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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
FoS Extracts - 2017

By: Ian Cameron                 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2017-06-13

 

Wind Power Fails in Canada-A 23-year Life Span Not Likely to be Replaced

The oldest commercial wind power facility in Canada has been shut down and faces demolition after 23 years of transforming brisk southern Alberta breezes into electricity. Its owner, TransAlta Corp., announced that that a replacement is dependent on help from the provincial government. A  company spokesman said: “We’re anxiously waiting to see what incentives might come from our new government. . . . Alberta is an open market and the wholesale price when it’s windy is quite low, so there’s just not the return on investment in today’s situation. So, if there is an incentive, we’d jump all over that.”
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/13/wind-power-fails-in-canada-a-23-year-life-span-not-likely-to-be-replaced/>
 

Canadians Should be Grateful to Donald Trump for Killing the Paris Deal

Lawrence Solomon, director of Energy Probe, argues that Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement will be profound and positive-for the global environment and economy, and especially for Canada. The Paris agreement, even though its targets were voluntary, gulled a large segment of the public into thinking that countries had made a grand bargain to which they must adhere, thereby giving politicians justification for taxing their citizens through carbon policies. With the collapse of the Paris accord the grand bargain no longer exists, and politicians are no longer able to exhort their citizens to pay carbon-related levies in solidarity with the rest of the world. For Canadians, there is now hope for an end to the ruinous policies, such as those that led to unaffordable power prices, that have led manufacturing industries to move to America’s low-cost regions.
 
Procter and Gamble is the latest company to leave, fleeing coal-free Ontario for the low-cost coal country of West Virginia. The Conservative Party’s new leader, Andrew Scheer, has promised to abolish Prime Minister Trudeau’s “cash grab” carbon tax, saying it “raises the cost of everything and puts jobs at risk while doing little for the environment.”
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/lawrence-solomon-canadians-should-be-grateful-to-trump-for-killing-the-paris-climate-deal>
 

Merkel’s G-20 Climate Alliance is Crumbling

Following the G-7 summit in Sicily, German Chancellor Angela Merkel counted Canada’s Justin Trudeau among her reliable partners on the climate file, as he stood by her when she confronted US President Donald Trump on the issue. For the G-20 summit in Hamburg next month the German government is preparing a 13-page “Action Plan on Climate, Energy and Growth” that asks signatories to commit themselves to “he restructuring of energy systems consistent with Paris" and to their "nationally determined contributions" for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Ms. Merkel hoped to get 19 of the G-20 participants to sign the action plan in Hamburg, thereby isolating Mr. Trump in light of his recently-announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
 
However, Ms. Markel got a shock when she called Mr. Trudeau on June 6 to discuss the action plan and Mr. Trudeau expressed doubts about her strategy. Also, Britain and Japan are now reluctant to gang up against the US. In other words, climate policy is great, but when it comes to national interests, it is secondary.
 
<http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/angela-merkel-s-anti-trump-alliance-crumbling-ahead-of-g-20-a-1151439.html>
<http://notrickszone.com/2017/06/10/global-climate-policy-meets-its-d-day-spiegel-climate-alliance-is-crumbling/#sthash.tYh9WGox.alRUhRNB.dpbs>
 

Why Big Business CEOs Lean Left on the Paris Climate Deal

The CEOs of General Electric and Goldman Sachs went ballistic when Donald Trump announced that he would withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement. It is no surprise that big business leans left: it is in favour of sweeping regulation by governments of the world, because that’s how much of it stays rich. Indeed some companies make their fortunes exclusively through government subsidies and mandates. For example the US renewable energy industry expects to receive $7.8 trillion in investment between now and 2040, as a result of successful lobbying by companies like General Electric and Goldman Sachs. For the most part, big business and big government are two sides of the same coin, each dependent on the other for its funding, each scratching the other’s back.
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/lawrence-solomon-why-big-business-ceos-lean-left-on-the-paris-climate-deal-and-on-most-everything-else>
 

EU Emissions on the Rise: Colder Weather Blamed

The EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2015, for the first time since 2010. According to new data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the 0.5% increase happened largely due to increasing demand for transport – better fuel efficiency in the sector was not enough to offset this. The report suggests a slightly colder winter across Europe also contributed to increased emissions, due to higher demand for heating.
 
<http://www.energylivenews.com/2017/06/05/eus-emissions-in-2015-rose-after-five-years/>
 

Denmark Is Killing Tesla and Other Electric Cars

In the country that pioneered renewable energy, sales of electric vehicles, including plunged 60.5% in the first quarter of 2017. The reason: the Danish government announced the progressive phasing out of tax breaks on electric cars, citing budget constraints and the need to level the playing field. In Denmark EVs are spared the 180% tax applied to traditional vehicles. The new tax regime "completely killed the market," Laerke Flader, head of the Danish Electric Car Alliance, complained in a recent interview. "Price really matters."
 
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-02/denmark-is-killing-tesla-and-other-electric-cars>
 

EPA’s Pruitt: Establish ‘Red Team, Blue Team’ of scientists to examine climate risk of CO2

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Scott Pruitt: “What the American people deserve, I think, is a true legitimate, peer reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2.” To this end Mr. Pruitt proposes red and blue teams of scientists to ask what we do and don’t know, what risks it poses to human health in the US and the world.
 
In a Daily Signal story, while scientist John Christy favours the idea, his “consensus” colleagues disagree, fearing that it could manipulate public understanding of the science and give a false impression of uncertainty, thereby delaying action on global warming.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/06/epas-pruitt-establish-red-team-blue-team-of-scientists-to-examine-climate-risk-of-co2/>
<http://dailysignal.com/2017/06/08/trumps-epa-chief-backs-approach-to-science-that-could-upend-the-global-warming-consensus/>
 

Testing “Vaccine” Against Climate Change Denial

John Cook, a cognitive scientist at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University in Virginia tested a psychological theory that people are more resistant to misinformation if they are warned about it beforehand. In this case he used the Oregon Petition, which urged the US to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. When participants were told that there is no disagreement among climate scientists that humans are causing climate change, they tended to become “protected” against the message of the petition.
 
According to Dr. Cook: “There is a consensus of evidence that human activity is causing all of recent global warming. Not some of it. Not even most of it. All of it.” 
 
<https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/5/31/15713838/inoculation-climate-change-denial>
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition>
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/31/john-cook-lewandowsky-claims-psychological-vaccine-against-climate-wrongthink/>
 

French President Offers US Climate Scientists €1.5 Million Each to Move to France

French President Emmanuel Macron this week launched a website which aims to encourage US scientists and researchers frustrated with President Donald Trump’s position on climate change to move to France. The website “Make Our Planet Great Again” was a clear dig at Mr. Trump and his June 1 announcement that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The website said senior university faculty members, but also junior researchers and PhD candidates, were eligible to move to France to work on climate change, earth system science or energy transition projects, promising generous financing and help with moving to the country.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/10/french-president-offers-us-climate-scientists-e1-5-million-each-to-move-to-france/>
 

Dilbert 1, Scientists 0

The last FoS Extracts [2017-05-30] featured a Dilbert cartoon poking fun at climate scientists and their confidence in models. In response, a communications group at Yale University made a video of a serious group of scientists using charts and data in an effort to downplay the role of models. This Cato Institute article picks apart the arguments of the scientists and exposes their groupthink. As the author concludes, “… the Yale video sought to rebut Adams’ cartoon and ended up being a documentary version of it.”
 
On the same subject Scott Adams’ blog has a post Betting on Climate Change, in which he notes the positive stock market reaction to Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. Mr. Adams proposes that alarmists should bet on climate change predictions (e.g., sea level and temperature changes against agreed upon standards) in order to hedge against the economic catastrophe they see coming. 
 
<https://www.cato.org/blog/dilbert-1-scientists-0>
<http://blog.dilbert.com/post/161354048186/betting-on-climate-change>
 

$4 Trillion/year Carbon Tax Required to Save the World

Lord Stern, author of the Stern Review (2006), a government report which was used as the basis of UK climate policy, now says we need a four trillion dollar per annum carbon tax to save the world from CO2. This would be achieved by a $50-100/tonne tax on CO2 applied across the world. The report by Lord Stern and 12 other economists was sponsored by the World Bank.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/30/claim-four-trillion-dollar-per-annum-carbon-tax-required-to-save-the-world/>
<http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-carbon-tax-4-trillion-save-humanity-global-warming-economists-nicholas-stern-joseph-a7763376.html>

 

2017-05-30

 

Trump’s Budget Eliminates Funding for UN Global Warming Programs

The Trump administration has submitted a document Major Savings and Reforms, Budget of the US Government, Fiscal Year 2018 that describes major savings and reform proposals. It highlights 2018 savings of $57.3 billion in discretionary expenditures. On page 6 it eliminates $1.6 billion for Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative” that were included in FY 2017. Details and justification for the elimination are provided on page 75.
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/23/trumps-budget-eliminates-funding-for-un-global-warming-programs/>
<https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/msar.pdf>
 

East European States Mount Revolt Against Paris Agreement

Under the Paris climate accord, Europe promised to shave 40% off its emissions by 2030, mostly by revising existing climate laws on renewables, energy efficiency and its flagship Emissions Trading System. However the Visegrád group of countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) are trying to gut, block or water down all of these efforts. Poland has also launched a manoeuvre that may block the EU’s winter package in its entirety – particularly a planned limit on power plant emissions – if it is signed up to by a third of EU parliaments, or 10-13 states.
 
<http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/05/29/eu-climate-targets-undermined-polish-czech-revolt-documents-reveal/>
 

German Solar Energy: From the “Technology of the Future” to Extinction in 10 Years

Germany’s solar energy industry was to be the technology of the future and a promise of economic revival in the former East Germany. However, after six years of red ink the country’s last major solar manufacturer, Solarworld, led by CEO and Green Party co-founder Frank Asbeck, will file for insolvency. Mr. Asbeck blames his company’s woes on cheap imports from China and legal battles in the US. Solarworld’s demise is the last in a spectacular series of solar manufacturer bankruptcies that swept across Germany over the past years, with names like Solon, Solar Millenium and Q-Cells going under.
 
<http://notrickszone.com/2017/05/12/german-solar-energy-from-technology-of-the-future-to-extinction-in-just-10-years/#sthash.VVN7eDPF.90QrxPOB.dpbs>
 
 

Power Shift: India and China Dominate Global Coal Industries as Green Nations Divest

The report, by British-based research group InfluenceMap shows that investors in China and India increasingly dominate ownership of coal reserves amid campaign for divestment in many rich nations. It said that ownership of thermal coal, used in power plants, was dominated by "strategic investors in China and India (governments, individuals, power companies, special purpose companies).” Both countries say they will need coal for decades to bolster economic growth.
 
<http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/metals-mining/china-india-dominate-coal-ownership-as-some-shun-climate-risks-report/articleshow/58695000.cms>
<https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/9785-China-s-Belt-and-Road-Initiative-still-pushing-coal>
<http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/coal-to-be-indias-energy-mainstay-for-next-30-years-policy-paper/articleshow/58686733.cms>
 

EU Nations Set to Wipe Out Forests and Not Account for Emissions

European nations publicly keen to boost their climate credentials by switching to “green” biomass are accused of working behind the scenes to expunge their carbon emissions from burning wood in power stations from national emissions statistics. Under international climate treaties such as the Paris Agreement, burning biomass like wood is defined as carbon-neutral, even though it emits as least as much CO2 as fossil fuels. The assumption is that new trees will be grown to take up the carbon emitted from the burning. France, Austria, Sweden and Finland are trying to weaken the EU’s rules by increasing their timber harvests, resulting in a 30% reduction of the EU’s total forest management sink.
 
<https://www.newscientist.com/article/2132031-eu-nations-set-to-wipe-out-forests-and-not-account-for-emissions/>
 

Africa Has Become Greener in the Past 20 Years

A new study in Nature Ecology & Evolution, with authors from Denmark and Spain, reveals that increased atmospheric CO2, and a wetter, warmer planet are making Africa greener, while in densely populated areas people and removing trees and brushes. Overall, 36% of the continent has become greener and 11% is becoming less green.
 
<https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/africa-has-become-greener-in-the-last-20-years/>
<https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0081>
 

Why Big Corporations Want Trump to Break His Promise on Paris Agreement

According to Daily Signal writer Fred Lucas it’s simple: big corporations want to game the system using carbon dioxide as a currency to make money. These companies include ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP . They can absorb and adapt to the costs of complying with burdensome regulation, whereas smaller companies have a harder time complying. 
 
<https://www.thegwpf.com/why-are-big-corporations-so-eager-for-trump-to-break-his-promise-on-paris-climate-deal/>
<https://www.c2es.org/ws/>
<http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/29/news/trump-paris-climate-change-business/>
 

COP 24 to Be Held in Poland

The 24th Conference of Parties climate summit will take place in Poland, in November 2018, presided over by the country’s environment minister. (COP 23 will be held in Bonn under the presidency of Fiji.)
 
<http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/307658,Polish-environment-minister-to-preside-over-COP24-conference>
<http://newsroom.unfccc.int/cop-23-bonn/>
 

Dilbert Disses Climate Science Certainty

Scott Adams, who has written in his blog about this doubts about the certainty of climate science predictions, pokes fun at the certainty in a Dilbert comic strip featuring a Michael Mann lookalike.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/14/the-dilbert-sunday-comic-strip-hilariously-disses-climate-science-certainty/>
<http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-05-14>

 

2017-04-27

 

Friends of Science Spring Event: May 9, 2017

The Friends of Science Society’s annual climate science and policy event “Climate Dogma Exposed” will be on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the Red and White Club, McMahon Stadium, Calgary. It features a buffet dinner starting at 6 pm and two guest speakers: Robert Lyman, Ottawa energy policy consultant, former public servant and author of numerous reports, speaking on “Can Canada Survive Climate Change Policy?”; and Steve Goreham, author of The Mad, Mad World of Climatism and Outside the Green Box, speaking on “Climate Science and the Myths of Renewable Energy”. You can buy tickets online here. For more information see here
 

Justin Trudeau: Enemy of the Militant Climate Crusade

Bill McKibben of 350.org wants the world to stop swooning over the supposed anti-Trump, Justin Trudeau. To him Mr. Trudeau and everyone who works for him say the right things, but those words are meaningless because the Canadian government keeps pushing for new oil pipelines. At a Houston petroleum conference Mr. Trudeau got a standing ovation from the oilmen by saying about the oilsands, “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.” To Mr. McKibben extracting this oil would use up 30% of the CO2 needed to take the world to the 1.5°C target that Canada helped set in Paris.
 
The attack on Mr. Trudeau was picked up by the Financial Post and the National Post, which attacked Mr. McKibben with some humour. In the Globe and Mail, Andrew Leach (former chair of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Panel) thinks that Canada should be proud of the actions it’s taking.
 
<https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/17/stop-swooning-justin-trudeau-man-disaster-planet>
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/kevin-libin-justin-trudeau-is-suddenly-the-new-enemy-of-the-militant-climate-crusade>
<http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/rex-murphy-if-the-eco-fanatics-hate-justin-trudeau-this-much-imagine-what-they-think-of-you>
<http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/is-justin-trudeau-a-hypocrite-on-climate-change/article34797080/>
 

Canada’a Emissions Down, but Not on Track to Meet 2030 Commitment

On April 13 Environment Canada quietly released a report showing a small decline in greenhouse gas emissions, but projects that Canada won’t meet its 2030 goal with new measures. This report was to be submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by April 15. To meet Canada’s climate target in 2030, reductions would have to come from “additional measures, such as investments into public transit, green infrastructure, clean technology and innovation, stored carbon, international mechanisms,” according to the report. By “international mechanisms” the bureaucrats mean buying emissions credits.
 
<http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/canadian-politics/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/emissions-down-slightly-but-canada-not-yet-on-track-to-meet-2030-climate-targets-report>
 

Defamation Suit by Andrew Weaver Overturned

Andrew Weaver was Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis at the University of Victoria in 2009 and 2010 when National Post writers wrote four articles about the state of climate science and the political response to it. (He is currently leader of British Columbia’s Green Party.) Dr. Weaver sued, claiming defamation, and won a 2015 court decision, which ordered the National Post to pay $50,000 damages. Now the British Columbia Court of Appeal has overturned the decision because the trial judge erred in grouping all four articles together, then assigning joint liability to all the authors. The appeals court ordered a retrial.
 
<http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ruling-against-national-post-writers-in-defamation-suit-by-prominent-climate-scientist-overturned>
 

Al Gore’s New Group Demands Countries Spend $15 Trillion to Fight Global Warming

The Energy Transitions Commission is made up of energy executives, activist leaders and investment bankers, including former US Vice President Al Gore. ETC has published a report calling for countries to spend $600 billion/year over the next two decades to boost green energy deployment and energy efficiency. Royal Dutch Shell, a funder of ETC, is a major producer of natural gas, which the company bills as a way to fight global warming.
 
ETC calls for “an explicit, predictably rising, forward price curve for carbon, resulting from policy, reaching approximately $50/t in the 2020s and rising to $100/t in the 2030sis essential to drive decarbonization beyond power, to reinforce regulatory-driven improvements in energy productivity and to prevent falling fossil fuel prices from undermining the pace of the energy transition.”
 
<http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/25/al-gores-new-group-demands-15-trillion-to-fight-global-warming/>
<http://energy-transitions.org/sites/default/files/BetterEnergy_Executive%20Summary_DIGITAL.PDF>
 

Greens Make Natural Gas Their Next Target

Now after claiming to have toppled coal from its perch at America’s biggest source of power, environmentalists are ready to move on down the fossil fuel list and tackle what they perceive as another enemy of the planet: natural gas. In fact, it was the flood of cheap shale gas that did in coal.
 
Green groups that once celebrated gas as a “bridge fuel,” helping the world transition from dirty coal to zero-emission energy such as wind, solar, and other renewable sources, are now fighting it. For example, Lena Moffitt, a program director at the Sierra Club, says there’s a “growing recognition that it’s a fuel we’ll have to leave behind.” Her organization is increasingly focused on stopping gas-fired power plants and pipelines from being built.
 
<https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/04/22/greens-make-natural-gas-their-next-target/>
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-20/natural-gas-moves-to-the-naughty-list>
 

Former Obama Energy Official: A “Red Team” Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science

Steven Koonin, formerly an undersecretary of energy for President Obama, says the public is largely unaware of the intense debates within climate science and is for evidence-based policy, but against climate science’s politicization. He points out that the Summary for Policymakers in the IPCC’s reports consists of consensus statements conceal judgement calls and internal debates. To improve matters, Mr. Koonin advocates convening a “Red Team/Blue Team” process. This would identify risks and reduce, or at least understand, uncertainties. 
 
Judith Curry supports Mr. Koonin’s proposal, as the “consensus” scientists would have nothing to lose if the “consensus” is as strong as they claim. If, instead, they are just consensus enforcers for the sake of policy advocacy, then they would probably feel threatened.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/steven-koonin-a-red-team-exercise-would-strengthen-climate-science/>
<https://judithcurry.com/2017/04/21/a-red-team-exercise-would-strengthen-climate-science/>

 

2017-04-17

 

Friends of Science Spring Event: May 9, 2017

The Friends of Science Society’s annual climate science and policy event “Climate Dogma Exposed” will be on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the Red and White Club, McMahon Stadium, Calgary. It features a buffet dinner starting at 6 pm and two guest speakers: Robert Lyman, Ottawa energy policy consultant, former public servant and author of numerous reports, speaking on “Can Canada Survive Climate Change Policy?”; and Steve Goreham, author of The Mad, Mad World of Climatism and Outside the Green Box, speaking on “Climate Science and the Myths of Renewable Energy”. You can buy tickets online here. For more information see here
 

US House Science Committee Hearing

On March 29 the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing: Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications and the Scientific Method. The four witnesses were Judith Curry, John Christy, Michael Mann and Roger Pielke Jr. The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published their prepared testimonies. Watts Up With That? has a 2-½ hour video of the hearing (which begins with statements from the committee and subcommittee’s Republican chairs and ranking members (Democratic)  about 15 minutes from the start of the video.) At 33:00 the committee chair introduces the witnesses.
 
Dr. Mann was the odd man out in the witness panel. The National Review and DeSmogBlog have their respective takes on his testimony. In a Watts Up With That? article Tim Ball argues that Dr. Mann dominated the proceedings by having the advantage of not caring about the truth with a performance designed for most of the public who have no idea what is true.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2017/03/Climate-Science-March20171.pdf>
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/29/hump-day-hilarity-mann-o-war-at-the-house-science-hearing/>
<http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446295/michael-mann-house-testimony-climate-change-embarrassing-rude>
<https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/03/29/house-science-committee-hearing-lamar-smith-michael-mann-climate-consensus-deniers>
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/03/we-won-climate-battles-but-are-not-winning-the-climate-war-heres-why/>
 

Trump to Decide in Late May Whether to Stay In Paris Climate Pact

The Trump Administration is expected to announce a final decision by May 26 (the start of the G7 conference) whether to stay in the Paris Agreement. The president has been under pressure from conservatives to abandon the agreement and from others (Secretary of State Tillerson, daughter Ivanka and her husband) to stay in.
 
The Washington Post reports EPA chief Scott Pruitt calling for an “exit” from the agreement. In an interview he said that America had front-loaded all its costs under the agreement, while India and China had no obligations until 2030.
 
<http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/326561-trump-to-decide-whether-to-stay-paris-climate-pact-by-late-may>
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/04/14/trumps-epa-chief-scott-pruitt-calls-for-an-exit-to-the-paris-climate-agreement/?utm_term=.92768a1bfa53>
 

G7 Energy Ministers Fail to Agree on Climate Change Statement

Meeting in Rome on April 10 the G7 energy ministers failed to agree on a statement on climate change. The reason: the US “reserved its position” on the test regarding commitments made by the G7 countries under the Paris agreement. The ministers' agenda had called for discussion of energy security, policies to move away from coal, natural gas routes and supply, sustainable development of electricity sources, alternative fuel scenarios and energy access and investments in Africa. However, due to lack of unanimity, the Italian chair of the G7 meeting decided against proposing a joint statement.
 
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4398020/G7-officials-fail-agree-statement-climate-change.html>
<http://www.reuters.com/article/us-g7-energy-u-s-idUSKBN17C1F3>
<http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/04/10/g7-fails-agree-paris-climate-statement-us-turns-spoiler/>
<http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-fossil-fuels-g7-tension-237129>
 

The Magic Disappearing $100 Billion Climate Fund

Developed countries have been relabelling other foreign aid a contributions to the UN’s Climate Fund. For developing countries that is a cheatthey expect $100 billion/year in new money. China has become the new hero of the climate movement by working to widen the north-south rift by piously calling on selfish northern countries to make good on the $100 billion.
 
This rift came to light at a meeting in Beijing of climate change ministers from the BASIC group of countries. 
 
<https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/04/12/the-magic-disappearing-100-billion-climate-fund/>
<http://uk.businessinsider.com/china-india-brazil-south-africa-trump-climate-change-2017-4>

 

2017-03-29

 

Friends of Science Spring Event: May 9, 2017

The Friends of Science Society’s annual climate science and policy event “Climate Dogma Exposed” will be on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the Red and White Club, McMahon Stadium, Calgary. It features a buffet dinner starting at 6 pm and two guest speakers: Robert Lyman, Ottawa energy policy consultant, former public servant and author of numerous reports, speaking on “Can Canada Survive Climate Change Policy?”; and Steve Goreham, author of The Mad, Mad World of Climatism and Outside the Green Box, speaking on “Climate Science and the Myths of Renewable Energy”. You can buy tickets online here. For more information see here
 

Trump Sign’s “Energy Independence” Executive Order

On March 28 President Trump went to the offices of the Environmental Protection Agency to sign an Executive Order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” This order directs the EPA  to suspend, revise, or rescind four actions related to the Clean Power Plan that would stifle the American energy industry. It also directs all agencies to conduct a review of existing actions that harm domestic energy production and suspend, revise, or rescind actions that are not mandated by law and it disbands the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.
 
Under the Obama Administration federal agencies were required to plan for and mitigate the future effects of climate change, treat it as a national security issue, and attempt to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. This executive order revokes four separate executive orders and presidential memoranda President Obama signed over the last four years.
 
A Forbes commentary on the order notes that, unlike the recent immigration orders, this one bears the stamp of experienced government lawyers and “and leaves the administration with a rich variety of tactical choices on how to eliminate Obama-era regulations on fossil fuels.” The author expects environmentalists and states to sue and try and force the administration to stick to the Obama-era goals, but the EPA can say that the federal statutes don’t give it the power to order the electric grid to reduce emissions by 30%, arguing that the cuts have to come from Congress.
 
<http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/28/energy-independence-not-climate-change-becomes-priority-under-trump-order/99725640/>
<https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/president-trumps-energy-independence-policy>
<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/read-full-text-trumps-executive-order-energy-climate-change/>
<https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2017/03/28/trumps-executive-order-on-energy-this-time-he-listened-to-the-lawyers/#dbf53504f5f7>
 

New EPA Chief Calls Paris Climate Accord “A Bad Deal”

On March 26 Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency called the December 2015 Paris climate agreement “a bad deal.” During an interview on ABC he said: "You know, what was wrong with Paris was not just that it was, you know, failed to be treated as a treaty, but China and India, the largest producers of CO2 internationally, got away scot-free, They didn’t have to take steps until 2030. So we’ve penalized ourselves through lost jobs while China and India didn’t take steps to address the issue internationally. So Paris was just a bad deal, in my estimation.”
 
<http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/325826-pruitt-says-paris-accord-a-bad-deal>
 

The Paris Treaty is Already Failing

Only three European countries-France, Germany and Sweden-are following through on their commitments made in Paris 15 months ago. Others are trying to gain wiggle room in the talks by pushing for measures such as a later (and higher) baseline for measuring their COcuts, or greater use of forestry credits to meet the EU’s climate goal. Another loophole includes a handout of 100 million surplus ETS allowances, worth €2 billion to help countries meet their emission obligations on paper.
 
Even Germany is continuing to see its emissions rise, while the real global leader is the US, which saw its emissions drop 3% last year, thanks to shale gas.
 
<http://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/03/29/the-paris-climate-treaty-is-already-failing/>
<https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/28/only-sweden-germany-france-pursuing-paris-climate-goals-study>
 

The Elites and Climate Change

Journalist John Robson often uses “elites” in the pejorative sense as he resents those in authority using leadership as a privilege, rather than a responsibility. The elites have served us badly, from fiscal policy, to social policy and climate policy. Referring to the Friends of Science website, he asserts that the claimed 97% scientific consensus on human-cause global warming is designed to intimidate, not illuminate. 
 
On his website Mr. Robson promotes his documentary project The Environment; A True Story, that looks at Earth’s environment back thousands and millions of years to expose the hype of bad science and alarmism by laying out what we really know.
 
<http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-robson-if-the-elites-are-wrong-about-global-warming-the-damage-will-be-enormous>
<http://www.johnrobson.ca>
 

How American TV Networks Covered Climate Change in 2016

Despite a presidential election with candidates espousing opposite views on the subject, another “hottest year on record” and the Paris Agreement, the main TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66% compared to 2015. This amounted to 50 minutes in all. The MediaMatters story is largely devoted to what the networks did not report, and what it considers was the disproportionate coverage given to “deniers” last year.
 
<https://mediamatters.org/research/2017/03/23/how-broadcast-networks-covered-climate-change-2016/215718>
 

Greenpeace Court Filing in Resolute Dispute

Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products is suing Greenpeace and other environmental organizations in federal court in the State of Georgia under American racketeering laws. Greenpeace had accused Resolute of “destroying endangered forests”, “operating and sourcing wood … in violation of law”, and causing the “destruction of endangered species.” In response to Resolute’s suit, Greenpeace’s legal filing says that its criticism of Resolute's logging practices in Canada's boreal forests should be viewed through the prism of free speech rather than taken literally. In Resolute’s opinion the court filing is an admission of lying.
 
<http://www.resolutevgreenpeace.com>
<http://www.resolutevgreenpeace.com/blog/>
<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/greenpeace-resolute-court-1.4012553>
 

Leaked Paper Exposes EU Countries’ Abuse of Climate Loophole

By overstating their logging targets and then undercutting these targets European countries were able to pocket carbon credits worth €600 million, the equivalent of 114 million cars. In 2013-14, the most recent years available, member states picked up a windfall 120 million tonnes of credits, which are worth €5/tonne at today’s price. The credits can be used to offset emissions under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol. 
 
<http://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-environment/news/leaked-paper-exposes-eu-countries-abuse-of-climate-loophole/>
 

Report: Germany’s Energiewende Threatens to Become an Economic Disaster

A report by McKinsey finds that, as the cost of Germany’s energy transition continues to rise, the number of green energy jobs is falling. From 2015 to 2025 the annual Energiewende cost will rise from €63 billion to €77 billion. The report states that the seven energy targets set by the Federal Government are achievable, but only by way of direct subsidies. However, CO2 emissions remain high (the power plant target for 2016 was 812 Mt, but the actual was 916 Mt.) For the fourth year in a row the number of employees in the renewable energy sector declined. 
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/new-study-germanys-energiewende-threatens-to-become-economic-disaster/>
 

G20 Poised to Signal Retreat from Climate-change Funding Pledge

Citing “scarce public resources,” finance ministers from the US, China, Germany and other G20 economies said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris Agreement. This is a significant departure from the ministers’ communiqué of last July when they urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.
 
At a March 17 meeting, opposition from the US, Saudi Arabia and others forced Germany to drop from the draft G20 communique a reference to financing programs to combat climate change.
 
<https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2017/03/09/g-20-document-shows-governments-retreating-from-climate-funding>
<http://www.reuters.com/article/us-g20-germany-climatechange-idUSKBN16O1S1>
 

Big Oil Winning Against Big Green in Wind Subsidies Chase

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Statoil ASA and Eni SpA are moving into multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farms in the North Sea and beyond. They’re starting to score victories against leading power suppliers including Dong Energy A/S and Vattenfall AB in competitive auctions for power purchase contracts, which have developed a specialty in anchoring massive turbines on the seabed.
 
The oil companies have many reasons to move into the industry. They’ve spent decades building oil projects offshore, and that business is winding down in some areas where older fields have drained. Returns from wind farms are predictable and underpinned by government-regulated electricity prices. And fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business as forecasts emerge that renewables will eat into their market.
 
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-23/oil-majors-take-a-plunge-in-industry-that-may-hurt-fossil-fuel>
<https://www.desmog.uk/2017/03/23/oil-companies-awarded-new-north-sea-licenses-just-weeks-after-declaring-climate-leadership>
 

Science Deniers in the Wind Industry

Dr. Helen Schwiesow Parker, a licensed clinical psychologist, describes how the wind industry denies and dismisses the serious health impacts of low frequency and infra-sound from industrial wind turbines. She points out that, rather than “saving the world,” reliance on wind actually increases emissions and overall fossil fuel use. 
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/08/science-deniers-in-the-wind-industry/>
 

Australian Climate Institute to Close

The Climate Institute is a largely government-funded NGO established in 2005 with an intended five-year life. In fact the TCI will have survived 12 years when it ceases to operate on June 30, 2017. The reason: a lapse in funding from a foundation and the Australian government.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/08/the-climate-institute-to-close/>
<http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-institute-fights-for-survival-as-philanthropic-donation-runs-out-20151218-glrgeq.html>
<http://joannenova.com.au/2017/03/climate-institute-runs-out-of-money-2/>
 

Florida: The Sun State with Hardly Any Household Solar

The Guardian has published a revealing piece about why Florida has low household solar penetration compared to some Northern states. The reason is that Florida doesn’t have generous taxpayer-funded power buyback schemes, such as in New York State. Without subsidies solar panels can’t compete with reliable 24x7 fossil fuel or nuclear generated power. Worse, the subsidies for solar panels tend to disproportionately hit poor people. The recipients of these market distorting subsidies are the rich and middle class. Whether they pay through state taxes, or the cost is passed on via electricity bills, poor people who don’t own a home with a nice big South facing roof get slammed – they end up helping to pay everyone else’s electricity bill in addition to their own.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/28/florida-the-sun-state-with-hardly-any-household-solar/>

 

2017-03-07

 

Poll: Two-thirds of Canadians Approve of Ottawa’s Climate Regulations

In a poll of 1,000 Canadians conducted for The Globe and Mail in late February, Nanos Research found 48% ”support" and 17% "somewhat support" the government of Canada's plan to institute new climate regulations even if it is out of step with President Trump's approach. One-third of respondents said they are opposed (22%) or somewhat opposed (11%). 
 
Some Canadian business leaders and conservative politicians have urged the governments to slow or stop the implementation of the federal-provincial climate plan reached in December, arguing additional costs from environmental regulations will erode Canada's ability to compete with US companies that benefit from the Republican administration's approach. However, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna met this week with the European climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, and the two ministers said they remain committed to meeting the targets of the Paris climate agreement, even as Mr. Trump lays plans to reverse greenhouse-gas-reduction regulations passed by his predecessor Barack Obama.
 
<https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/two-thirds-of-canadians-approve-of-ottawas-climate-regulations-poll/article34205335/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile>
 

Climate Skeptics Ask Trump to Withdraw from UN Climate Agency

A group of 300 scientists and others skeptical of global warming are asking President Trump to withdraw the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm — with no environmental benefits,” the group’s letter reads
 
<http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/320793-climate-skeptics-ask-trump-to-withdraw-from-un-agency>
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/25/richard-lindzen-petition-to-president-trump-withdraw-from-the-un-convention-on-climate-change/>
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/lawrence-solomon-scientists-urging-trump-to-embrace-carbon-among-the-biggest-climate-experts-around>
 

G20: Angela Market Sets a Climate Ambush for Donald Trump

German chancellor Angela Merkel is preparing to spring an ambush on President Trump at this year’s G-20 summit next July. In 2005 at the G8 summit President Bush was cornered by the host Tony Blair and was put on the hook to enact economically-damaging policies, paving the way for Barack Obama’s climate strategy. This year Ms. Merkel is facing a tougher-than-expected reelection and needs a climate win against Mr. Trump. However, he could shine a light on Germany’s disastrous energy policies instead.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/merkel-sets-a-climate-ambush-for-trump/>
 

Germany’s “Silent Catastrophe”: 300,000 Households See Power Cut Off in One Year

 Germany’s skyrocketing electricity prices – primarily due to the legally mandatory feeding-in of wind and solar power – have regular household customers paying €0.30/kWh, almost three times the rate in the US. As a result many households are no longer able to afford electricity and are seeing themselves catapulted back to the 19th century. Over the past year, 300,000 of them have had their power cut off. Not only have the poor been broadsided by the high electricity prices, but so have energy intensive industries.
 
<http://notrickszone.com/2017/03/03/germanys-silent-catastrophe-330000-households-see-power-turned-off-in-one-year/#sthash.gVLc2STP.wZrKl6H7.dpbs>
 

German High Court: Federal Agency Has the Right to Denounce Critical Science Journalists

A German High Court has decided that the Federal Environmental Agency has the right to publicly denounce science journalists who report critically about climate issues. In 2013, the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) published a brochure entitled “And Yet It Is Warming” stating that there were unfortunately scientists and journalists who spread untruths about climate change. Among those named was journalist Michael Miersch who was at the time science editor of the German weekly magazine Focus. Specifically, his articles were accused of “not agreeing with the state of knowledge of climate science.”
 
Mr. Miersch sued the UBA in an administrative court, which ruled that climate change sceptics are impure and paid by the oil industry, so he appealed to the Magdeburg High Court. On February 2 the latter rejected the appeal, asserting that the UBA had the right to impute that he had reported contrary to the “state of scientific knowledge “ and the government has the right to counteract “post-factual discourse” (i.e., Mr. Miersch’s articles). Also, the Federal Environmental Agency is allowed to classify him as a climate change skeptic, which in Germany means anyone who questions whether climate change is taking place, and therefore a crank.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/german-high-court-rules-federal-agency-may-denounce-critical-science-journalists/>
 

A Trifecta of Green Lunacy: The Law of Unintended Consequences Kicks In

Lunacy No. 1 is the UK spending £450 million in subsidies in 2015 for chopping US trees, turning them into wood pellets, transporting them across the Atlantic and burning them to produce power to meet EU renewable energy targets. This produces more greenhouse gases than simply burning cheaper coal.
 
No. 2 is that household storage for solar power doesn’t reduces costs or CO2 emissions. As charging and discharging a home battery itself consumes energy, feeding surplus solar power into the storage device instead of into the grid results in higher overall electricity consumption for the household, as well as higher emissions because the increased consumption needs to be covered by fossil fuel-based energy. This increase is quite substantial – up to 591 kWh annually.
 
No. 3 is the felling of protected forests in Europe, again to meet EU renewable energy targets. Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/23/a-trifecta-of-green-lunacy-the-law-of-unintended-consequences-kicks-in/>
<https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/impacts-demand-woody-biomass-power-and-heat-climate-and-forests#>
 

Reform of the EU Carbon Market

An overhaul of the EU’s flagship trading scheme for cutting CO2 emissions by European industries has been approved by the member states. The agreement to reform the emissions trading system comes after almost two years of discussions but just two weeks after the European parliament voted in favour of a new directive. Under the proposed directive – now due for deliberation by the European parliament – the number of allowances can be gradually reduced, to push up their cost and provide an incentive for industries to adopt cleaner technologies. The cap on emissions will fall by 2.2% a year – the so-called linear reduction factor – until at least 2024.
 
The highest performing 10% of factories and other installations will receive all their allowances for free, and a fund of up to €12 billion will be established to help industry innovate and invest in technology. Environmental campaigners claim that the reformed ETS does still not do enough. A proposal to remove the rights of big emitters, such as the cement industry, from receiving free carbon credits, was not passed by the European parliament in February, frustrating many.
 
<https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/28/reform-of-eu-carbon-trading-scheme-agreed>
 

Clean Energy’s Dirty Secret

The Economist hopes that it is no longer far-fetched to imagine the world entering into an era of “… clean, unlimited and cheap [renewable] power.” However, there are problems: it’s going to take $20 trillion in new investment in “green” energy, and the more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source. The $800 billion of public subsidy since 2008 has distorted the market just as electricity use in the rich world was stagnating. The resulting glut in power-generating capacity has slashed the revenues that utilities earn from wholesale power markets and thus deterred investment.
 
Green power is both intermittent and has almost zero marginal cost when it is available. As a result the conventional plants required to keep power flowing 24/7 are idle for long periods and find it hard to attract private investors. The higher the penetration of renewables, the worse the problems get, as bitter experience in Europe has shown. The Economist’s proposed solution to this dilemma: smart meters and batteries, together with government restructuring of the power market to adjust prices frequently according to demand. (It’s been tried in Ontario.)
 
<http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21717371-thats-no-reason-governments-stop-supporting-them-wind-and-solar-power-are-disrupting?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/windandsolarpoweraredisruptingelectricitysystems>
 

A Climate Story that Must Be Told

Tim Ball relates the experiences of two women, Judith Curry and Sallie Baliunas, who decided to abandon their academic work in climate science because of the animosity and nastiness directed against them for not going along with the consensus. Dr. Ball relates some of his own experiences  and quotes Sayre’s law: “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.”
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/04/a-climate-story-that-must-be-told/>
 

Polar Bear Scare Unmasked: The Saga of a Toppled Global Warming Icon

Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon. In 2005 international polar bear specialists decided that future sea ice loss due to human-caused global warming had replaced wanton over-hunting as the primary threat to polar bear survival. In 2007 American government biologists insisted that by 2050, when summer sea ice would cover 42% less of the Arctic than it did in 1979, polar bears in ten populations most at risk would be wiped out. Polar bears became a global warming icon, the preferred symbol of the consequences of burning fossil fuels.
 
This frenzy of dire news went on unchecked until 2007, when the first reports on polar bear studies undertaken since 2004 were made public. Not until about 2013, however, as more studies were completed, did it become clear that polar bears really were thriving.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/polar-bear-scare-unmasked-the-saga-of-a-toppled-global-warming-icon/>
<http://www.thegwpf.com/as-polar-bear-numbers-continue-to-increase-gwpf-calls-for-re-assessment-of-endangered-species-status/>
<https://polarbearscience.com/2017/02/28/science-behind-the-video-polar-bear-scare-unmasked-updated-paper-now-available/>

 

2017-02-21

 

Canada’s Green Energy Bailouts

A rough tally of the ballooning financial plight of the electricity sectors in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland quickly runs to more than $50 billion in new debt and imbedded costs for investments that threaten to be money-losing drags on growth and consumers — and the federal government — for years to come. 
 
An $8.8-billion dam known as the Site C Clean Energy Project in northeastern BC has been described as a “white elephant” by a former hydro executive. Approval of Site C came in the context of the BC Green Energy Act, which mandates that 93% of the province’s electricity must come from “clean and renewable resources.” There is, alas, no requirement for economic viability.
 
Manitoba Hydro is also building clean and renewable projects worth billions. A report last year from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) warned that Manitoba Hydro’s debt could double to $23 billion by 2023, propelling the provincial debt/GDP ratio to 65%. 
 
Under Ontario’s Green Energy Act, the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne has saddled the province with escalating wind and solar electricity costs that will drain billions from industry and consumers. Power costs have already doubled to nearly 12¢/kWh to pay for the green energy needed to replace coal plants.
 
The cost of Muskrat Falls, a giant Labrador hydro project designed to ship “clean” and “cheap” hydro power overland and underwater to Newfoundland, is now said to be approaching $12 billion. Former premier Roger Grimes (whose predecessor, Danny Williams, pushed Muskrat) said recently the project “will haunt all of us, unfortunately, for the rest of my life, my daughter’s life, my granddaughter’s life even.”
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/terence-corcoran-now-up-to-50-billion-canadas-green-electricity-bailouts-make-the-bombardier-giveaway-look-like-peanuts>
 

Public Backlash Rises over Low-Carbon Policies

Jack Mintz, a fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, notes that, despite what certain Canadian politicians say, governments in Europe, the US and even Ontario, are starting to back away from anti-carbon policies. He predicts that Canada’s “commitment” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2015 levels by 2030 is certain to fail. The reason that governments are backing away from carbon policies: voters don’t like them. This becomes apparent the moment the public understands that increasing carbon prices comes at a cost. 
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/jack-mintz-the-public-backlash-is-rising-as-the-credibility-of-high-cost-low-carbon-policies-collapses>
 

Children’s Climate Suit to Donald Trump: See you in court

Donald Trump can add one more lawsuit to his growing list as president: Juliana v. United States, a federal lawsuit brought against the US government by a group of kids and young adults concerned about climate change. The lawsuit, which began in August of 2015, argues that the federal government, in its actions, has endangered future generations’ rights to what is known as the public trust. The public trust is an old legal doctrine that holds that it is the government’s responsibility to preserve certain natural resources for public use.
 
On February 9 the plaintiffs filed notice with the court that they were replacing former President Obama with President Trump. However the timeline for the trial remains murky, with the administration’s lawyers pushing for a 2019 trial date. A federal judge has scheduled a status conference for March 8, 2017.
 
<https://thinkprogress.org/childrens-climate-lawsuit-trump-4953d46cb66c#.q8p1wvy3c>
 

Scott Pruitt’s Back-to-the-Basics Agenda for the EPA

Mr. Pruitt’s nomination as administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency was confirmed 52-46 by the Senate on February 17. He gave an interview with the New York Times on February 16 in which he said he plans to refocus the agency on its statutorily defined mission: working cooperatively with the states to improve water and air quality. Mr. Pruitt says he expects to quickly withdraw both the Clean Power Plan (President Obama’s premier climate regulation) and the 2015 Waters of the United States rule (which asserts EPA power over every creek, pond or prairie pothole with a “significant nexus” to a “navigable waterway”).
 
Will the EPA regulate carbon dioxide? Mr. Pruitt says he won’t prejudge the question. “There will be a rule-making process to withdraw those rules, and that will kick off a process,” he says. “And part of that process is a very careful review of a fundamental question: Does EPA even possess the tools, under the Clean Air Act, to address this? It’s a fair question to ask if we do, or whether there in fact needs to be a congressional response to the climate issue.”
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/scott-pruitts-back-to-basics-agenda-for-the-epa/>
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/17/scott-pruitt-long-time-adversary-of-epa-confirmed-to-lead-the-agency/?utm_term=.c379fe21507c>
 

Trump’s Likely Science Adviser Calls Climate Scientists “Glassy-eyed Cult”

William Happer is forerunner for the job of science advisor to President Trump, and says if offered the job he will take it. Dr. Happer is highly regarded in the academic community, but many would view his appointment as a further blow to the prospects of concerted international action on climate change. In an interview to The Guardian he said, “There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult … It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”
 
Dr. Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information.
 
<https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/15/trump-science-adviser-william-happer-climate-change-cult>
<http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/2/16/are-climate-alarmists-glassy-eyed-cultists>
 

Cold Winter: How Lignite, Coal and Gas Saved Germany from Disaster

On January 17, nuclear and gas-fired power plants, as well as those using black and brown coal were in constant use nationwide. Conventional energy sources peaked at 67,000 MW that day and supplied 90% of Germany’s energy, according to think tank Agora Energiewende. Renewables did not even reach 15,000 MW. Wind turbines operated at 12% of their capacities, solar plants at 14% – even at midday.
 
Germany’s transition to renewable energy seemed to pause on January 17. In the central and southern regions heavy clouds covered the sky, paired with fog on the ground. The sun barely reached the solar roofs. There was also very little wind that day.
 
<https://global.handelsblatt.com/companies-markets/winter-sees-the-return-of-coal-and-gas-701667>
 

Europe’s Green Madness: Dieselgate Was a Political Disaster

After the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Europe’s auto industry was encouraged to switch more than 50% of passenger cars to diesel. For this Europe got significantly dirtier air. Paris, on some days, suffers worse smog than Beijing. Though his methodology may be questionable, a UK government scientist estimates that thousands of citizens die each year because of increased nitrogen oxide and soot emissions. Now diesel technology appears to be a commercial and regulatory dead-end. When honestly tested, one study shows the latest “Euro 6 Standard” vehicles miss their pollution targets by a whopping 400%.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.com/europes-green-madness-dieselgate-was-a-political-disaster/>
 

South Australia’s Windfarms Fail Again

On February 6 the Australian Energy Market Operator said it was confident that adjustments made to wind farm software meant there was no risk of last October’s South Australia blackout [FoS Extracts 2016-10-11] being repeated in the future. Two days later, as temperatures soared above 40°C,  winds died, the windmills put out just 2% of their rated power, and 40,000 properties went without electricity. The reason: South Australia needed more imported power than the interconnectors could handle, so AEMO ordered load shedding.
 
The Herald Sun article lists five issues regarding South Australia’s power supply, of which Nos. 4 and 5 are the most significant as these apply to other jurisdictions, like Canada. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, quotes an article from The Australian about the politicians’ blame game, and Joanne Nova has two articles on the SA event.
 
<http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-says-wind-farm-changes-mean-sa-blackout-wont-repeated-43631/>
<http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/sa-loses-power-in-another-wind-farm-fail/news-story/8e5db34f658a3153f7f0a8d91a077b82>
<http://www.thegwpf.com/as-the-lights-go-out-blame-game-deepens-over-green-energy-worship/>
<http://joannenova.com.au/2017/02/rolling-blackouts-in-sa-in-40c-heat/>
<http://joannenova.com.au/2017/02/south-australian-electricity-is-coming-your-way/>
 

Judith Curry Speaks Out on Climate Science’s Fatal Flaw

The flaw is how the politicalization of climate science created and driven by the UN IPCC process has robbed scientists of the opportunity to explore the legitimate, extremely important and yet unaddressed issues of how natural climate change drivers impact the earth’s climate. A 28-minute interview with Dr. Curry begins by referring to the Mail on Sunday story about the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s rushed paper that exaggerated global warming and eliminated the recent hiatus [FoS Extracts - 2017-02-07]. She is concerned about a governmental organization playing politics with climate data. Then the interview goes into the uncertainties and “unknown unknowns” in climate science, which the IPCC deals with by using “expert judgement”. 
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/09/dr-judith-curry-speaks-out-on-climate-sciences-fatal-flaw-the-failure-to-explore-and-understand-uncertainty/>
 

Climate Models for the Layman

Judith Curry prepared this 20-page paper explaining the inherent flaws of computer models for predicting future climate change. In five chapters she describes what a global climate model (GCM) is, GCMs’ reliability, their failings, whether they are a reliable tool for predicting climate change in the 21st century, and a summary. Dr. Curry concludes that GCMs have not been subject to normal rigorous validation and verification, and they are not fit for identifying the cause (human vs. natural) of 20th century warming nor for predicting climate in the 21st century. 
 
<http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2017/02/Curry-2017.pdf>

 

2017-02-07

 

Alberta Politicians Determined to Fix an Air-Quality Problem that Doesn’t Exist

Warren Kindzierski, an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, responds to a statement by Alberta’s environment minister alleging that the province is on track to have the worst air quality in Canada. The provincial government announced a plan to address “Red Deer’s air quality, considered the worst in the province due to industrial activity and vehicle emissions.”
 
Dr. Kindzierski and a colleague studied data from an air-monitoring station in Red Deer using state-of-the-art scientific methods and had the results peer reviewed and published in the February edition of the international journal Environmental Pollution. Their study found that Red Deer had better air quality (measured in terms of fine particulate matter) than both Calgary and Edmonton, and all three are currently below the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standard of 10 μg/m3 and have getting better over the past three years. Dr. Kindzierski concludes: “If the provincial government conjures up a problem from this non-problem, my colleague and I are at the ready to explore more non-solutions.”
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/albertas-ndp-politicians-are-determined-to-fix-an-air-quality-problem-but-theres-no-evidence-it-exists>
<http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749116324745>
 

Ross McKitrick: Ontario’s Painful Coal Phase-out Didn’t Help Pollution

The Canadian government plans to impose a national coal phase-out, based on the same faulty arguments used in Ontario — namely that such a move will yield significant environmental benefits and reduce health-care costs. Dr. McKitrick and a colleague have just published a study on the coal phase-out in Ontario and its effects on air pollution over the 2002-14 interval, using data for Hamilton, Toronto and Ottawa. They found that the coal phase-out had almost no effect on pollution levels, and the Ontario government knew that this was likely to be the case. However, the province is suffering a crisis of high and rising electricity costs that’s causing real, long-lasting damage to households and businesses.
 
Dr. McKitrick notes: “The climate issue was, and remains, a red herring in the discussion about the costs and benefits of eliminating coal.”
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/ross-mckitrick-turns-out-ontarios-painful-coal-phase-out-didnt-help-pollution-and-queens-park-even-knew-it-wouldnt>
 

Why is Alberta’s Economy the Only One that Trudeau Wants to “Phase out”?

At a public meeting in Ontario Mr. Trudeau told a questioner that we need to phase out Alberta’s oil sands “to transition off our dependence on fossil fuels.” The next week he told a Calgary audience that he “misspoke”, but adding “100 years from now we probably are not going to be using it for our fuel and energy sources.” While Mr. Trudeau’s government makes it clear that it wants Alberta out of the oil business, it says nothing about plans to shut down other provinces’ carbon-intensive industries, whether it’s Ontario’s auto and steel factories, Quebec’s airplane makers, or Saskatchewan’s farmers.
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/kevin-libin-why-is-albertas-carbon-based-industry-the-only-one-the-trudeau-liberals-are-plotting-to-phase-out>
 

Trump EPA Transition Advisor: He Will Honour Campaign Pledge on Paris Agreement

Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) transition team from early September until 19 January, when he helped to draft an advisory action plan on how to implement Mr. Trump’s campaign promises. On January 30 he gave a press conference in London hosted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation and the Foreign Press Association. A YouTube video captures the whole one-hour event. After nine minutes of introductions, questions from a largely hostile press begin to which Mr. Ebell calmly replies.
 
Topics include: (11:00) how Mr. Trump was elected because his policies were popular in the heartland states, if not the bicoastal urban elites; (16:00) the EPA’s endangerment finding; (19:30) how the US could withdraw from the Paris Agreement; (23:30) the hubris and arrogance of an expert class that has been proven wrong and the “settled science” of climate change; (30:00) renewable energy and subsidies; (39:50) the “climate-industrial complex,” a gigantic special interest group.
 
In Breitbart James Delingpole describes with relish the reaction of the “London liberal media” to Mr. Ebell’s remarks.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/31/trump-epa-transition-advisor-trump-will-honor-his-campaign-pledge-to-pull-the-us-out-of-the-paris-climate-agreement/>
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvWMfAk47_Q>
<http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/01/31/delingpole-trumps-climate-plans-made-medias-heads-explode/>
 

Washington State Judge Denies Climate “Necessity” Defense in Ecoterrorism Case

During the high-profile trial of Ken Ward, a climate activist facing 30 years in prison for shutting down an oil pipeline, Judge Michael E Rickert said: “I don’t know what everybody’s beliefs are on [climate change], but I know that there’s tremendous controversy over the fact whether it even exists. And even if people believe that it does or it doesn’t, the extent of what we’re doing to ourselves and our climate and our planet, there’s great controversy over that.”
 
Judge Rickert’s remarks sparked outrage among activists who insist that American courts have an obligation to recognize the science and consensus among researchers about man-made climate change.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/31/washington-state-judge-denies-climate-necessity-defence-in-ecoterrorism-case/>
<https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/31/environmental-activist-trial-judge-questions-climate-change-ken-ward>
 

Japan to Build 45 New Coal-fired Power Plants

The Japanese government is moving ahead with its plans to build up to 45 new coal-fired power plants using high energy - low emissions technology. The plants will burn high-quality black coal from the US or Australia. Japan is turning to coal power in order to transition the country away from nuclear power. Officials promised to replace nuclear power with wind or solar, but this caused the price of electricity to rise by 20%.
 
<http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-31/japan-coal-power-plants/8224302>
<http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/01/japan-infuriating-enviros-by-building-45-new-coal-power-plants/>
 

How World Leaders Were Duped over Climate Data

On February 4 the Mail on Sunday revealed that the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement. The whistleblower was NOAA scientist John Bates, who accuses the author of the paper, Thomas Karl, of “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation… in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”
 
Judith Curry posted two articles supporting the Bates revelation. A Daily Caller article and a press release from the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology confirm that, as a result of the story, the committee will now renew its long dormant investigation into NOAA.
 
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4192182/World-leaders-duped-manipulated-global-warming-data.html>
<https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/04/climate-scientists-versus-climate-data/>
<https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/06/response-to-critiques-climate-scientists-versus-climate-data/>
<http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/06/house-committee-to-push-ahead-with-investigation-into-alleged-climate-data-manipulation-at-noaa/>
<https://science.house.gov/news/press-releases/former-noaa-scientist-confirms-colleagues-manipulated-climate-records>
 

Four Key Charts for a Climate Change Skeptic

Skeptics often get asked to show why they thinks climate change isn’t a crisis, and why we should not be alarmed about it. In Watts Up With That, Michael David White has prepared four handy graphs: 10,000 years of climate change, the failure of climate models to predict actual warming trends, 140 years of climate change on two scales, and the banality of climate change (140 years vs 10,000 years).
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/28/four-key-charts-for-a-climate-change-skeptic/>

 

2017-01-27

 

Ontario’s Plan: Destroy Jobs, Save the Planet

In clean, green Ontario the new year brings in hikes in the cost of gasoline, natural gas and electricity-all to help the government save the planet through its cap-and-trade scheme. The money collected will be redistributed to emitters in California and subsidy seekers at home. The timing is terrible for small and medium businesses whose owners can’t figure out how to make a living any more. Margaret Wente’s article describes companies facing electricity bills of $30,000 - $40,000/month because of the Ontario government’s investments in green energy that the province doesn’t need and can’t use.
 
With cap-and-trade large companies will be required to buy pollution allowances, but smaller ones just get whacked with extra costs. These are estimated to start at $136,000/year, increasing to $720,000/year by 2020.  As a result Ontario firms are being courted to move to US jurisdictions where electricity costs are about one-half those they pay now.
 
<http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/ontarios-plan-destroy-jobs-save-the-planet/article33478285/>
Alternate link.
 

Trudeau’s Cheap Talk on Climate Change

Just back from his greenhouse gas-spewing winter holiday with the Aga Khan, Justin Trudeau attended one of his “meet the people” damage-control sessions in Peterborough, Ontario to hear a grandmother tell him that skyrocketing electricity and fuel bills have driven her into energy poverty. Mr. Trudeau hugged her, then reminded her of the importance of fighting climate change, and that while she needs to be protected from the costs of carbon pricing, electricity costs are a provincial responsibility, not his. 
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/14/toronto-sun-accuses-trudeau-of-gross-green-hypocricy/>
<http://www.torontosun.com/2017/01/14/trudeaus-cheap-talk-on-climate-change>
 

Obama’s Last Climate Action: $500 Million to UN Green Climate Fund

Three days before leaving office President Obama transferred $500 million to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, to match the first $500 million given last March. In 2014 Mr. Obama pledged $3 billion to the fund.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/18/president-obama-just-transferred-another-500-million-to-the-un-green-fund/>
<http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/01/obama-500m-green-climate-fund>
 

The Immediate Threat to California’s Climate Change Fight isn’t Trump

With President Trump in office, California officials are bracing for the possibility that the new administration will undermine the state’s policies on climate change. However, a more immediate threat is a four year-old legal challenge against the state’s cap-and-trade program. For Gov. Jerry Brown and the environmental community, the lawsuit has been a ticking time bomb that could eliminate a key source of revenue and undermine a program touted as an international model for fighting global warming. Currently Quebec has joined the program and Ontario plans to do so within a year.
 
Opponents of the program claim that it is a tax, allowing the state to collect revenue without the the required two-thirds majority in both houses of the legislature. The state argues that the program falls within the government’s authority to regulate industry. On January 24 an appeals court heard arguments, and a decision will be released in about four months.
 
During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency cast doubt on whether California should continue to have the power to impose its own emission rules on cars and trucks, a cornerstone of the state’s efforts to fight global warming.
 
<http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-california-climate-lawsuit-20170122-story.html>
<http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-epa-confirmation-20170118-story.html>

 

The Trump Shift at the Environmental Protection Agency

On January 24 President Trump prohibited EPA staff from creating press releases, blogs, messages, or any social media postings concerning their taxpayer funded work. He also ordered the agency to freeze all grants and contracts and to cut the climate page from its website. "If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear," one of the EPA staffers told Reuters, adding that some employees were scrambling to save some of the information housed on the website, or convince the Trump administration to preserve parts of it.
 
<https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/25/the-trump-shift/>
<http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-epa-climatechange-idUSKBN15906G>
 

Davos Elite Bet on Trump Climate Failure

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, 15 of the sessions were devoted to climate change and nine more to clean energy, the most ever on these issues. For the business leaders attending in Davos climate change is about more than just burnishing their green credentials; it’s about the trillions in potential profits and losses. The International Energy Agency estimates that meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement will require $13.5 trillion in spending by 2030. 
 
Despite Donald Trump’s pledge to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, more than 600 US companies have urged him to stay in. At Davos China was hailed as the new climate change leader despite its continuing expansion of coal-fired power.
 
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/15/davos-globalist-elite-bet-on-trump-climate-failure/>
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-15/ignoring-trump-s-skepticism-davos-elite-bets-on-climate-change>
 

“Green Champion” China Is Building Europe’s New Coal Plants

On January 23 a Chinese company began work on a $715 million expansion of a Serbian coal mine and a new power plant, part of a wave of investment in new coal-fired plants in the Balkans that is at odds with EU policy on reducing coal use. Western Balkan countries, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, plan to invest billions of euros in building a total of 2,600 MW in new coal-fired plants to meet rising demand for electricity as old plants are being phased out.
 
Lignite - the most polluting type of coal - is widely available in the Balkans, making it appealing to governments seeking ways to ensure security of supply and keeping energy prices low while also placating influential mining lobbies. But as the EU, World Bank and other organizations cut back on coal financing, Western Balkan countries are encountering difficulties in securing finance for their projects, and are increasingly turning to Chinese institutions and contractors.
 
<http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-serbia-energy-coal-idUKKBN1572I4>
 

Germany’s Energiewende: A Disaster in the Making

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a briefing note by Fritz Varenholt, one of the founders of the environmental movement in Germany and author of the book The Neglected Sun that has sparked public discussion in Germany about dogmatism in climate science. Under current decarbonization plans the German government aims to increase the share of renewables to 80-95% of the country’s total energy supply.
 
Until now the Energiewende policy has avoided disaster, due to lack of political opposition, oversupply, an over-engineered grid and help from Germany’s nine neighbours. But there are five looming problems: the intermittency of wind, grid stability, market distortion, electricity storage and “sector coupling”, and the Energiewende’s disaster to biodiversity  Dr. Varenholt notes the growing citizens’ initiatives agains further wind development in Germany and suggests two policy scenarios for the years up to 2020: muddling through or policy correction.
 
<http://www.thegwpf.org/germanys-energiewende-a-disaster-in-the-making/>
<http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2017/01/Vahrenholt-Energiewende.pdf>
<http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/01/vahrenholt-rails-against-the-climate-priests.html>
 

The William Happer Interview

Prof. Happer, best known to the public as a vocal critic of the IPCC “consensus” on global warming, gave a very literate interview (in text form with links and illustrations) for TheBestSchools’ Focused Civil Dialog on Global Warming. He begins the interview with his personal history, including how he became outraged by distortions about CO2 and climate, which  led him to speak up about the issue. Prof. Happer then responds to the IPCC’s four official positions (the world is warming; humans are causing it; it is a major problem; concerted global government action is required to combat it.)
 
Next he discusses climate models, conflicting records of global temperatures since 1880, attempts by NOAA to eliminate the recent “pause” in global temperatures, implications of global warming for human welfare, the hockey stick and global warming, the focus on the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 in the last century, whether there is currently an inexorable warming trend, benefits of CO2 to humans, the “consensus” that is said to exist among the world’d scientists on the global warming issue, and societal issues relevant to the public discussion on global warming, whether scientists should intervene in politics, and the five strongest arguments against the consensus view.
 
<http://www.thebestschools.org/special/karoly-happer-dialogue-global-warming/william-happer-interview/
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/10/the-william-happer-interview/>

 

2017-01-04

 

The Offset Question: Will Canada Buy Its Way to the Climate Finish Line?

DeSmog is worried that the December 9 accord between the Canadian federal government, eight provinces and three territories (absent Saskatchewan and Manitoba) [FoS Extracts - 2016-12-14] assumes that Canada will partially rely on emissions trading to meets its 2030 target of 524 Mt of CO2 (30% below the 2005 level). The bureaucrats’ term for emissions trading is “internationally transferred mitigation outcomes.” DeSmog notes that emissions trading has developed a shoddy reputation over the years, which may account for the government’s decision to downplay the possibility of deploying. it. DeSmog goes on to describe how emissions trading works, whether it helps climate change (it doesn’t) and how it’s been used before.
 
<https://www.desmog.ca/2016/12/13/carbon-offset-question-will-canada-buy-its-way-climate-finish-line>
 

Time to Expose the Lie that Expensive Green Energy Won’t Hurt Canada’s Prosperity

A hackneyed catchphrase in debates over climate policy is that our society does not have to choose between clean energy and economic growth. However, the exploitation of energy is fundamental to economic growth. As energy costs fell our standard of living soared. Jurisdictions in Canada (e.g., Ontario) have raised electricity prices to promote renewable energy, suffered economically, and soon everyone will feel the effects of a carbon tax. It is unlikely that a country with a geography like Canada could ever transition to a post-carbon economy.
 
At least the average person and populist leaders like Donald Trump know there’s a trade-off between the economy and the cost of energy, even if the liberal elites claim otherwise.
 
<http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/philip-cross-its-time-to-expose-the-lie-that-expensive-green-energy-wont-hurt-canadas-prosperity>
 

The Day Ontario’s Wind-Power Tyranny Ends There Will Be Dancing in the Streets

Reacting to the Ontario government’s September 27 announcement suspending the acquisition of 1,000 MW of renewable electricity, the editor of the magazine North American Windpower penned an article titled Eulogizing Ontario’s Wind Industry. The article opens with the statement: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to pay our respects to Ontario’s utility-scale wind industry, which has passed away from unnatural causes (a lack of government support).”
 
But, as Parker Gallant’s story in the Financial Post points out, the eulogy is premature. If the wind industry had truly passed away thousands of Ontario ratepayers would be celebrating. Instead, the wind industry will continue to enjoy “government support” for at least the next 20 years.
 
<http://issues.nawindpower.com/article/eulogizing-ontarios-wind-industry#.WEHBlE8wztk.twitter
<http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/fp-comment/blog.html?b=business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/the-day-ontarios-wind-power-tyranny-ends-there-will-be-dancing-in-the-streets>
 

Three Post-truths about Global Energy and Climate Change

Former Encana CEO Gwyn Morgan contrasts three so-called “post-truths”  with real-world facts. The post-truths are (1) We have the technology to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar energy; (2) Canada's oil and gas industry increases global carbon emissions; (3) Canada's carbon tax will be part of a global emissions reduction effort.
 
<https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economic-insight/three-post-truths-about-global-energy-and-climate-change/article33465520/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile>
 

How Obama’s Climate Rules Might Fade Away

A year after President Obama took office a team of economists, scientists and lawyers from the federal government came up with their estimate of $21/t for the social cost of CO2 emissions (SCC), to be used to justify climate-related rules imposed by the White House. The SCC has since been raised to $40/t. As there is established case law requiring the government to account for SCC, an attempt by the Trump administration to repeal it would engender lawsuits from environmentalists.
 
Rather than repealing and fighting in court, the new administration could undercut the SCC by tweaking some of the assumptions and calculations baked into its model, even skewing it to the point that CO2 emissions come out as a net benefit instead of a cost. One of the simplest ways is to increase the discount rate. For example, using a 2.5% rate gives a 2020 SCC of $65/t; with a 5% rate it’s only $12/t; at 7% (a rate that has been used by the Environmental Protection Agency for other analyses) the SCC turns negative.
 
Another way is to limit estimates of the costs and benefits of CO2 emissions only to the US, rather than globally. This would reduce the SCC by 70%. One of the members of the Trump EPA transition team revealed that the models used to calculate the SCC look out to the year 2300.
 
<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-15/how-climate-rules-might-fade-away>
<http://www.thegwpf.com/the-social-cost-of-carbon/>
<http://www.hoover.org/research/obsolete-climate-science?utm_content=bufferefd7e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer>
 

The Impending Collapse of the Global Warming Scare

This essay in the Manhattan Contrarian notes Donald Trump’s appointments for secretaries and state and energy and the head of the EPA. All three agencies were at the heart of Barack Obama’s domestic and foreign climate policies, and the author predicts a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the next two years. First, the global warming alarmists and their “settled science” allies at the EPA will have to put up or shut up. Internationally, as soon as the US stops parroting the global warming line, other countries will start backing away from it as well. Lastly, there is funding, with $14 billion of the Department of Energy’s budget going to the global warming cause and the tens of billions of energy subsidies and research, none of which has produced cheaper energy that works.
 
The environmental movement has climbed itself way out onto the global warming limb.  Now the Trump administration is about to start sawing off the limb behind them. 
 
<http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2016/12/13/some-predictions-for-the-future-in-the-climate-game>
<http://joannenova.com.au/2016/12/the-us-is-the-child-saying-the-emperor-has-no-clothes/>
 

Skeptical Climate Scientists Coming in from the Cold

Researchers who see global warming as something less than a planet-ending calamity believe the incoming Trump administration-as evidenced by key cabinet and agency appointments-may allow their views to be developed and heard. This didn’t happen under the Obama administration, which denied that a debate even existed. New organizations like the CO2 Coalition, founded in 2015, suggest the debate is more evenly matched intellectually than is commonly portrayed.
 
Judith Curry and William Happer have pointed to evidence that global warming is less pronounced than predicted. When asked if he would voice dissent on climate change if he were a younger, less established physicist, Dr. Happer said “Oh, no, definitely not. I held my tongue for a long time because friends told me I would not be elected to the National Academy of Sciences if I didn’t toe the alarmists’ company line.”
 
<http://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2016/12/31/skeptical_climate_scientists_coming_in_from_the_cold.html>
<http://co2coalition.org>
 

EU Deadlocked over Carbon Market Reform

After a year of negotiations EU member states are unable to agree on a carbon market reform seen as necessary to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. Permits under the EU’s Emissions Trading System have been grossly over allocated since the scheme’s implementation in 2005, driving down the price to €8/t. While the EU’s climate commissioner wants to push up the price, he’s getting resistance from Poland, which insists that the Paris Agreement allows each country to go its own way on dealing with climate change. Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden want a 2.4%/year reduction in the number of permits issued, with 57% being auctioned (the rest would be given to industrial sectors that qualify for free permits.) Other states, particularly in Eastern Europe, want a slower reduction rate and a lower number of allowances to be auctioned.
 
<https://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-environment/news/eu-countries-stall-over-carbon-market-reform/>
 

Judith Curry Retires from Georgia Tech

Effective January 1, after publishing 186 journal articles and two books, Dr. Curry resigned her tenured position and requested emeritus status. She has no intention of seeking another academic or administrative position in a university or government agency. In her blog Dr. Curry discusses her growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists. In future she will be starting a new blog on the website of a company she formed, Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN). In addition to Dr. Curry and co-founder Peter Webster, the company employs seven PhD scientists, plus software engineers.
 
According the the company website, “CFAN adds considerable value to the weather and climate model outputs by increasing their information content through statistical adjustments, interpretation of the forecasts, and characterizing uncertainty of the forecasts.”
 
<https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/03/jc-in-transition/>
<http://www.cfanclimate.net>
<https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/04/dr-judith-curry-chooses-integrity-over-the-state-of-climate-science/>
 

Mark Carney: Firms Must Come Clean on Exposure to Climate-Change Risks

The Bank of England governor warns that the “fight against climate change” will be jeopardized unless companies with big CO2 footprints come clean about their exposure to global warming risks. He wants a new set of guidelines implemented so that investors can allocate capital to those companies with the best ideas to hit the target of keeping the rise in global temperature to less than 2°C.
 
<https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/14/mark-carney-firms-must-come-clean-on-exposure-to-climate-change-risks>
 

Wind Turbines: Lots of Problems, No Free Energy

While government agencies like to claim that wind is free, Donna Laframboise counters with: If wind is free, so are coal and oil-they’re just sitting in the ground waiting for us to find them. Any energy source that requires industrial-scale development before it can be used by ordinary people is not “free.” She cites three serious wind turbine malfunctions that occurred in the dying days of 2016 and suggests how to search YouTube for examples of other wind turbine failures.
 
<https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2017/01/03/wind-turbines-lots-of-problems-no-free-energy/>
 

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