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HomeUS NewsWeekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #516 – Watts Up With That?

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #516 – Watts Up With That?


The Week That Was: 2022-08-20 (August 20, 2022)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Science is a process for learning about nature in which competing ideas about how the world works are measured against observations.”Richard Feynman (The Meaning of it All)

Number of the Week: 166,000

THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Scope: TWTW will begin with a brief discussion of the problem of omission in science. Often “experts” who should know better omit critical data that calls into question their pet theory or calls into question false ideas that receive substantial public funding. Another component of omission is the failure to disclose the limits of knowledge. For example, announcing the results of medical computer models on a new disease (COVID) using data on a previous disease without properly informing the public.

Examples are given, including the sudden rebirth of the Great Barrier Reef after the government of Australia pledged $700 million to protect the Reef, the mangrove swamps in north Australia dying of thirst, and the improper use of the levelized cost of electricity. The last is an excellent concept that is highly misused. The COVID example will not be discussed.

Francis Menton writes that the highly acclaimed Schumer-Manchin deal contained a hidden bullet that was removed at the last minute. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal discusses that Senator Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia triggered its removal.

Discussion of some of the talks at the conference of the Doctors For Disaster Preparedness will be withheld until the videos are available. The video of the talk by Willie Soon is out and will be discussed next week.

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Omission: Omission is a huge problem in climate studies and by omitting important physical evidence climate studies have ceased to be a physical science. This failure applies to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers such as the US National Climate Assessment and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

“NCAR is an NSF-sponsored Federally Funded Research and Development Center devoted to service, research, and education in support of the atmospheric and related science research community. NCAR operates world-class observational facilities and computing infrastructure, conducts extensive in-house research, maintains vigorous programs of education, outreach, and the promotion of diversity, and cultivates extensive national and international collaborations. NCAR also carries out research and development on behalf of other organizations, most commonly other U.S. Government agencies. Major NCAR facilities include the Mesa Laboratory in Boulder, CO; the Research Aviation Facility in nearby Broomfield, CO; the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne, WY; and the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory on Mauna Loa, HI.”

According to its website the scientific purpose is:

“The NCAR mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related Earth and geospace systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community, nationally and internationally; and to foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth. NCAR fulfills this mission with highly integrated programs organized around three overlapping primary areas of activity: cutting edge airborne and ground-based observational facilities, community weather and climate models with many thousands of users, and petascale high-performance computing. These are accompanied by a broad portfolio of programs supporting education, career development, public engagement, and increasing diversity in the geosciences. NCAR scientists also collaborate extensively throughout the academic, private, and government sectors. NCAR’s programs are guided by the NCAR Strategic Plan, which emphasizes three overlapping priorities: 1) enhancing and building on NCAR’s core strengths in fundamental research in the atmospheric and related sciences; 2) promoting integrated Earth System Science; and 3) advancing actionable science, to help address society’s most pressing environmental challenges. [Boldface added] https://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2022/pdf/66o_fy2022.pdf

Yet, NCAR ignores (omits) over forty years of atmospheric temperature trends and atmospheric data bases such as HITRAN:

an acronym for high-resolution transmission molecular absorption database. HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic parameters that a variety of computer codes use to predict and simulate the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere.” https://hitran.org/

With a budget of $99.7 million in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and a budget request of $104 million in FY 2022, one would expect that NCAR has the resources to examine the atmospheric temperature trend database by the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the HITRAN database. They are freely available on the web. But such scientific competence and integrity are too much to expect.

Such omissions are generally not considered punishable unless one has the duty to reveal all physical evidence. There is nothing illegal about NCAR’s omissions, but its actions reveal it lacks scientific integrity.

The situation gives some ironic circumstances. A number of state and municipal attorneys general have filed litigation claiming “Exxon Knew” that use of hydrocarbons will lead the significant warming with disastrous consequences. Yet as “proof” they use climate models and climate studies that are contradicted by physical evidence. Are these attorneys guilty of the same civil wrongs they accuse Exxon? See links above and Measurement Issues – Atmosphere.

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False Narratives: On August 6 TWTW discussed that the “dead” Great Barrier Reef remarkably revived itself after the government of Australia promised $700 million for its recovery. For years Jennifer Marohasy has dived the Reef and found that despite reports from aerial surveys, the reef was recovering from threats such a great bleaching event and cyclic crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. The starfish are marine invertebrates that feed on coral. No doubt, coral have been recovering from such threats for the past 500 million years. (The Great Barrier Reef grew with the rise in sea levels after the last glaciation and the current structure has an estimated age of six to eight thousand years.)

Marohasy writes:

“It is no coincidence that the latest Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) report claiming record high coral cover was released on the same day the net zero legislation passed the lower house of the Australian Parliament, on 4th August 2022.

“In March, AIMS was claiming more than 90% of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to be severely bleached. That was in the lead up to the federal election, the climate change election.

“Now in August, just a few months later, the same organisation is claiming healthy corals and record high coral cover across more than two-thirds of the GBR.”

“These two results are irreconcilable. It is not possible that 90% of the reef was severely bleached in March and at the same time the corals were healthy and expanding their range.”

“I have sought clarification from AIMS regarding the inconsistencies in the results that claim severe bleaching in the aerial survey and no bleaching in the underwater survey, but none has been forthcoming.” [Emphasis in original]

“I have suggested that the RMIT University [officially the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology] FactLab consider an investigation, but they have not responded

Jim Steele has another readily understandable essay, this one on the dying of the mangrove swamps off the Gulf of Carpentaria, a large shallow inlet in northern Australia, south of New Guinea. Steele writes:

“(The photos and captions are screenshots from BBC: Mangrove forests: How 40 million Australian trees died of thirst.)

“The BBC’s short video begins by showing devastated mangrove forests from northern Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria from a 2015-2016 die-off. The BBC and ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) framed this natural event as a human-caused climate change disaster, to perpetuate the myth of a climate crisis.

“Mangrove specialist Dr Norman Duke attributed the episodic 2015 die-off to a 40 cm [16 inches] drop in sea level for 6 months due to an El Niño that caused the mangroves to ‘die of thirst’. Duke acknowledged that it is well known that El Niños naturally cause such major drops in sea level in the western Pacific. But there is no evidence, nor any consensus, that El Niño have been made worse by rising CO2. It is known however, that El Niño activity has increased over the last 6000 years as the earth cooled since the Holocene Optimum due to changes in the sun’s orbital cycles.

Francis Menton has a good essay explaining how the very useful concept of Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) has been corrupted by misuse. Organizations such as the International Renewable Energy Agency, an offshoot of the UN, use it to compare the cost of unreliable wind and solar power with reliable nuclear, gas, and coal-fired power. Of course, such comparisons are immediately trumpeted by promoters of wind and solar.

You cannot buy one kilowatt-hour of midnight solar electricity or one kilowatt-hour of still-air wind energy for a million dollars. The issue is how much will constant electricity cost the consumer twenty-four hours a day 365 days a year with 99.99% reliability. As Menton writes:

“Nobody knows [how expensive it will be to make wind and solar reliable], because there is no functioning demonstration project from which reasonably precise costs can be extrapolated. And frankly, there never will be such a demonstration project, because the costs are so enormous that it can never be done. Meanwhile, everyone just nods along as if LCOE comparisons are meaningful.”

The two projects TWTW has found trying to make wind power reliable with storage, King Island off Tasmania (population 1700) and El Hierro Island the smallest of the populated Canary Islands (population 11,000) both failed. As Menton suggests, no one knows how much it will cost to make German wind and solar power reliable or UK wind power reliable. Yet the International Renewable Energy Agency which compares the costs of unreliable power with the costs of reliable power calls itself a “center of excellence” giving more reasons why the UN is not to be believed. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Changing Seas

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The Trap: Menton discusses the bullet we may have dodged in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act. To be kind, apparently Senator Manchin did not recognize the bullet (or trap) which would have given grounds for claiming that Congress gave broad powers to the EPA for regulating carbon dioxide emissions. The claim would have been dubious, but the claim by the EPA that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide endanger public health and welfare is dubious. It is based on deceitful government studies that fail to consider all the physical evidence, namely the atmospheric evidence.

Fortunately, West Virginia’s other senator, Shelley Moore Capito stopped the provision. According to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

But the stealth killer was its [the Act’s] grant of authority that would have unleashed regulators on the fossil-fuel industry, especially coal. The Clean Air Act doesn’t say agencies can regulate greenhouse-gas emissions as pollutants, and the issue has been fought over in court. Mr. Manchin’s deal included a provision that explicitly authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to do so under numerous provisions of the law.

This could have nullified coal producers’ ability to challenge regulation under the recent Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA that said Congress must clearly authorize agency actions that have major economic significance. In a rejoinder to the coal producers, Mr. Manchin claimed the bill did ‘not provide any new authority for EPA to shut down coal plants.’ Is he really so naive? [Boldface added]

Enter Ms. Capito, who offered an amendment on the Senate floor to strip the bill’s sweeping grant of regulatory authority from the bill, which all Democrats including Mr. Manchin rejected. She then challenged its compliance with budget reconciliation rules, which prohibit measures whose budgetary effects are ‘merely incidental’ to the policy impact.

The Senate parliamentarian agreed and struck the provision from the bill. Still, Mr. Manchin and his fellow Democrats are on record in support of giving EPA unbridled climate-regulation authority, including to impose cap and trade.

Mr. Manchin has pushed back against the coal producers, noting that the industry has been declining for the past couple of decades under Republican and Democratic Administrations. The way he sees it, the bill’s tax credits for carbon capture technology will ease the industry’s death, like painkillers do for a patient with an incurable disease. But carbon capture has never shown economic viability in the U.S. despite attempts by the deep-pocketed Southern Co., among others.

At least Ms. Capito has given the industry a fighting chance to stave off the worst regulation. But there’s a reason the climate left is celebrating Schumer-Manchin as a victory: They think it spells the end of U.S. coal.

Mr. Manchin has declared that his deal will remove restrictions on US oil and gas drilling. But that remains to be seen. There are no guarantees other Democrats will agree to the deal he struck with Senator Schumer, and Mr. Manchin’s critical thinking skills are in question. See link under The Political Games Continue and Article # 1.

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April Fools Award: Among the many distinguished nominees for SEPP’s prestigious April Fools Award were Keith Seitter, former Executive Director of the American Meteorology Society; the Department for Climate Change of the University of East Anglia for failure to recognize the difference between tree rings and thermometers; US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, for laughing in response to a question on increasing oil and gas production and pledging $3.5 billion for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which would kill all life on the planet; New Zealand Minister of Climate Change James Shaw for promoting Zero Carbon, which has failed everywhere; Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry who is clueless; and Senators Schumer and Manchin.

At the 40th annual DDP meeting it was announced that the winner was Senators Schumer and Manchin for stagflation preservation. The vote may have been influenced by last minute ballot stuffing in West Texas.

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Number of the Week: 166,000. In 2021 the IRS had 78,661 full time employees. The misnamed Inflation Reduction Act has funds to raise this total by 87,000 (to increase government revenues). By contrast, the FBI employs about 35,000. With the increase the IRS will have about 4.7 times the employees of the FBI. Does this disparity indicate where Washington believes the criminals are?

See: Change in US Administrations,  https://www.irs.gov/statistics/irs-budget-and-workforce, and https://www.fbi.gov/about/faqs/how-many-people-work-for-the-fbi#:~:text=The%20FBI%20employs%20approximately%2035%2C000,scientists%2C%20and%20information%20technology%20specialists.

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (III). Meridional transport

By Javier Vinós & Andy May, Climate Etc. Aug 15, 2022

The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (II). Solar activity unexplained/ignored effects on climate

By Javier Vinós & Andy May, Climate Etc., Aug 7, 2022

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-biological-impacts/

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

http://store.heartland.org/shop/ccr-ii-fossil-fuels/

Download with no charge:

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Climate-Change-Reconsidered-II-Fossil-Fuels-FULL-Volume-with-covers.pdf

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

Download with no charge:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Failed Climate Predictions – Willie Soon, PhD

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, August 19, 2022

https://rumble.com/v1gj3td-failed-climate-predictions-willie-soon-phd.html

Australia’s Mangroves: BBC & ABC’s Disturbing Fear mongering with Scientific Dishonesty and Idiocy

By Jim Steele, A Walk On The Natural Side, Aug 15, 2022

https://perhapsallnatural.blogspot.com/2022/08/australias-mangroves-bbc-abcs.html

Mangrove forests: How 40 million Australian trees died of thirst-BBC

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 16, 2022



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