HomeWeather NewsWeekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #553 – Watts Up With That?

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #553 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2023-05-20 (May 20, 2023)
Brought to You by SEPP (
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “The third aspect of my subject is that of science as a method of finding things out. This method is based on the principle that observation is the judge of whether something is so or not. All other aspects and characteristics of science can be understood directly when we understand that observation is the ultimate and final judge of the truth of n idea. – Richard P. Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist (1990)

Number of the Week: $1/kilogram v. $3.50/kilogram


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

Scope: Following are some of the topics discussed below. Washington’s current regulatory outburst appears to be without any legal, constitutional, or practical limits. As previous TWTWs have discussed, there is no demonstration project anywhere in the world where a modern civilization can function without fossil fuels. Except in rare cases with nuclear and / or geothermal and hydro, there is no demonstration project that the modern electrical grid can operate reliably without fossil fuels, with or without various schemes for storage of electricity or generating capacity such as pumped-hydro storage. Yet, Washington appears to believe it can accomplish this “breakthrough” at low cost to the public and with great (imaginary) health benefits.

Thomas Sowell wrote three books discussing human attitudes leading to different views of the future – visions: The Vision of the Anointed, The Quest for Cosmic Justice, and A Conflict of Visions. The books reveal the inherent logic behind different sets of views leading to wholly different meanings to fundamental words as “justice,” “equality,” and “power.” In an effort to explain what may be going on in Washington (and the capitals of Canada, western Europe, etc.), TWTW will used a few concepts presented in A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles.

The atmosphere from the surface of the Earth to the mid-troposphere, where most of greenhouse gases not created by nature operate, is warming at a rate of 0.14° C per decade or one-quarter of 1°F every ten years. The Princeton Alumni Association is presenting a discussion that is not usually found on American university campuses today: “Why Climate Change is Not an Emergency.”

Daniel Nebert discusses the many cycles in weather and climate change, some of which we do not understand.

Researcher Andy May asks, “Is AR6 the worst and most biased IPCC Report?”

The US NSF and NOAA have announced a partnership to promote the creation of centers for modeling catastrophic impacts and risk assessment of climate change. Their models already greatly exaggerate the warming of the atmosphere.

As Richard Feynman wrote, if one applies rigorous mathematics to a poorly understood concept, the results may be absurd. Unfortunately, many in Washington accept mathematically derived absurd results as science. ACSH member Susan Goldhaber discusses EPA’s latest efforts to squeeze more absurdity out of its already absurd Linear No Threshold Model.

South Africa appears to be hitting the “Green Energy Wall.” Jo Nova reports that winter appears to be bleak.

In the Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton describes the latest Washington outburst against fossil fuels in less than flattering terms.

Inuit are indigenous people of northern Canada and parts of Greenland and Alaska. They have produced a report on the health of polar bears along the Davis Strait (between Canada and Greenland).


Conflict of Visions: Amazon Books describes Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by stating:

“Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes this pattern. He describes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the ‘constrained’ vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the ‘unconstrained’ vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. A Conflict of Visions offers a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes circle around the disparity between both outlooks.”

The term selfish may be too harsh, self-centered would be more appropriate. In the chapter “Constrained and Unconstrained Visions,” Sowell writes:

“The constrained vision is a tragic vision of the human condition. The unconstrained vision is a moral vision of human intentions, which are viewed as ultimately decisive. The unconstrained vision promotes pursuit of the highest ideals and best solutions. By contrast, the constrained vision sees the best as the enemy of the good – a vain attempt to reach the unattainable being seen as not only futile, but often counterproductive, while the same efforts could have produced a more viable and beneficial trade-off. Adam Smith applied this reasoning not only to economics but also to morality and politics: The prudent reformer, according to Smith, will respect ‘the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people,’ and when he cannot establish what is right, ‘he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong.’ His goal is not to create the ideal but to ‘establish the best that the people can bear.’”

Sowell uses the views of Adam Smith in both The Wealth of Nations (1776) and The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). In the earlier work, Smith shows that our moral ideas and actions are a product of our very nature as social creatures. Many critics of Smith and the economic system he advocated, properly called “laissez-faire” (leave alone) opposing broad government interference in the economy, are apparently unaware of the earlier work, thus the critics distort the broad meaning of Smith’s work.

Sowell contrasts the work of Smith with that of the French philosopher and mathematician Marquis de Condorcet (1743 to 1794). Sowell writes:

“But Condorcet, expressing the unconstrained vision, rejected any notion that the laws should ‘change with the temperature and adapt to the forms of government, to the practices that superstition has consecrated, and even to the stupidities adopted by each people…’ Thus, he found the French Revolution superior to the American Revolution for ‘the principles from which the constitution and laws of France were derived were purer’ and allowed ‘the people to exercise their sovereign right’ without constraint.”

Sowell contrasts the French Revolution (1789) and its constitution which resulted in the Reign of Terror during which over ten thousand were executed and ended with Napoleon and the deaths of millions in Europe with the American Revolution which, after years of trial and error resulted in the US Constitution (1787).

“The Constitution of the United States, with its elaborate checks and balances, clearly reflected the view that no one was ever to be completely trusted with power. This was in sharp contrast to the French Revolution, which gave sweeping powers, including the power of life and death, to those who spoke in the name of ‘the people,’ expressing the Rousseauean ’general will.’

‘The writers of the Federalist Papers were quite conscious of the vision of man that underlay the Constitution of checks and balances which they espoused:

‘It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature.’”


“’Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.’”

The purpose of this lengthy essay is to explain why TWTW seldom discusses motivations of groups of individuals including American politicians. Rather, it focuses on the reasoning and the physical evidence supporting the reasoning. For example, as stated above and discussed in previous TWTWs, from the surface of the Earth to the mid-troposphere (about 10 km, 33,000 feet) the atmosphere is warming by only 0.14°C or 0.25°F every ten years. There is no climate emergency. Yet Washington is falsely claiming one and is destroying an excellent electrical system in trying to replace it with one with glaring deficiencies. Their idealized notions do not work. See the April 15, 2023, TWTW, links under EPA and other Regulators on the March and


Why Climate Change is Not an Emergency: On May 27 the Conservative Princeton Association is sponsoring a hard-hitting panel discussion on “Why Climate Change is NOT an Emergency”. Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace and Dr. Bruce Everett, climate economist, and Princeton physicist William Happer will be presenting data and analysis which show that adding CO2 in the atmosphere will be beneficial, that the atmospheric temperature is relatively insensitive to addition of CO2 and decarbonization is unnecessary, undesirable, impossible and not happening.

This event will be streamed live on Saturday May 27 from 11 am to 12:30 pm from Princeton University during Reunions Weekend and can be viewed at:

The event will also be available live on Zoom:

These links will be public and will not require passcodes.

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Many Cycles: Writing for the CO2 Coalition, Daniel Nebert is professor emeritus in the Departments of: Environmental and Public Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He discusses ten of the many cycles in the Earth’s weather and climate:

“‘Climate’ is measured in 30-year segments. Conversely, ‘weather’ is described in days, weeks, and months.

“Anyone knowledgeable in climatology, meteorology, paleontology, and geology knows the complexities of the ‘climate cycles’ that have taken place for thousands of years. Exhibiting different periodicities, cycles frequently overlap with, and occur inside, one another. Some recognized of the more than one dozen cycles include…”

After listing ten such cycles Nebert writes:

“To make matters more complicated, we have had “mini-summer” and “mini-winter” periods within our current Interglacial Holocene Era: the Minoan Warm Period (more than 3,000 years before the present, YBP); Roman Warm Period (~2,000 YBP); Medieval Warm Period (1200-800 YBP); and our current Modern Warm Period (which began after the Little Ice Age (from 1300 to 1850 AD). Interestingly, civilizations have flourished during “mini-summer” periods and declined during “mini-winter” periods.

“Factors contributing to climate cycles remain mostly obscure but include: solar activity (frequency, strength of sun flares); geothermal vents and underwater volcanoes; cosmic-ray flux; orbital eccentricity, axial tilt and precession of Earth’s orbit (together called Milankovitch Cycles); magnetic effects of other planets; heat distribution between the oceanic and atmospheric systems; and changes in “radiative forcing” (balance between solar radiation energy absorbed by Earth’s surfaces and energy radiated back into space). Earth is closest to the Sun in January and farthest in July, but there’s a vast difference of land-water distribution between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.” [Boldface in original]

After listing significant climate changes that devastated past cultures, Nebert concludes:

“In conclusion, returning to our initial question, ‘What should we believe?’ The fact is: the more one looks into the intricacies of Earth’s extraordinarily complex climate system, the more apparent it is, how little we really know. Therefore, it’s best to proceed slowly and carefully — ignoring the subjective hype generated by mainstream media and politicians.”

There is nothing significant about the current warming and calling it a “climate crisis” or “climate emergency” is absurd. TWTW has one minor suggestion to the list. It considers Pacific Ocean underwater volcanic activity separate from the El Niño Southern Oscillations (ENSO. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Ever Expanding: In discussing the Sixth Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR6, 2021 to 2023), researcher Andy May produces an interesting statistic – the ever-growing length of the reports. The first assessment report was 168 pages, the second 572 pages, AR5 was 1535 pages and AR6 2391 pages.

May also shows a graph of the “5-Year Running Mean of Tropical Temperature CMIP5 Anomalies of 300-200 hPa [units of pressure related to altitude] Layer (1979-2019) by Ross McKitrick and John Christy (2020). The difference between the temperature trends projected by the models and observed atmospheric temperature trends is increasing. So, the reports get longer as the physical evidence supporting them gets weaker. True bureaucracy in action. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Will Two Wrongs Make A Right? The National Science Foundations (NSF) funds the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) which produces models that wildly overestimate observed warming of the atmosphere. NCAR uses the large ensemble technique of modeling.

“The CESM Large Ensemble Project, led by Dr. Clara Deser and Dr. Jennifer Kay, is a publicly available set of climate model simulations intended for advancing understanding of internal climate variability and climate change. All simulations are performed with the nominal 1-degree latitude/longitude version of the Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) with CAM5.2 as its atmospheric component. The Large Ensemble Project includes a 40-member ensemble of fully coupled CESM1 simulations for the period 1920-2100. Each member is subject to the same radiative forcing scenario (historical up to 2005 and RCP8.5 thereafter) but begins from a slightly different initial atmospheric state (created by randomly perturbing temperatures at the level of round-off error).”

The boldface highlights the extreme emissions estimate used in the models, which even the IPCC has admitted is highly improbable if not impossible.

NCAR also does CMIP Analysis. That is, it produces a Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) for IPCC reports such as AR5 (2013) and AR6 (2021)

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) is a NOAA research laboratory at the

Princeton University Forrestal Campus. It also produces global climate models that greatly overestimate observed warming of the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect occurs.

Now, these two government funded entities are funding an effort that will be “incorporating climate change data and projections that can help characterize future conditions.” Can two wrongs make a right? See link under Expanding the Orthodoxy and


Mathematical Modeling Gone Mad: Previously, Susan Goldhaber, a member of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), pointed out that minimum toxicity levels have been established for cyanide, a naturally occurring poison. But the EPA has not established minimum toxicity levels for many chemicals it is trying to regulate. Goldhaber explains that the EPA is misusing its Integrated Risk Information System. She writes:

“The EPA used the Supra-Linear model and the NIOSH [National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health] studies data to calculate ethylene oxide’s cancer risk. The EPA usually uses the Linear Non-Threshold mode for dose-response assessment. It assumes a direct and proportional relationship between dose and cancer risk over the full range of doses. The Supra-Linear model increases the proportional risk at lower doses resulting in lower doses carrying more risk than the Linear Non-Threshold model would suggest.

“EPA calculated that exposure to ethylene oxide at a concentration of 0.1 parts per trillion (ppt), equal to 0.0001 parts per billion (ppb) in the air, presents a one-in-a-million lifetime cancer risk (the level that government agencies often use to represent a significant cancer risk and to regulate a chemical). THE EPA’s use of this model has been questioned as it significantly over-predicts risk and is infrequently used in risk assessment.” [Boldface added]

Using the EPA technique, one can argue that since drinking too much water, water intoxication, can cause death, drinking a teaspoon of water is a significant risk of death. And with this type of thinking, the EPA is proposing rules that will destroy the reliability of the US electrical grid. See links under EPA and other Regulators on the March.


The Green Energy Wall: Francis Menton has speculated which political jurisdiction will hit the Green Energy Wall the first. The cost of electricity from wind and solar and its unreliability will cause the public to scream “No More.” Australian commentator Jo Nova writes:

“With South Africa only weeks away from the start of winter, the head of the State-owned Eskom warns there will be the worst blackouts on record, which is really something because some people are already going 10 – 12 hours a day without electricity at the moment.”

““Luckily” South Africa may meet Climate Goals to cut emissions by 2030, though possibly destroy their civilization in the process.”

And winter temperatures in South Africa normally range between -2℃ to 26℃ (28 to 79°F). What will happen in Germany, New York, or New England next winter?


US Energy Policies: Using blunt terms Francis Menton has a summary of the recent actions undertaken in Washington and his views of them. Among other things he states:

“True to form of regulators who treat their subjects with contempt, the rule never explicitly states that the cars we now use are henceforth to be banned.”

“All manufacturers are to be forced to comply, irrespective of whether they can do so profitably.”

See link under Change in US Administrations


Traditional Knowledge: According to the Canadian Museum of History:

“The ancestors of today’s Inuit moved east into Arctic Canada and Greenland from their northwest Alaskan homeland in a series of migrations beginning about 800 or 1,000 years ago. This early Inuit culture is called Thule (“tooley”), after the place in Greenland where archaeologists first identified it.

“Archaeological evidence indicates that Thule Inuit were accomplished whale hunters. As they moved east into the treeless Canadian Arctic, Thule Inuit built houses framed with the bones of their largest prey species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), instead of the wood-framed winter houses of their Alaskan homeland.”

For hundreds of years, they have lived on the barren land. Vijay Jayaraj of the CO2 Coalition points out that the Nunavut Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit has issued a final report on the health of the Davis Strait polar bear population. The reports states:

“Overall, project contributors included 24 men and 11 women ranging in age from their early 40s to early 80s. Polar bear experts interviewed included Kimmirutmiut and Pangnirtungmiut who had experience harvesting and butchering polar bears (generally men), processing and cleaning polar bear hides (generally women), or otherwise significant experience on the land.”

“In this study, polar bear health was considered broadly and holistically at the individual, population, and ecosystem levels. We assessed polar bear health considering multiple parameters, such as abundance and demography, habitat condition and distribution, diet and prey availability, body condition and human-polar bear interactions, in addition to mortality and disease.”

The bear population is healthy, not threatened by melting of Arctic ice as a number of noted “naturalists” and environmental organizations have falsely claimed. What is important is limiting the number of permits given to wealthy “shooters” who rely on airplanes and helicopters to locate and shoot bears. They are not hunters in the traditional sense. See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice and’s,where%20archaeologists%20first%20identified%20it.


No TWTW June 3. Due to international travel, on the weekend of May 27 TWTW will be brief and there will be No TWTW on the weekend of June 3. TWTW will resume on the weekend of June 10.



SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving. Senators Schumer and Manchin won in 2022.

The voting will close on June 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness on July 7 to 9.


Number of the Week: $1/kilogram v. $3.50/kilogram. The lack of coordination among Federal agencies is legendary. Under Washington’s Net Zero policies it is absurd. In Real Clear Energy, Robert Hebner wrote about hydrogen power, which is a means of storing energy produced by other means. He wrote:

“For example, the Department of Energy has a goal of developing the technology for producing hydrogen for $1/kilogram by the end of the decade. A kilogram of hydrogen has similar energy to a gallon of gasoline.”

“Recent research, however, showed that for a wind farm in West Texas, producing and selling hydrogen makes no economic sense unless the cost of hydrogen was about $3.50/kilogram, due to a production tax credit that rewards wind generated electricity delivered to the electric grid.”

Nothing like subsidies to drive prices up! How much will a pipeline to Jupiter cost? See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Other.

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


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

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

Download with no charge:

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

Download with no charge:

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

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

Why Climate Change is Not an Emergency

Join us for a dose of Rational Optimism about the future of our planet

Zoom presentation by:

Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace

Dr. Bruce Everett, climate economist,

Princeton AMO physicist William Happer,

Princeton University, 11 am to 12:30 pm EDT, May 27, 2023

Opinion: What Causes Climate Change?

By Daniel W. Nebert, CO2 Coalition, May 15, 2023

Is AR6 the worst and most biased IPCC Report?

By Andy May, WUWT, May 16, 2023

El Nino: Nature’s Ginormous Climate Change Battery

By Ron Barmby, CO2 Coalition, May 11, 2023

[SEPP Comment: Like batteries, oceans store solar energy, but infrared energy does not penetrate into the ocean by even 10 mm, a fraction of an inch.]

The Political Agenda of the IPCC

Scientific Assessment or Environmental Advocacy Group? Pick One

By Roger Pielke Jr. The Honest Broker, May 15, 2023

Professor Ian Plimer book launch – Not For Greens

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 19, 2023

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