential crisis” are political science, intended to obfuscate rather than advance climate science.

 

Tags: Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP), CO2 Emissions

Highlighted Article: The Contradictions of Green Policies to Limit CO2 Emissions

 

 

From: edmhdotme

Date: November 11, 2020


The Contradictions of Green Policies to Limit CO2 Emissions


Summary

"The context of the 2019 CO2 emissions from various Nations and Nation groups is shown above.

Currently the burning of Biomass is designated as “CO2 neutral” by Western Nations to give the appearance of reducing CO2 emissions and thus controlling Climate Change.  The designation of Biomass burning as Carbon neutral is essentially self-defeating as:

burning Biomass substantially increases the instantaneous output of CO2 emissions.
is hugely destructive of natural environments and habitats wherever employed at the necessary industrial scale.
The primary government actions to limit CO2 emissions have been to mandate a change in the fuels used to generate electrical power.  The Green thinking requires the substitution of fossils fuels, replacing them with nominally “CO2 emissions free” fuels such as the Wind and Solar power as well as Biomass and Biofuels, which are designated to be sustainable and CO2 free by policy, because their plant material may well regrow eventually.  These fuel substitution policies have already done proven damage to the reliability of Power grids in the South Australia and California and are making power supplies increasingly vulnerable wherever those policies are instituted.  A low wind period in the UK and Europe in November 2020 came very close to causing the failure of the UK Grid.

The inevitable CO2 emissions characteristics of their mandated alternative fuels are conveniently ignored by policy makers:

the substitution of fossil fuels particularly by Biomass for electricity generation has gross and immediate extra CO2 emissions consequences.
the engineering requirements for Renewables, (Wind and Solar), themselves cause very significant CO2 emissions and also imply the utilisation of massive, limited mineral resources.
The policy of promoting Biomass:

is essentially self-defeating in it objective to limit CO2 emissions an save the Climate:
in spite of being declared “Carbon neutral”, by EU and UK policy it is far from Carbon neutral by its effect:  for the same power produced, burning Biomass releases much more CO2 than other fossil fuels, (Coal, Lignite and particularly Natural Gas).
is massively destructive of virgin forest environments, wherever the wood is harvested.  In Europe there is insufficient timber feedstock even to maintain partial power production.
will require up to 100 years to fully restore the destroyed native forest wild life habitat and virgin environments and to thus reabsorb the total CO2 that is released instantaneously by the burning of the Biomass in power plants.
requires significant heat energy to dry and process the harvested wood material converting it into the pelletised, transportable product.
requires significant fossil fuel use for long distance transport.
has already required substantial and costly refit of the generation and local fuel supply technologies at Drax where the UK Biomass is burnt.
these factors in combination result in an additional, instantaneous CO2 release into the atmosphere of about 3.6 times that produced by burning Natural Gas for the same power output.
Germany and the UK are leaders in the development of Renewable Energy in Europe. This post uses 2019 hourly generation datasets showing the scale of various generation technologies over the year.  It combines that power output data with data on the CO2 emissions of different fossil fuels to show the extent of CO2 emissions in 2019.

It questions the efficacy of using Biomass to reduce CO2 emissions at all, as

the scale of CO2 emissions from Biomass cancels out any potential CO2 savings made from using Weather Dependent Renewables.

So all the excess expenditures on Weather Dependent Renewables have done nothing to reduce Global CO2 emissions overall.

The excess costs of Weather Dependent Renewable power generation in the EU(28): 2020" ...


The Contradictions of Green Policies to Limit CO2 Emissions

 

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Climate Anticipation

The UN, the signatories to the UN FCCC, the parties to the Paris Accords, the administrators of the Green Climate Fund, the IPCC, the consensed climate science community, climate activists, developing nations, not-yet-developing nations, non-government organizations and globalists everywhere are anticipating major changes in the US approach to climate change as the result of the US presidential election. The anticipation is based partially on the symbolic value of US participation and partially on the financial obligations which would be imposed on the US as a result of its participation. Some developing nations are also anticipating accelerated development of their economies as the US de-develops while transitioning to renewable energy over the next 30 years.

The UN sees itself at the center of the climate change movement and anticipates that its power in that position would be enhanced by a more docile and cooperative United States. The UN also envisions itself eventually at the center of a global government, coordinating and controlling the actions of its member states. However, that vision of global governance would require the surrender of sovereignty by the member states, a surrender which would be far more likely with a US government supportive of globalism.

The UNFCCC and the parties to the Paris Accords profess to accept the concept that climate change represents an existential threat which must be met with heroic efforts on the parts of the signatories. These heroic efforts are far more likely to be made if major powers such as the US are supportive and actively participate in or even lead the efforts. They anticipate this would now be far more likely. However, it is not likely, at least in the near term, that the US would commit to the Paris Accords as a treaty, binding it to performance under the current terms of the Accords and the anticipated requirement for greater “ambition”.

The US is a primary source of funding for climate research. The IPCC and the consensed climate science community anticipate that funding is likely to continue and perhaps expand under a new US Administration. They also anticipate that research oversight would diminish to previous levels. Knowledgeable climate skeptics are far less of an issue outside the government than inside, in positions of authority.

The administrators of the UN Green Climate Fund and its intended beneficiaries anticipate that the US would fully fund its intended 25% share of annual funding for climate change mitigation at current levels and at the expanded levels proposed for the future. They also anticipate that the US would provide corresponding funding levels for climate adaptation and for compensating nations and populations alleged to have been damaged by climate change.

The developing and not-yet developing nations which would be the beneficiaries of funding from the Green Climate Fund anticipate that funding which has been inadequate and slow in coming would flow fuller and faster with committed US support.

Finally, potential future climate change “refugees” anticipate that it would be easier to achieve refugee status and support with committed US support.

In summary, the world anticipates the return of “Uncle Sap”.

 

Tags: United Nations, Green Climate Fund, Paris Agreement, IPCC, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Highlighted Article: Burning Stuff is so 16th Century

 

From: Watts Up With That

By: Kip Hansen

Date: November 4, 2020


Burning Stuff is so 16th Century


Quoting from Joel T. Headley’s “The Adirondack: or Life in the Woods” written in 1849:

“The first harvesting of the Adirondack forests began shortly after the English replaced the Dutch as the landlords of New Netherlands and changed its name to New York [September 8th, 1664] . Logging operations generated wealth, opened up land for farming, and removed the cover that provided a haven for Indians.”

“After the Revolutionary War, the Crown lands passed to the people of New York State. Needing money to discharge war debts, the new government sold nearly all the original public acreage – some 7 million acres – for pennies an acre. Lumbermen were welcomed to the interior, with few restraints: “You have no conception of the quantity of lumber that is taken every winter… A great deal of land is bought of government solely for the pine on it, and after that is cut down, it is allowed to revert back to the State to pay its taxes.”...

 

Burning Stuff is so 16th Century

 

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