Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #302
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
39 Years of Data: The “Global Temperature Report” for December 2017 by the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) contained an illuminating global map. The map showed the global temperature change in the lower troposphere as calculated from satellite measurements from December 1979 to December 2017 – 39 years. These calculations are independently verified by direct measurements of temperatures from weather balloons. These are the most comprehensive temperature data compiled, far more inclusive than surface-air data, taken about shoulder height off the ground, largely in westernized regions of the global land mass. Further, it is in the atmosphere where the greenhouse gas effect occurs, not at shoulder level. [Satellite data do not include the region directly over the poles.]
These atmospheric data reveal a pronounced warming over the Arctic, as one would expect from greenhouse gas theory. However, except for the region known as Queen Maud Land, roughly south of Africa, which shows a pronounced warming, the bulk of Antarctica shows a cooling, or no change. This is contrary to what one would expect from the greenhouse gas theory, as expressed in the 1979 Charney Report produced by the US National Academy of Sciences.
Further, the bulk of the atmosphere over the tropics does not show a strong pronounced warming, contrary to what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserted in its Second Assessment report, claiming it had detected a distinct human influence (human fingerprint) on climate from greenhouse gases (SAR, 1995).
The atmosphere continues to contradict the findings of the IPCC, and it is past time to re-evaluate the assumptions made by it, its supporters, and its models. Also, when will the IPCC advocates in NOAA and NASA admit that greenhouse gas warming occurs in the atmosphere, not on or near the surface of the earth? NOAA and NASA continue to undermine their own credibility by their continued use of surface (surface-air) temperatures and by their manipulation of historic data, producing a false warming trend. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Lowering Standards, and Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
Solar Changes: The Canadian Center of Science and Education published a paper by researchers at National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences estimating changing solar activity during the Holocene period, going back almost 12,000 years. They do so by estimating sunspot activity from 9455 BC to 1895 AD. Direct observations of sunspots go back about 4 centuries. Using a mathematical technique called wavelet transform, the researchers use proxy data, such as carbon 14 and beryllium 10 isotopes, to estimate solar activity to the earlier period. In so doing, they build on the work of others who have shown variation in solar activity relates to global and regional climate change.
Their analysis indicates a cyclical variation in solar activity of roughly 500 years, with the amplitude of the solar activity varying over time. For example, about 11,000 years ago there was a pronounced increase in solar activity, as well as about 4000 years ago, and in recent years. About 8,000 years ago there was a pronounced decrease in solar activity, as well as about 500 years ago, which corresponds to the low solar activity observed by early astronomers using telescopes (Galileo and others). [Note, a 500-year solar activity cycle that includes sunspot cycles with changing amplitude, is not inconsistent with the 1,500-year cycle described in the book by Fred Singer and Dennis Avery.]
The changing amplitudes of solar activity indicate that long-term changes in climate are influenced by solar activity. However, it is important to note that these climate changes do not occur with each solar cycle, but with a series of solar cycles with an increasing or decreasing solar activity. Consequently, those who may believe that a single cycle of low solar activity will result in a cooling climate will probably be disappointed.
The oceans hold a tremendous amount of heat, and there is no logical reason to assume that a single solar cycle of low activity will result in the release most of this heat. It would take several such cycles before a pronounced climate change is observed.
It is interesting to note that the graph of the solar activity shows that currently, solar activity is comparable to that of 4,000 years ago and was exceeded about 11,000 years ago. No doubt, the paper will be criticized in the Western journals, because it indicates that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the primary driver of climate change. See links under Science: Is the Sun Rising?
One Model, One Run? One of the criticisms appearing in Western Journals of global climate models is the inability of models to track changing temperature through the Holocene, the past 11,500 years or so. A paper published in Nature, states:
“Cooling during most of the past two millennia has been widely recognized and has been inferred to be the dominant global temperature trend of the past 11,700 years (the Holocene epoch). However, long-term cooling has been difficult to reconcile with global forcing, and climate models consistently simulate long-term warming. The divergence between simulations and reconstructions emerges primarily for northern mid-latitudes, for which pronounced cooling has been inferred from marine and coastal records using multiple approaches. Here we show that temperatures reconstructed from sub-fossil pollen from 642 sites across North America and Europe closely match simulations, and that long-term warming, not cooling, defined the Holocene until around 2,000 years ago. The reconstructions indicate that evidence of long-term cooling was limited to North Atlantic records.”
Obviously, there are major inconsistencies between this paper and the one discussed above. But aside from the data limited to one paleoclimate proxy, pollen, unspecified, the real issue is with the simulation of climate using one climate model (probably run once because there was no mention of multiple runs or averages) and concluding that these efforts:
“… reinforce the notion that climate models can adequately simulate climates for periods other than the present-day.”
In his February 2, 2016, written testimony to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, John Christy showed that only one global climate model closely approximated observations of global mid-tropospheric temperature variations, the Russian model by the Institute of Numerical Mathematics. All the other models overestimated the warming of the mid- troposphere by 2.5 to 3 times.
To assert that the Nature paper makes a “hasty generalization” is polite. See links under Models v. Observations and http://docs.house.gov/meetings/SY/SY00/20160202/104399/HHRG-114-SY00-Wstate-ChristyJ-20160202.pdf (pp. 12 & 13)
Svensmark Hypothesis Supported? Perhaps unknowingly, Science Magazine, gave support to the Svensmark Hypothesis that cosmic rays can cause cloudiness when it carried a paper on ultrafine aerosols. Those criticizing the Svensmark Hypothesis claim the products of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere are too small for affect cloud formation. The new paper is titled: “Substantial convection and precipitation enhancements by ultrafine aerosol particles.’
The summary of the paper states:
“Up with ultrafine aerosol particles
“Ultrafine aerosol particles (smaller than 50 nanometers in diameter) have been thought to be too small to affect cloud formation. Fan et al. show that this is not the case. They studied the effect of urban pollution transported into the otherwise nearly pristine atmosphere of the Amazon. Condensational growth of water droplets around the tiny particles releases latent heat, thereby intensifying atmospheric convection. Thus, anthropogenic ultrafine aerosol particles may exert a more important influence on cloud formation processes than previously believed.”
Of course, there is no mention of the Svensmark Hypothesis. See links under Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
CEI Letter: Last week’s and prior TWTWs have discussed problems associated with the litigation filed by municipalities such as New York, San Francisco, and Oakland against oil companies for selling petroleum which creates CO2 when burned. These and other jurisdictions have made specific claims of future damage from global warming, particularly from rising sea levels. The claims are highly questionable, lacking physical evidence that CO2 is causing increased sea level rise and other claimed damages. But, they have been made in court filings.
As discussed last week, the 1933 and 1934 securities laws are taken seriously by the US courts. Errors of omission are dealt with severely, as are errors of commission. Yet, in their securities filings, these municipalities are “glossing over” any harms from CO2-caused global warming.
On February 1, attorneys with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) notified the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of possible securities related fraud as to omission of, or glossing over, climate risks, which the municipalities in California specifically state in their litigation filings as being damaged by climate change. In CEI’s letter to LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt; Chief of the Public Finance Abuse Unit of the SEC, the opening paragraph states:
“It has come to our attention that various municipalities expect substantial future financial harm, but have either explicitly disclaimed the ability to determine such harms or at the least omitted these potential harms when informing bond investors. We wish to notify the SEC of these potential problems so that they can be properly investigated with appropriate action taken to protect investors.”
Unfortunately, the taxpayers in these jurisdictions may suffer from higher bonding costs and insurance premiums long after the politicians are gone.
Please note, SEPP has joined CEI on several activities objecting to the EPA Endangerment Finding, but was not involved with this letter. See links under Litigation Issues
Trump State of the Union: The State of the Union address by President Trump may have been remarkable for at least two reasons: 1) climate policy and 2) energy policy.
Perhaps the most remarkable item in the address and its official rebuttal by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) was the failure to mention dire global warming / climate change, drastic sea level rise, and the many ills that have been prophesized if we continue to burn fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide. Is a new realization occurring that we will not overheat or drown in acidic waters? Probably not. The alarmists will continue to attack President Trump for his climate policies and gently criticize Kennedy for his oversight. After all, decades of carbon dioxide fear cannot be overcome with a single speech.
For the first time since President George W. Bush asserted “America is addicted to oil” in 2006, the State of the Union address asserted that the US has ample fossil fuel resources and will continue to develop them to advance its economic and foreign policy goals. See Article # 2 and links under Change in US Administrations Energy Issues – Non-US
Number of the Week: 16% Paid. The signers of the Paris Agreement were to pay “dues” on January 1, 2018, to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Only 31 of the 197 countries signing did so. The 84% who did not included China, Brazil, France, Germany and the US. In March, the US State Department budget eliminated funds under the Global Climate Change Initiative, which previously had about $6.4 million. About 20% of the UNFCCC operating budget. See links under After Paris!
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Chinese Astronomers Discover 500-Year Solar Cycle
By Staff Writers, GWPF, Jan 30, 2018
Link to paper: Quasi ~500-year Cycle Signals in Solar Activity
By Lihua Ma, Zhiqiang Yin & Yanben Han, Earth Science Research, Jan 24, 2018
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Tiny bits of pollution could strengthen storms
By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News, Jan 26, 2018
Link to paper: Substantial convection and precipitation enhancements by ultrafine aerosol particles
By Jiwen Fan, et al. Science, Jan 26, 2018 [H/t Howard Hayden]
[SEPP Comment: Independent support of the Svensmark hypothesis? Nucleation sites, just like ions in cosmic ray tracks?]
Cosmic Rays, Magnetic Fields and Climate Change
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Jan 29, 2018
Exploding stars have a link to climate change
By Staff Writers, Laboratory News, Jan 22, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Reef Row Scientist Peter Ridd Snubs University Gag order
By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Via GWPF, Feb 1, 2018
Professor Peter Ridd Standing Up For Scientific Integrity Against James Cook University
By John Roskam, Institute of Public Affairs, AU, Feb 1, 2018
JCU bans Prof Peter Ridd from criticizing scientific institutions. Defiant, he refuses, fights on!
JCU is trying (and failing) to gag Peter Ridd from discussing why we can’t trust scientific organisations
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 2, 2018
The power of grant money – on display at James Cook University
By Don Aikin, WUWT, Jan 29, 2018
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Challenging the Orthodoxy
John McLean: The IPCC Wobbles Over Climate Models
By John McLean, GWPF, Jan 27, 2018
“It is clear from the above that the IPCC knows that climate models perform badly, the exact reasons are unclear, and that accurate modelling is likely to be extremely challenging, if not impossible.
“The crucial flaw with all IPCC reports is that such reservations are not clearly stated when announcing estimated future temperatures, mankind’s influence on temperature and on extreme weather events, nor I believe can it be expected when models are used to derive a supposed preindustrial temperature.”
Lamprell, Carillion and Offshore Wind Costs
By John Constable, GWPF, Jan 31, 2018
“A recent market warning issued by Lamprell, a major construction firm involved in offshore wind, sheds important new light on claimed cost reductions in that sector.”
“One of the many interesting things that could emerge from the Carillion investigation will be whether aggressive and unrealistic underbidding for grid infrastructure, in relation to offshore wind and elsewhere, was a part of its troubles, and if so what bearing this might have on the generally optimistic assessment of costs of rewiring the United Kingdom in order to accommodate a high share of wind and solar power.”
Defending the Orthodoxy
Scientists pinpoint how ocean acidification weakens coral skeletons
How corals grow is the key
By Staff Writers, NSF, Jan 29, 2018
It all comes down to aragonite.
Coral skeletons are made of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate. Corals grow their skeletons upward by stacking bundles of aragonite crystals on top of each other.
When carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater, it’s harder for corals to accrete their aragonite skeletons.
[SEPP Comment: No discussion of pH!]
How to reduce heat extremes by 3C
By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia (SPX), Jan 30, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to paper: Land radiative management as contributor to regional-scale climate adaptation and mitigation
By Sonia Seneviratne, et al. Nature Geoscience, Jan 29, 2018
[SEPP Comment: But the Urban Heat Island effect is ignored by the IPCC.]
Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
By Staff Writers, Durham NC (SPX), Jan 23, 2018
Sources of Radium Accumulation in Stream Sediments near Disposal Sites in Pennsylvania: Implications for Disposal of Conventional Oil and Gas Wastewater
Link to paper: Sources of Radium Accumulation in Stream Sediments near Disposal Sites in Pennsylvania: Implications for Disposal of Conventional Oil and Gas Wastewater
By Nancy E. Lauer, Nathaniel R. Warner, and Avner Vengosh, Environmental Science & Technology, Jan 4, 2018
[Researcher Avner Vengosh said:] “Conventional oil and gas wastewaters also contain radioactivity, and their disposal to the environment must be stopped, too.”
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Illustrating the failure of the climate movement – in one graph
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 29, 2018
What are, in fact, the grounds for concern about global warming?
By Javier and Andy May, WUWT, Jan 30, 2018
Matt Ridley: Technology Will Help the Environment Flourish
Speech by Matt Ridley, Hansard, Via GWPF, Feb 1, 2018
New Scare Science: Global Sea Levels Rose A Staggering 3.1 Inches (1.42 mm/yr) During 1958-2014
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 1,2018
Polar bear specialists double-down on message of future starving bears
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Feb 1,2018
France, Germany, US among 166 countries late on UN climate dues
Four out of five countries missed the agreed date for contributions to UN Climate Change, including some who claim to be leaders on climate change
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, Jan 25, 2018
Depak Lal: India Should Join U.S. and Abandon Paris Agreement
By DepakLal, Business Standard, Via GWPF, Feb 2, 2018
Change in US Administrations
Trump Delivered The First SOTU In 8 Years To Not Mention Global Warming
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Jan 30, 2018
Democrats Ignore Climate Change In State Of The Union Rebuttal
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was the only one to bring up global warming after the second-hottest year on record.
By Alexander C. Kaufman, HuffPost, Jan 31, 2018
Trump celebrates end of wars on ‘American energy’ and ‘clean coal’
By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, Jan 30, 2018
Link to report: Monthly Energy Review,
By Staff Writers, EIA, January 2018
Problems in the Orthodoxy
EU’s air pollution pariahs summoned to Brussels
By Sam Morgan, Euractiv, Jan 19, 2018
“Environment ministers from some of the EU’s worst air pollution offenders have been summoned to Brussels for an end-of-month meeting with the European Commission, where they will have to answer some tough questions.
“EU environment chief Karmenu Vella has invited ministers from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to come and discuss air pollution and what they are doing to tackle it on 30 January.”
Adjusted Upwards…German CO2 Equivalent Emissions Rise (Again) In 2016…No Reduction Since 2009!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 27, 2018
Why A Cold Week In January Shows Renewable Energy Cannot Do It All
Building a 100% renewable – and affordable – energy system is challenging for any country
By Matt Rooney, Huff Post, Jan 25, 2018
Seeking a Common Ground
Eucalyptus trees cope fine with extreme heatwaves, defy climate models, survive 50C temps
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 31, 2018
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Phenotypic Adaptation of an Arctic Copepod to Ocean Acidification
Bailey, A., De Wit, P., Thor, P., Browman, H.I., Bjelland, R., Shema, S., Fields, D.M., Runge, J.A., Thompson, C. and Hop, H. 2017b. Regulation of gene expression is associated with tolerance of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis to CO2-acidified sea water. Ecology and Evolution 7: 7145-7160. Feb 2, 2018
The Resilience of a Coralline Red Algae to Ocean Acidification
Donald, H.K., Ries, J.B., Stewart, J.A., Fowell, S.E. and Foster, G.L. 2017. Boron isotope sensitivity to seawater pH change in a species of Neogoniolithon coralline red alga. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 217: 240-253. Jan 31, 2018
The Enhanced Performance of a Fast-growing Tree Species Under Elevated CO2
Kumar, S., Sreeharsha, R.V., Mudalkar, S., Sarashetti, P.M. and Reddy, A.R. 2017. Molecular insights into photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism in Jatropha curcas grown under elevated CO2 using transcriptome sequencing and assembly. Scientific Reports 7: 11066, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-11312-y. Jan 26, 2018
Models v. Observations
New Paper: “Reconciling divergent trends and millennial variations in Holocene temperatures”
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Feb 1, 2018
Link to paper: Reconciling divergent trends and millennial variations in Holocene temperatures
By Jeremiah Marsicek, et al. Nature, Jan 31, 2018
Measurement Issues — Surface
Met Office’s 5-Year Forecast
By Paul Homewood, Not , Feb 1, 2018
“Why the Met Office is so obsessed with 19th century climate is a mystery.”
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
UAH Global Temperature Update for January, 2018: +0.26 deg. C
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 1, 2018
December 2017 Map and Graph
Global Temperature Report, Earth System Science Center, UAH
Dec 1978 to Dec 2017 Trend, Lower Troposphere
Latest Data Show NO SEA LEVEL RISE ACCELERATION Since 1993…Coasts: Less Than 2 Millimeters Rise Annually!
Satellite Data Show No Acceleration In Sea Level Rise Over Past 25 Years
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 31, 2018
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Greenland’s recent temperature drop does not disprove global warming
Unfortunately, the planet is still getting warmer.
By Charlotte Price Persson, Science Nordic, Jan 29, 2018 [H/t Paul Homewood]
Link to paper: Contrasting temperature trends across the ice-free part of Greenland
By Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen, Mojtaba Karami, Birger Ulf Hansen, Sebastian Westermann & Bo Elberling, Scientific Reports, Jan 25, 2018
From the abstract: “Here we quantify trends in satellite-derived land surface temperatures and modelled air temperatures, validated against observations, across the entire ice-free Greenland. Focus is on the past 30 years, to characterize significant changes and potentially vulnerable regions at a 1 km resolution.”
[SEPP Comment, No discussion of atmospheric temperatures, where the greenhouse gases are. As noted in the article, satellite derived surface temperatures have issues with cloudiness.]
Greenland Is Getting Colder–New Study
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 29, 2018
“When you look at the yearly average, the ice-free parts of Greenland show a slight drop in temperature between 2001 and 2015. With swings in temperature from year to year.”
[SEPP Comment: See links immediately above.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
U.S. Corn Yield a New Record – Again
Global warming be damned — full speed ahead on the Maize Train.
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 29, 2018
American Meteorological Society asks Trump to check government agencies for climate change information
By Brett Samuels, The Hill, Jan 31, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The AMS has yet to produce “credible and scientifically validated” evidence that CO2 is the primary cause of recent warming.]
The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time — Part XVIII
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Jan 29, 2018
“Those reports led Politifact to put some questions in writing to NOAA. They received a response, the gist of which was ‘our algorithm is working as designed’ — without any information as to how or why the specific adjustments were made, nor any access to code or methods to enable the adjustments to be replicated.”
[SEPP Comment: Further discussion of downward adjustment of historic temperatures by NOAA & NASA-GISS.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
EU tries to measure ‘energy poverty’ – without defining it
By Peter Teffer, EUObserver, Jan 30, 2018 [H/t Real Clear Energy]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Telegraph Repeats Fake “40000 Deaths Caused By Air Pollution” Claim
By Paul Homewood Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 2, 2018
Expanding the Orthodoxy
The UN Wants Your Input, Providing You Support Climate Action
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 31, 2018
Questioning European Green
Corin Taylor: Fracking is our chance to meet the need for gas
By Corin Taylor, Yorkshire Post, Jan 30, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
“Corin Taylor is director of UK Onshore Oil and Gas.”
Trump administration yanks funding for “Climate-Related Fellowships”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 30, 2018
Link to article: Prestigious Climate-Related Fellowships Rescinded
Reduced program is one of several that usually support climate science postdoctoral research but have eliminated or suspended funding opportunities.
By Gabriel Popkin, EOS, Jan 19, 2018
SEC Should Investigate California Cities for Securities Fraud Related to Climate Risks
By Sam Kazman, Devin Watkins, CEI, Feb 1, 2018
Cities’ Global Warming Lawsuits Raise ‘Serious Questions Of Bond Fraud,’ Attorneys Say
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Feb 1, 2018
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA reconsidering whether to cut off Chesapeake newspaper’s funding
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jan 30, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Is the newspaper another EPA promotional activity?]
Trump’s EPA Targets Academics For Hiding Data Used To Ban Popular Pesticide
By Chris White, Daily Caller, Jan 26, 2018
[SEPP Comment: An item of concern, except the data was used to formulate public policy.]
Energy Issues – Non-US
U.S. on Track to Top Russia as World’s Largest Oil Producer, Upending Global Trade and Geopolitics
U.S. energy exports now compete with Middle East oil for buyers in Asia, with breathtaking economic and political impacts
By Staff Writers, Haaretz and Reuters, Jan 29, 2018
Norway Aiming For Oil & Gas Output To Reach Record Highs By ~2022
By James Ayre, Clean Technica, Jan 21, 2018
The Shape I’m In – Rising Canadian Production, Takeaway Constraints And WCS Price Discounts, Part 2
By Peter Howard, RBN Energy, Jan 30, 2018
Energy Issues – Australia
Mystery: Australian electricity costs rise six times faster than wages – up another 12%
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 31, 2018
Melbourne: 42,000 homes in dark, no fans left at Kmart. Power outages due to “secret” air conditioners?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 29, 2018
Political Vandals: Victoria, the diesel state, bans, hides, cheap cleaner gas, blames fuses, air conditioners
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 29, 2018
Energy Issues — US
Oil Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy
By Clifford Kraus, NYT, Jan 28, 2018 [H/t Myron Ebell]
[SEPP Comment: Remarkable article for the NYT.]
Time to end quixotic opposition to American energy
By C. Boyden Gray, The Hill, Jan 29, 2018
Report: Trump Wants Deep Cuts in Clean Energy Programs
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, Jan 31, 2018
The Promise and Challenge of U.S. Energy Infrastructure
By Craig Stevens, Real Clear Energy, Jan 31, 2018
“Craig Stevens is the spokesperson for Grow America’s Infrastructure.”
Washington’s Control of Energy
Cold winters are testing the limits of US energy grid
By Jordan McGillis, The Hill, Jan 29, 2018 [H/t ICECAP]
[SEPP Comment: The article discusses the Jones Act, passed in 1920, to protect U.S. domestic shipping. It makes shipping from one state to another prohibitively expensive by requiring that intrastate shipping be done in US-registered vessels.]
Interior rolls back oil drilling policies for federal land
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Feb 1, 2018
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
America’s oil exports are booming — and lifting prices
By Matt Egan, CNN, Jan 29, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Sensing but Not Hearing: The Problem of Wind Turbine Noise (Interview with acoustician Steven Cooper, AU)
By Sherri Lange, Master Resource, Feb 2, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Lengthy post addressing a serious, but inaudible, issue with industrial wind.]
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: January 29, 2018
By John Droz, Jr. Master Resource, Jan 29, 2018
Willcox-area wind farm under investigation for bat, eagle deaths
By Tony Davis. Arizona Daily StaR, Jan 22, 2018
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
EPA chief riles ethanol advocates with call for biofuels policy reform
By Staff Writers, Reuters, Feb 1, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]
‘Tesla of the canals’: Netherlands and Belgium to launch world’s first zero-emissions self-piloting container barges
Each fully-electric boat will transport 24 containers weighing up to 425 tonnes
By Tom Embury-Dennis, The Independent, Jan 25, 2018
Health, Energy, and Climate
‘Settled Science’ Just Got Blown Up
Editorial, IBD, Feb 2, 2018
Big green readies dozens of lawsuits as only ‘antidote’ for Trump EPA
By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Jan 27, 2018
Other News that May Be of Interest
Israeli fossils are the oldest modern humans ever found outside of Africa
Jaw and teeth mark Homo sapiens’ early arrival on the Arabian Peninsula.
By Ewen Callaway, Nature, Jan 25, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[No link to paper]
Politicizing the environment is hurting its cause
By Martin Morse Wooster. Philanthropy Daily, Jan 25, 2018
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Caterpillers on the march!
By Staff Writers, CC?? Jan 31, 2018
”Caterpillars Devour 45 Towns in Liberia: Climate Change Possibly to Blame. In the aftermath of another extended rainy season, Liberia has experienced its worst caterpillar plague in three decades.
“Tens of millions of the black-haired creatures have swarmed farms, devastated crops and contaminated several major waterways.”
CCC? Feb 1, 2018
“’Well, the wacky weather could get even wackier. What we’re seeing is that the jet stream and the polar vortex are becoming unstable. Instability of historic proportions. Now think of the polar vortex as a bucket, a swirling bucket of cold air. However, the walls are weakening.”
“’Cold air is spilling out, spilling out over the walls of the bucket. And the question is, why? Why is this polar vortex weakening? We think it’s because of the gradual heating up of the North Pole. The North Pole is melting.’”
New York City College physics professor Michio Kaku, interview on CBS, This Morning, 13 Feb 2014.
1. China Creates Nuclear Powerhouse
Two of the country’s largest nuclear-power firms remerge in effort to boost market power and efficiency.
By Wayne Ma, WSJ, Jan 31, 2018
SUMMARY: The reporter states:
“The country’s state-asset regulator said Wednesday it approved the merger of China National Nuclear Corp., which develops and produces nuclear power, and China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Group, which builds nuclear-power plants.
“The megamerger would create a company with combined assets of about $100 billion and a workforce of more than 140,000 people.
“The merger has been in the works since at least March 2017, when the publicly listed units of both companies each said their parents were planning to restructure. The two companies split up in a previous round of government-sponsored restructuring in 1999.
“Beijing has been systematically combining and strengthening its state-owned enterprises over the past two years to boost their market power and efficiency. China’s two largest steelmakers merged in 2016, while its top coal miner and one of its biggest power producers combined less than a year later.
“By merging the two companies, Beijing hopes vertical integration can reduce costs and make its nuclear giant more competitive, especially overseas, where it hopes to follow in the footsteps of other Chinese firms’ success abroad in winning contracts for rail and power-grid construction and operation.
“China is the fastest-growing country for nuclear power as Beijing ramps up capacity as part of a plan to diversify beyond its reliance on coal-fired power plants. Coal-fired plants make up more than 60% of the country’s power mix, according to China’s National Energy Administration, and are a main source of air pollution.
“China had 36 gigawatts of installed nuclear-power-generation capacity last year, or about 2% of total power-generation capacity, according to the energy administration. Beijing has set an ambitious target to reach 58 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020 and analysts say it could target more than 200 gigawatts by 2030. By comparison, U.S. nuclear capacity was about 100 gigawatts last year, though most of that capacity was built before 1990.”
2. Drilled, Baby, Drilled
A decade ago Barack Obama mocked Sarah Palin. Who was right?
Editorial, WSJ, Feb 1, 2018
SUMMARY: After discussing how the previous administration mocked the political slogan “drill, baby, drill, the editorial states:
“The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday that U.S. crude oil production exceeded 10 million barrels a day for the first time since 1970. That’s double the five million barrels produced in 2008, thanks to the boom in, well, drilling, baby.
The EIA summary puts it this way: ‘U.S. crude oil production has increased significantly over the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tighter rock formations including shale and other fine-grained rock using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to improve efficiency.’”
“The magnitude of the boom is remarkable. The gusher has pushed the U.S. close to overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s leading oil producer. In 2006 the U.S. imported 12.9 million barrels a day of crude and petroleum products. By last October that was down to 2.5 million a day. Some gimmick.
“This translates into greater energy security as the U.S. is less dependent on foreign oil sources. Donald Trump calls it ‘energy dominance,’ which implies that the U.S. wants to husband its supplies like gold at Fort Knox. The reality is we want to produce and sell what the market will bear, including exports to willing buyers around the world.
“Thanks to Congress’s deal with Mr. Obama in 2015 when Republicans extended wind and solar subsidies in return for lifting the oil export ban, the U.S. exported some 1.5 million barrels of oil a day in November. Some readers may recall that Heritage Action instructed Congress to vote no, and Breitbart called the bill ‘a total and complete sell-out of the American people.’ Perhaps even they can now see that trading temporary subsidies for a permanent change in export law was shrewd and good for the country.
“Also striking is how quickly the oil and gas industry has recovered from the oil price plunge of 2015-2016. Previous price declines led to multiple bankruptcies and bank failures. This time drillers adapted quickly, took the rig count down fast, and cut costs. America’s flexible private capital markets helped the companies ride out the price trough, and now producers, investors and lenders are reaping the benefits of the oil price rebound to $69 a barrel.
“And don’t forget the fracking boom in natural gas. EIA says U.S. gas production increased by some 50% from January 2010 to November 2017, reducing carbon emissions and heating prices. Thanks to new export terminals, the U.S. is now selling liquefied natural gas around the world. This has the potential to compete with Russian gas so Western Europe doesn’t have to succumb to Vladimir Putin’s periodic energy blackmail. Unleashing U.S. energy is Donald Trump’s best Russia containment strategy.
“It’s worth stressing some of the policy lessons in all this. The first is that the best response to energy shocks is to let the market adjust to the price signals. As oil prices soared in the latter half of the last decade, politicians panicked and rushed to ban certain light bulbs, and subsidize and mandate cellulosic ethanol and other energy fads. The media fed the panic and cheered the politicians on. We were back at ‘peak oil’ and the end of fossil fuels.
“Yet American ingenuity was already discovering the solution for high prices in the shale plays of North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere. These drillers could move fast because they had the support of private capital and could lease private land. The frackers were also largely regulated by the states, which meant even the Obama Administration couldn’t stop them.
“This is a familiar American story of invention and wealth creation that benefits everyone, but it never would have happened if central planners in Washington had to approve it. That’s the most important lesson.”
3. Big Oil Finds Going Green Is Hard to Do
Shell has made the clearest bet on a lower-carbon future but that may cause headaches in the near term
By Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, Feb 1, 2018
SUMMARY: The journalist states:
“Thanks to better global growth and OPEC’s grit, oil is testing $70 a barrel again. Oil titans like Royal Dutch Shell RDS.B -2.99% are reveling in the unexpected bounty: the firm posted strong fourth-quarter results Thursday showing earnings up a cool 147% compared with a year earlier.
“Not bad for an oil firm supposedly entering the twilight years of the petroleum age.
“Still, oil’s resurgence raises some interesting questions. Of all the big oil firms, Shell has made the clearest bet on a lower-carbon, more-electric future—its roughly $50 billion purchase of BG Group in 2016 vaulted it into the top echelons of global natural-gas producers. In recent weeks, it has forked out for British power company First Utility—about $200 million, according to Thomson Reuters —and up to $217 million for a big stake in American solar producer Silicon Ranch Corp.
“With China now making a concerted push to green its power sector—and political risk stirred up by low-carbon advocacy unlikely to disappear soon—Shell’s strategy will probably pay off over the medium to long term. Nearer term, it can cause some headaches when oil prices unexpectedly rebound.”
The reporter concludes that getting out of oil, and natural gas, production will be difficult for the oil majors.
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