FILE PHOTO: Solar panels are seen in front of a natural gas power plant at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in McCarran, Nevada, U.S., September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Max Whittaker | Vermont Reduces Solar Subsidies
Following a growing number of states, Vermont has chosen to reduce compensation given to solar panel owners and allow a more fair rate for all electricity customers in the state.
Vermont is scaling back the amount of money given to customers participating in the state’s net metering program. Changes need to be made to net metering in order to balance growth of the program while maintaining affordable electric rates, the Vermont Public Utility Commission determined, in a statement issued on May 1.
Rated in 2018 as the most environmentally friendly state in the country, Vermont certainly encourages growth of its renewable energy industry. Net metering offers an incentive for solar panel usage by paying customers an oversized amount of money for the electricity they send back into the grid. However — even in the progress enclave of Vermont — the state’s public utility commission has grown concerned about the effect expensive net metering prices are having on all electricity consumers.
“These financial incentives also make net-metering the most expensive of Vermont’s renewable energy programs because the utility is essentially ‘buying’ the net-metered output at substantially more than market rates for comparable renewable energy,” the commission explained in its statement. “[A] number of Vermont utilities expressed concern about the effect on rates of continued high net-metering prices.”
As is the case in most states, when utility companies are forced to purchase power from solar panel owners at a higher-than-market rate, those costs are ultimately passed on to all other electricity customers. To address this situation, Vermont’s commission is reducing the incentives given to future net metering systems over a two-year process. There will be a reduction in compensation for customers who transfer their solar-generated energy to utility companies by one cent per kilowatt-hour in each of the next two years. There will also be a roll back in the amount paid to larger net metering systems that benefit from better economies of scale.
Vermont follows other states across the country that are reforming their net metering programs.
In December 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission reduced the amount solar installation owners receive in the state’s net metering program. The Michigan Public Service Commission made similar changes in April 2018. Both states took action to provide more fair rates for electricity customers not involved in net metering. Gov. Chris Sununu called for reforms in New Hampshire, suggesting these sort of subsidies prop up otherwise-inefficient renewable energy companies. Montana, on the other hand, discovered its largest utility company is overpaying net metering customers around three times the market value for their power.
Vermont’s solar industry isn’t excited about the reforms headed their way.
“Our mission at SunCommon is to tear down the barriers to clean energy. Decreasing Vermont’s solar incentive while President [Donald] Trump is promoting dirty coal and our climate is baking is wrong,” SunCommon Co-Founder James Moore said in a statement published Thursday. “Solar is creating jobs, keeping our energy dollars local, and helping build vibrant communities in Vermont. We are committed to using our business as a force for good; and today, that means helping as many Vermonters as possible get the most value from their solar. It’s what we do.”
Suncommon is a Vermont-based solar technology and installation company. Companies such as Moore’s have benefited greatly from the expensive rates utilities must pay for solar-generated power. The value of rooftop solar systems have dropped an estimated $750 after the state’s reforms.
However, the measure is not an assault on green energy initiatives, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission argues.
“This argument conflates net-metering with solar development generally,” the commission stated, according to a Thursday report from the Rutland Herald. “As the Department and the distributed utilities pointed out, there are more cost-effective ways for Vermont to develop solar resources than continuing the current net-metering incentives.”
Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #314
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President.
Behaving Like Bureaucrats? Last week’s TWTW discussed four significant issues regarding the climate science proclaimed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and its followers, such as the US Global Change Research Program. (USGCRP). In recent months, independent scientists have found four areas in which IPCC science is deficient. Deficiency in any one of the areas is sufficient to show that the IPCC science significantly over estimates the influence of carbon dioxide (CO2) on the globe’s temperatures.
The areas are:1) logic; 2) methodology (procedures used); 3) improper data; and 4) extraneous data (leading to biases). First, the issue of failure in logic comes from the IPCC’s elimination of increased water vapor amplifying any warming caused by increasing CO2 and the work of Monckton, et al. that illustrates a logical error. Second, the issue of failure in methodology is illustrated by the work of the Three Profs and the recent work of Lewis and Curry.
Third, the issue of failure in proper data has been long demonstrated by John Christy and others, most recently in an April 6 paper published in the International Journal of Remote Sensing. The greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere, and greenhouse gases are not warming it as claimed by the IPCC. Fourth, the issue of failure in eliminating extraneous data creating biases is demonstrated by Wallace, et al. (2017). The El Niño Southern Oscillation and volcanos have a clearly established direct influence on surface and atmospheric temperatures. The solar influence is imputed from the 1977 Pacific Climate Shift, for which existing data are incomplete. In addition, Fred Singer has presented evidence that the late 20th century warming shown in the surface temperatures did not actually occur, because it is not found outside of government reports.
In a non-politicized world of science, one would expect that scientists would systematically evaluate each of these issues and respond accordingly. However, in the highly politicized world of climate science, one can expect fierce personal attacks, or the issues being ignored, swept under the bureaucratic rug. As Roger Pielke Jr. discusses in a recent post, fierce personal attacks work as a form of censorship. Honest scholarship is not respected by many politicians and government-funded scientists.
Science is a dynamic system, or dynamic process, in attempting to understand the natural world. As additional hard evidence is compiled, and verified, the theories and models must be adjusted accordingly. In bureaucratic climate science, they are not adjusted, and the hard evidence is dismissed or ignored. If the bureaucratic scientists continue to dominate, American science will suffer from stagnation.
Please see links under Censorship and links in the following TWTWs: April 29, 2017 (Wallace, et al), March 24 and 31, 2018 (Three Profs), March 31, 2018 (Monckton), April 7, 2018 (Singer) April 28, 2018 (Lewis & Curry), and (Christy, et al.).
Quote of the Week.““We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” – Sen. Timothy Wirth quoted in “Science Under Siege” by Michael Fumento, 1993.
Number of the Week: 3.5 times more
A New Pricing Mechanism? A liberal candidate for governor of California, Michael Shellenberger, has asked question that few try to answer: “If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?” With falling costs of solar panels and wind turbines why are electricity costs to the consumer increasing? At the beginning of this century, E. ON, then the largest independent electricity provider in Europe, estimated that with ten percent penetration, electricity from wind power would become stable and more affordable. Instead, the opposite has happened.
A 2013 study by Lion Hirth suggested that the more electricity that comes from renewable (solar and wind) generators, the lower is its value. Value declines quickly, particularly with solar. Hirth divides the types of electrical generation into two groups, the Variable Renewable Electricity group (VRE) and the constant electricity generation group. He writes:
“A review of the published literature, regression analysis of market data, and a numerical model of the European power market were used in this study to quantify this drop and identify drivers. We find that the value of wind power is slightly higher than the value of a constant electricity source at low penetration; but falls to 0.5-0.8 at a market share of 30%. Solar reaches a similar level at 15% penetration, because its generation is concentrated in fewer hours. We identify several drivers that affect the value of renewables significantly.”
“These findings lead to a number of conclusions. Firstly, there are a number of integration options that help mitigating the value drop of VRE: transmission investments, relaxed constraints on thermal generators, and a change in wind turbine design could be important measures. Especially increasing CHP flexibility seems to be highly effective. Increasing wind turbine rotor diameters and hub heights reduce output variability and could help to stabilize wind’s market value. Secondly, variable renewables need mid and peak load generators as complementary technologies. Biomass as well as highly efficient natural gas-fired plants could play a crucial role to fill this gap. On the other hands, low-carbon base load technologies such as nuclear power or CCS do not go well with high shares of VRE. Thirdly, we find that a high carbon price alone does not make wind and solar power competitive at high penetration rates. In Europe that could mean that even if CO2 prices pick up again, subsidies would be needed well beyond 2020 to reach ambitious renewables targets. Finally, without fundamental technological breakthroughs, wind and solar power will struggle becoming competitive on large scale, even with quite steep learning curves. Researchers as well as policy makers should take the possibility of a limited role for solar and wind power into account and should not disregard other greenhouse gas mitigation options too early.”
Writing in Energy Matters, Roger Andrews compares the electricity costs of the US and Europe and finds that electricity costs to consumers are the greatest where renewable power is most prevalent. In Europe, residential electricity rates are greatest in Denmark, followed by Portugal, Germany Spain, Italy, and the UK. A graph of the Electricity Price v Installed Wind plus Solar Capacity Per Capita is clear. The greater the use of alternatives, the higher the prices.
In addressing the differences between Europe and the US, Andrews states:
“The reasons for the difference are a) that renewables surcharges are added to residential electricity bills in Europe but not in the US and b) that residential electricity bills in Europe have increased roughly in proportion to the amount of money spent on renewables growth. Residential rates in US states are set by state Public Utility Commissions that are legally obliged to set prices at levels that are fair to both consumers and providers. As a result the European bill payer pays for new wind, solar etc. while US renewables expenditures are offset by adjustments to the federal budget that are not itemized but which ultimately get paid by the US taxpayer.”
Both analyses may be incomplete. The central issue may be that real costs of renewables are underestimated in the pricing mechanisms because the units used are not appropriate. As discussed in the April 21 TWTW, a severe, 12-day winter storm challenged the grid operators in the eastern US, particularly the PJM Interconnection, serving the most customers, 65 million.
This storm demonstrated that electrical grid systems must be reliable and resilient for as long as two weeks, resilience being defined as sufficiently elastic to expand and contract to any reasonably expected increase or decrease in electricity demand over that period. The specific requirements for any system need to be adjusted to the weather systems experienced in the region. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has a goal of predicting severe weather events two weeks in advance by 2025. At this time, it is doubtful whether the US National Weather Service, under the politicized NOAA, can accomplish a similar goal.
Thus, to achieve reliance, the grid operators need to consider obtaining contracts long enough to assure that the maximum reasonably expected demands for reliable electricity can be met. The durations can vary seasonally, and generation mix adjusted accordingly, by lowest bids, or similar means. Such an effort would lessen the importance of the 24-hour spot market in determining costs to consumers. The spot market does not recognize the importance of reliability and resilience.
By their very nature, a two-week period of contracts will eliminate much of solar and wind, except in special circumstances. But, if these alternatives are not ready for “prime time,” there is no reason why modern civilization should require them. The health and safety of the public are too important to be subordinated to political whims. See links under Censorship, Questioning European Green, Subsidies and Mandates Forever, Energy Issues – US, and https://www.ecmwf.int/sites/default/files/ECMWF_Roadmap_to_2025.pdf
Oil and Natural Gas: In examining an appropriate energy mix for grid operators, national defense issues about oil and natural gas are no longer applicable. Contrary to what bureaucrats and computer models predicted in the 1970s, the country has not run out of oil and gas. In 2017, the US became a net exporter of natural gas and is on track to become a net exporter of oil in about 5 years. The world price is no longer completely controlled by OPEC and Russia. Limits in the US are in transport, mainly pipelines. Interestingly, the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, once considered exhausted, is now the third largest producing area in the US. See links under Energy Issues – US.
Quote-of-the-Week: Former Senator and UN official Timothy Wirth was clearly motivated by a desire to use bureaucratic science, even if not substantiated, to control human behavior. Starting with the “science” of Thomas Robert Malthus, many intelligent people have assumed they understand the limits of human potential and the dangers humanity creates. Later renditions of this belief include the “Population Bomb,” published 50 years ago, and Mr. Mann’s “hockey-stick,” published 20 years ago, purportedly showing that 20th century warming was unprecedented and dangerous.
The fact that hard evidence does not support these theories (hypotheses) does not deter many intelligent people from embracing them, because they appear to be “scientific.” See Article # 1 and link under Oh’ Mann.
The Joke: On his blog, Manhattan Contrarian, Francis Menton addresses the impracticality of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Yet, many politicians and international types pretend they are sincere in their efforts. The latest meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn is going through the actions of appearing significant, but the developing countries are demanding the money they were promised if they went along. With the US pulling out, there is little money to be had.
The Maldives, a poster child for rising sea levels, is building seaside resorts and expanding its airport runways for the largest passenger planes to fly in tourists. Yet, it is demanding money.
Menton discusses the many failures to reduce emissions, and the never ending “lip service” towards the goal of meeting the “Paris Agreement.” See links under After Paris! And Below the Bottom Line.
Number of the Week: 3.5 times more. Physicist Howard Hayden has a clearly written book: “Energy: A Textbook.” In that and his commentary he dispels the concept that by saving energy, we, in effect, create it. Greater energy efficiency: “is a concept that has no enemies.”
Our colonial ancestors had no airplanes, trains, cars, trucks, electricity, clean water delivered to homes, sewage treatment, paved highways, telegraph, telephone, radio, television, central heating, internet or cell phones, yet we use only three-and-a-half times as much energy per capita as they did. We have these conveniences precisely because of steadily improving efficiency in both the generation and use of energy.
To regard efficiency as a source of energy, as Priola and Winter do [two Colorado politicians], is equivalent to saying that dieting is a source of nutrition. Hungry? Go diet. See link under Questioning the Orthodoxy.
SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD
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, following these criteria:
· The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
· The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
· The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
· The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.
The six past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, John Holdren and Christiana Figueres aka Cruella de Ville are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in August.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Sunspots Vanishing Faster Than expected
By Staff Writers, Space Weather.com, May 1, 2018
Meteorologist allegedly assaulted by NWS Director Uccellini
Did National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini push and threaten a 40 year veteran meteorologist? Data manipulation and a culture of fear.
By Adam Houser, CFACT, May 2, 2018 [H/t Jo Nova]
Link to NOAA Bulletin on Scientific Integrity
By Staff Writers, NOAA, Effective 12/07/11 (Dec 7, 2011)
[SEPP Comment: No wonder NOAA weather forecasting is becoming third-rate, while Jane Lubchenco, who headed NOAA, is being honored by the National Science Foundation.]
Pielke on Climate #10
By Roger Pielke Jr, The Climate Fix, May 1, 2018
“Earlier this month I gave a talk at the University of Minnesota.
“It was my first public talk on climate since being “investigated” by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in 2015.
“It is also the first and only invitation I’ve received to give a public talk on climate at a US university since 2015.
“Before that I received about 2-3 invitations per month.
Victory for free speech: Minister bans student trend of censoring controversial speakers in first intervention of its kind for 30 years
By Eleanor Harding, Daily Mail, UK, May 3, 2018
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
“Environmental” Orthodoxy Can Be Deadly for Humans and Ecosystems
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, May 4, 2018
Why Dessler et al.’s critique of energy-budget climate sensitivity estimation is mistaken
By Nic Lewis, Climate etc., Apr 30, 2018
What Does A Weatherman Know About Settled Climate Science?
By Anthony Sadar, Daily Calller, Apr 30, 2018
Defending the Orthodoxy
Climate Reframer Mike Hulme: “We can actually only deal with climate through the human imagination.”
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 1, 2018
The Case for Climate Reparations
Who should pay the costs for climate-change-related disasters?
By Jason Mark, Sierra Club, Apr 23, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Great propaganda photo of a roller coaster in the water off the Jersey shore after Sandy – as if a category 0 to 1 (depending one who is talking) never hit the New Jersey / New York area ever before. Who was at fault for the ’38 storm or the ones in the 19th century?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
By Howard “Cork” Hayden, The Pueblo Chieftain, May 1, 2018
Eco-Imperialism in North America and the World.
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Apr 30, 2018
Macron’s naievete about climate change
By Tim Ball and Tom Harris, Washington Times, Apr 30, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Polar bear numbers, margins of error, & consequences for conservation status
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, May 2, 2018
Everyone Knows That Trying To Control The Climate By Reducing CO2 Emissions Is A Joke
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, May 3, 2018
Good News from the United Nations Climate Talks in Bonn
By Myron Ebell, CEI, May 5, 2018
Can Monday’s Bonn meet bring the Paris climate pact to life?
By Staff Writers, AFP, Apr 28, 2018
“A key complaint by recipient nations is that rich ones have failed to map how and when money promised will be delivered.”
Change in US Administrations
Strengthening Transparency in Regulator Science
A Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency on 04/30/2018
By Staff, Federal Register, EPA, Apr 30, 2018 [H/t John Dunn]
Comments Close: May 30, 2018
Pruitt’s rule ending secret science is pro-science, pro-consumer
By Angela Logomasini, The Hill, Apr 29, 2018 [H/t CEI]
Defending Scott Pruitt – Making science reproducible
By Andy May, WUWT, Apr 30, 2018
Critics allege EPA’s new transparency rule has hidden pro-industry agenda
Critics say a new Environmental Protection Agency policy will make it harder to cut fine particles, such as those in smog blanketing Los Angeles, California
By Warren Cornwall, Science, May 1, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: According to this article, the EPA will be reviewing open data studies, not automatically rejecting all studies.]
AGU Responds to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt–battles ‘publicly available’ data requirement
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 3, 2018
How James Inhofe Snowballed the EPA
The Oklahoma senator’s ideas and acolytes are permeating the agency.
By Emily Atkin, The New Republic, Apr 23, 2018 [H/t Climate Depot]
[SEPP Comment: Not glowing praise.]
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Drax hit with a double environmental protest
Protestors claim biomass can be as bad as or worse for the environment than coal and say it shouldn’t be classed as renewable energy
By Jonny Bairstow, Energy Live News, Apr 25, 2018
“Taking into account the entire supply chain, using biomass for power generation delivers carbon savings of more than 80% compared with using coal.” [according to a Drax spokesperson.]
[SEPP Comment: Exactly what are these “carbon savings?”]
Early estimates of CO2 emissions from energy use:
In 2017, CO2 emissions in the EU estimated to have increased compared with 2016
By Eurostat Press Office, May 4, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Seeking a Common Ground
‘We pulled off everyday miracles’: Inside the birth of the Weather Channel
By Jason Samenow, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, Apr 19, 2018 [H/t ICECAP]
Too Big to Fail
By Charles G. Battig, American Thinker, Apr 29, 2018
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Searching for an Anthropogenic Signal in East Coast Flood Events
Schedel, J.R., Jr. and Schedel, A.L. 2018. Analysis of variance of flood events on the U.S. East Coast: The impact of sea level rise on flood event severity and frequency. Journal of Coastal Research 34: 50-57. May 4, 2018
The Greening of Sub-Saharan Africa
Brandt, M., Rasmussen, K., Peñuelas, J., Tian, F., Schurgers, G., Verger, A., Mertz, O., Palmer, J.R.B. and Fensholt, R. 2017. Human population growth offsets climate-driven increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 0081, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0081. May 3, 2018
“The above findings correspond well with reports from elsewhere in Africa and all across the globe that demonstrate rising CO2 concentrations are enhancing the vegetative productivity of the biosphere and causing a great greening of the planet (see the many examples archived in our Subject Index under the heading Greening of the Earth on this page), except for those locations where human land use and land cover changes dominate.”
Assessing the Risk of Temperature-Related Mortality in the USA
Allen, M.J and Sheridan, S.C. 2018. Mortality risks during extreme temperature events (ETEs) using a distributed lag non-linear model. International Journal of Biometeorology62: 57-67. May 2, 2018
“Another interesting observation is that the cumulative relative risk of mortality values from both short and long temperature events decline over the course of the winter and summer seasons, which declines suggest there is a seasonal human adaptation to extreme weather events occurring at both ends of the temperature spectrum.”
Measurement Issues — Surface
GISS Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index Vs GHCN
Guest analysis by Mark Fife, WUWT, May 2, 2018
It’s Here: A 1900-2010 Instrumental Global Temperature Record That Closely Aligns With Paleo-Proxy Data
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, May 3, 2018
[SEPP Comment: The dataset is not comprehensive, but the ones the IPCC uses are not comprehensive.]
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
UAH Global Temperature Update for April, 2018: +0.21 deg. C.
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 1, 2018
Link to April 2018 Map and Graph
Global Temperature Report, Earth Science Center, UAH, May 2018
Decreasing Cold Waves: The Most Potent Sign of Global Warming in the Pacific Northwest?
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, May 3, 2018
“For these and other reasons, I believe that decreasing cold waves is one of the best indicators we have of human-caused global warming.
“Thus, it drives me crazy when some global warming activists, such as Al Gore and ex-presidential science advisor John Holdren, claimed that human caused global warming was increasing cold waves in the U.S. or making cold waves more frequent. Poor science and in contradiction to observations.”
Kauai Experiences the U.S. 24-h Precipitation Record: Why Did it Happen?
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Apr 29, 2018
China’s Urban Heat Island Problem
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 25, 2018
Link to paper: Modeling the Warming Impact of Urban Land Expansion on Hot Weather Using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model: A Case Study of Beijing, China
By Xiaojuan Liu, et al, Apr 12, 2018
From the Abstract: “Urban warming at night was higher than that in the day, although the nighttime increment in sensible heat flux was smaller.”
Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases? Part A.
By Andy May, WUWT, May 2, 2018
Climate Change, due to Solar Variability or Greenhouse Gases? Part B.
By Andy May, WUWT, May 3, 2018
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
US and UK join forces to understand how quickly a massive Antarctic glacier could collapse
International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration will incorporate other nations’ research to time a potential collapse and assess implications for sea level rise, coastal infrastructure
News Release, NSF, Apr 30, 2018
“…that teams of scientists at U.S. institutions will deploy to Antarctica to gather the data needed to understand whether the glacier could begin to collapse in the next few decades or centuries from now.”
“The Thwaites Glacier already drains an area roughly the size of Britain or the state of Florida, accounting for about 4 percent of global sea level rise — an amount that has doubled since the mid-1990s.’”
[SEPP Comment: Strongly question the statement, the sea level rise has doubled since the mid-1990s! The increase may be an error in calibrating of new (satellite) instruments with older (tidal gage) instruments. NOAA and NASA need to address that issue, before making claims of increased melting in Antarctica.]]
Russia launches ‘world’s biggest & most powerful’ nuclear icebreaker
By Staff Writers, RT, Sep 22, 2018
“The nuclear-powered Sibir will be capable of breaking ice fields up to three meters thick, making way for LNG carriers delivering Russian gas to Asian customers. It will also carry out rescue work in ice conditions and ice-free waters.
“With its 30 diesel and four nuclear icebreakers, Russia has become the primary operator in the Arctic. It plans to build another nuclear icebreaker, the Leader, designed to keep the Northern Sea Route, along with the country’s Arctic coast, open all year round.”
Climate change causes beaches to grow by 3,660 square kilometers
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 3, 2018
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below.]
The State of the World’s Beaches
By Arjen Luijendijk, et al. Nature, Scientific Reports, Apr 27, 2018
“The application of an automated shoreline detection method to the sandy shorelines thus identified resulted in a global dataset of shoreline change rates for the 33-year period 1984–2016. Analysis of the satellite derived shoreline data indicates that 24% of the world’s sandy beaches are eroding at rates exceeding 0.5 m/yr, while 28% are accreting and 48% are stable. The majority of the sandy shorelines in marine protected areas are eroding, raising cause for serious concern.”
[SEPP Comment: If the erosion primarily occurs in marine protected areas, are humans responsible?]
Lava – not your usual road hazard: evacuations underway today in Hawaii
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 4, 2018
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
The future of farming
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, May 4, 2018
Un-Science or Non-Science?
‘Climate models predict’ – women, minorities, and children hit hardest, film at 11.
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 3, 2018
ABC to Complainant: Drop Dead [Australian Broadcasting Company]
By Geoffrey Luck and Roger Franklin, Quadrant, AU, May 5, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Williams: The Great Population Hoax Turns 50
By Thomas Williams, Breitbart, May 1, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
HuffPo: “Vegans Have Better Love-Lives”!…And: Green Grids Still “A Ways Out In The Future”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 4, 2018
Remember how climate change was going to wipe out all the mountain Pikas? Never mind.
By Anthony Watt, WUWT, Apr 30, 2018
Link to paper: Distribution, climatic relationships, and status of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in the Great Basin, USA
By Constance Millar, et al. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Apr 30, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
A look at the workings of ‘Climate Propaganda Inc.’
By Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus, Via WUWT, May 4, 2018
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Whiny study laments: “Less than 2 percent of pages discussed climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 1, 2018
Link to paper: Climate Change and Energy Technologies in Undergraduate Introductory Science Textbooks
By Yoho & Rittman, Environmental Communications, Apr 29, 2018
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Climate change is one quarter of the EU’s reason for being (a wild 25% of total spending?)
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 1, 2018
Link to article: Climate-Linked Spending Set to Rise to a Quarter of EU Budget
By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, Apr 30, 2018
Link to Press Release: EU budget: Commission proposes a modern budget for a Union that protects, empowers and defends
By Staff Writers, European Commission, May 2, 2018
“Modern: A new Union of 27 needs a new, modern budget that shows that Europe has learnt the lessons of the past. This means further cutting red tape for beneficiaries and managing authorities by making rules more coherent on the basis of a single rulebook. And it also means setting clearer objectives and focusing more on performance. This will make it easier to monitor and measure results – and to make changes when necessary.”
World Travel & Tourism Council Formally Joins Forces with the UNFCCC
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Apr 30, 2018
Questioning European Green
If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?
By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, Apr 23, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Link to paper: The Market Value of Variable Renewables: The Effect of Solar and Wind Power Variability on their Relative Price
By Lion Hirth, Published in Energy Economics, 2013
‘Tsunami’ of hydropower dam building threatens Europe’s last wild rivers – campaigners
By Umberto Bacchi, Reuters, Apr 28, 2018
The Embarrassing Truth About Germany’s Green Energy Transition
By Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, Via GWPF, Apr 29, 2018
The Cost of the United Kingdom’s Energy Policy
By Mark Ahlseen, American Thinker, Apr 30, 2018
Link to paper: Cost of Energy Review
By Dieter Helm, Oct 25, 2017
Questioning Green Elsewhere
New Report: Green Policies Threaten Poor Nations
By Staff Writers, GWPF, May 4, 2018
Link to paper: Kicking away the Energy Ladder: How environmentalism destroys hope for the poorest
By Mikko Paunio, GWPF, 2018
Earth Day 2018 Was About Plastics Pollution—But Greens Missed Target
Guest essay By Steve Goreham, WUWT, Apr 27, 2018
The Political Games Continue
Complete Polarization In The World Of Politics: Climate Change Edition
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Apr 30, 2018
Ruling Brings Exxon Closer to Deposing Key Players Driving Climate Lawsuits
Judge questions if lawsuits were brought ‘for an improper purpose’
By Todd Shepherd, Washington Free Beacon, May 3, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change
America’s coastal cities are preparing for legal battles over real estate that slips into the ocean.
By Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg, Apr 25, 2018
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
The costs of carbon taxes are real — and crippling
By Vance Ginn and Megan Ingram, The Hill, May 3, 2018
The causes of the differences between European and US residential electricity rates
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Apr 30, 2018
EPA and other Regulators on the March
U.S. EPA says it will define wood as a ‘carbon-neutral’ fuel, reigniting debate
By Science News Staff, Apr 24, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
EPA’s Treatment of Biogenic Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions from Stationary Sources that Use Forest Biomass for Energy Production
By Staff Writers, EPA, Apr 23, 2018
Energy Issues – Non-US
China’s Growing Oil Demand Has Created A Geopolitical Dilemma
By Tim Daiss, Oil Price.com, May 2, 2018
“China surpassed the U.S. in annual gross crude oil imports in 2017 by importing 8.4 million barrels per day bpd compared with 7.9 million bpd of U.S. crude oil imports. China had become the world’s largest net importer (imports less exports) of total petroleum and other liquid fuels in 2013.”
Ireland faces annual EU energy fines of €600m
By John Downing, Irish Independent, Apr 30, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Energy Issues – Australia
Bitcoin mining’s growing demand for cheap energy revived a shuttered coal mine
By Akshat Rathi, Quartz, Apr 12, 2018
“Consumers there pay, on average, $A0.28 ($0.22) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity. But Hunter Energy, which owns Redbank [coal-fired power plant], are offering the crypto miners electricity at a fraction of the cost. The “first-of-its-kind” deal, as the Age puts it, will see the crypto miners pay only A$0.08 per kWh in the day and A$0.05 per kWh at night.”
[SEPP Comment: Avoiding the government’s foolish energy policy?]
What Resilience Means, and Why It Matters
By Andrea Ovans, Harvard Business Review, Jan 5, 2015
“Resilience was defined by most as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.”
Coal Kept the Lights On During the Winter Months
By Staff Writers, IER, May 4, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Largest US energy grid operator to study too much reliance on natural gas
By Miranda Green, The Hill, Apr 30, 2018
More Gas, Renewables in Dominion’s Future
By Darrell Proctor, Power Mag, May 2, 2018
“Dominion said its potential solar additions represent about a 50% jump over its 2017 forecast of an additional 3,200 MW of solar generation. It said its eight new gas plants, all planned to be in service by 2033, would have 3,664 MW of generation capacity. The company also said its forecast scenarios include energy efficiency programs that could cut peak demand by 304 MW by 2033, and overall annual energy usage by 805 GWh.”
Facing a Supply Crunch, ERCOT to Revamp Reserve Margin Targets
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag. Apr 30, 2018
“Planned additions for the summer now total 728 MW—345 MW of thermal sources and 383 MW of renewables based on the expected summer peak capacity contributions, ERCOT said.”
[SEPP Comment: What types of renewables does ERCOT consider reliable.]
N.Y. nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit
By Staff Writers, Kallanish Energy, Apr 24, 2018
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
Sunlight reduces effectiveness of dispersants used to clean up oil spills
Scientists call for new look at chemical dispersants
News Release, NSF, Apr 25, 2018
[SEPP Comment: After a few sunny days, dispersants need to be adjusted?]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Can Nuclear Power be Saved?
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 1, 2018
China loads fuel at world’s first AP1000 nuclear reactor
By Staff Writers, Reuters, Apr 28, 2018
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 4, 2018
[SEPP Comment: For almost 70 years, commercial fusion has had a constantly receding 30-year horizon.]
France, USA to enhance cooperation on fast reactors
By Staff Writers, WNN, Apr 27, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
The Nuclear Waste Impasse Can Only Be Resolved by the Public
By Gary Duarte, Power Mag, May 1, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Is the Yucca Mountain close-down caused by politicians doing favors for gambling casinos?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Paul Krugman’s All-Renewable Delusion
By Robert Bryce, National Review, Apr 26, 2018
Link to paper: Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems
By Heard, Brook, Wigley, and Bradshaw, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, September 2017
Lawrence Solomon: Are solar and wind finally cheaper than fossil fuels? Not a chance
Virtually every major German solar producer has gone under
By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, Apr 27, 2018
“In the imagined world of politicians and environmental ideologues, renewables are not only affordable, they are inevitable. The difference in cost cited by those in the real and imagined worlds is called wishful thinking. This wishfulness is propped up through academic exercises that provide a stamp of authority on the ideologues’ beliefs.”
Solar panels on farmland? In Central Washington, that stirs a fight.
Gov. Jay Inslee will decide whether Washington’s first solar farm should go on crop land in Kittitas County. The plan to convert prime agricultural acreage to wide expanses of photovoltaic panels is getting pushback.
By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, Apr 27, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
New Papers: Intermittent Wind Power PRESERVES & INCREASES Need For Fossil Fuel Energy Generation
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Apr 30, 2018
Are there Perverse Incentives to Build Wind in Scottish Waters?
By John Constable, GWPF, May 4, 2018
Hawaii Gov Signs Performance-Based Ratemaking Into Law
The new law will link utility revenues to hitting various customer-focused performance metrics, including the interconnection of solar and energy storage.
By Julia Pyper, GTM, Apr 24, 2018
“Last July, the Hawaiian Electric Companies won regulatory approval for its Power Supply Improvement Plan, which lays out how the utility will reach the 100 percent renewables mandate by 2040, five years ahead of schedule.
“Regulators also questioned the plan’s reliance on procuring up to 100 megawatts of ‘firm, dispatchable, flexible generation’ on Oahu,
“The Ratepayer Protection Act, introduced by Senator Stanley Chang, was passed unanimously earlier this month by the Hawaii State House and Senate. The bill goes into effect on July 1, 2018.”
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
Beware the lure of solar battery stores
By Capell Aris, CAPX, Apr 27, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
Australia’s NEG [Australia’s National Energy Guarantee] would ‘trash’ renewable energy pipeline
By Tom Kenning, Energy-storage news, Apr 24, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Pipeline as in pipedream?]
Energy Storage Moves to New Heights: Part 1
By John Kosowatz, ASME, April 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Energy Storage Moves to New Heights: Part 2
[SEPP Comment: Is tower storage sustainable?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
The Biggest Challenge In Electric Car Markets
By Jon LeSage, OilPrice.com, Apr 29, 2018
“The government offers tax credits for those who buy electric vehicles but 79% of these tax credits were taken by households making more than $100,000 a year.”
Why Is a ‘Green’ Car Company Pivoting Back to S.U.V.s?
By Jamie Lincoln Kitman, NYT, May 1, 2018
Health, Energy, and Climate
Malaria Scare Proves To Be Another Global Warming Myth
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 3, 2018
Paul Reiter Debunks Malaria Scare Stories
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 4, 2018
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
The science of climate change causing wars is not solid
Guest essay by Albert Parker, WUWT, Apr 28, 2018
Conversation Climate Conflict Climbdown
By Paul Mathews, Climate Scepticism, May 2, 2018 [H/t GWPF]
After 20 Years, The ‘Hockey Stick’ Graph That Sparked A Wave Of Climate Alarmism Is Still In Dispute
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Apr 30, 2018 [H/t WUWT]
Other Scientific News
Earth’s magnetic field is not about to reverse, study finds
Press Release, University of Liverpool, Phys.org, Apr 30, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to paper: Earth’s magnetic field is probably not reversing
By Maxwell Brown, PNAS, Apr 30, 2018
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Climate group raises money to carve Trump’s face into glacier
By Aris Folley, The Hill, May 1, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Actually, on an iceberg, will it be like the one that sank the Titanic?]
The Drowning Maldives…or NOT?
By Geoff Brown, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Apr 30, 2018
[SEPP Comment: Building an “underwater” airport?]
Data don’t matter
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Apr 28, 2018
“The presenter was incredulous and asked Folland to repeat his statement so that the entire audience could hear, and Folland again said, ‘The data don’t matter… we’re not basing our recommendations upon the data; we’re basing them upon the climate models.’”[Boldface added.]
Chris Folland, presentation to climatologists, August 13, 1991, Sound and Fury: The Science and Politics of Global Warming by Patrick Michaels (Cato Institute, 1992), p. 83
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, May 3, 2018
“Combating climate change should be seen as a ‘war’ that must be won for the sake of future generations, the Prince of Wales said as he received his Global Environmental Citizen award last night. ‘We should see this as a war we simply have to win. Our successors will pay dearly for our inaction and we surely owe it to them to take urgent steps now.’”
The Telegraph, 12 Apr 2008
Hopeful news at last – the U.N. is becoming irrelevant!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, May 4, 2018
“After another U.N. climate conference gave only modest results, European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard says the process needs to provide a ‘substantial answer’ to global warming in two years to remain relevant. I think that it has to deliver a substantial answer to climate change in 2015, Hedegaard said. ‘If it fails to do so, then I think this critical question will be asked by many more.’”
USA Today, 24 Nov 2013
1. The Population Bomb Was a Dud
Paul Ehrlich got it wrong because he never understood human potential.
By William McGurn, WSJ, Apr 30, 2018
SUMMARY: The veteran columnist writes:
“’Hell is other people.’ These oft-misquoted words were written by Jean-Paul Sartre. But it would take a Stanford biologist, Paul Ehrlich, to elevate them into a full-fledged ethos that would be used to justify outrages inflicted on millions of innocent people—most of them weak, vulnerable and poor.
“Fifty years ago this month, Mr. Ehrlich published “The Population Bomb.” In it he portended global cataclysm—unless the world could be persuaded to stop producing so many . . . well . . . people. The book sketched out possible scenarios of the hell Mr. Ehrlich believed imminent: hundreds of millions dying from starvation, England disappearing by the year 2000, India doomed, the average American’s lifespan falling to 42 by 1980, and so on.
“Mr. Ehrlich’s book sold three million copies, and his crabbed worldview became an unquestioned orthodoxy for the technocratic class that seems to welcome such scares as an opportunity to boss everyone else around. In this way the missionary fervor once directed toward Christianizing the globe found its late-20th-century expression as proselytizing for population control. Thus Robert McNamara, whose leadership would prove even more destructive at the World Bank than it had been in Vietnam, would declare overpopulation a graver threat than nuclear war—because the decisions to have babies or not were ‘not in the exclusive control of a few governments but rather in the hands of literally hundreds of millions of individual parents.’
“In his day Mr. Ehrlich’s assertion about the limited ‘carrying capacity’ of the Earth was settled science. Never mind that it is rooted in an absurdity: that when a calf is born a country’s wealth rises, but when a baby is born it goes down. Or that the record shows that when targeted peoples resist the prescription—don’t have babies—things quickly turn coercive, from forced abortions in China to contraceptive injections given to black women in apartheid-era South Africa.”
The columnist discusses his 1981 meeting with Julian Lincoln Simon, stating Simon would smile and say “‘the doom-and-gloomers had a false understanding of scarcity that led them to believe resources are fixed and limited.’
“The evidence, by contrast, was that by almost any measure—life expectancy, infant mortality, caloric intake—things were getting better all the time. The reality, Julian liked to say, is that we live amid ‘an epidemic of life.’
“In 1981 he put his findings together in a book called ‘The Ultimate Resource.’ It took straight aim at Mr. Ehrlich. In contrast to the misanthropic tone of “The Population Bomb” (its opening sentence reads, “The battle to feed all humanity is over”), Julian was optimistic, recognizing that human beings are more than just mouths to be fed. They also come with minds.
“Ultimately their clashing views led to a famous wager in 1980. If Mr. Ehrlich was right, prices for commodities would grow more expensive as they became scarcer. If Simon was right, they would become cheaper as humans found more cost-effective ways of extracting them or cheaper alternatives. Mr. Ehrlich picked the commodities—nickel, copper, chromium, tin and tungsten—but in 1990 lost the bet.
“The larger victory, however, was not about the price of tin. It was the idea that the finite supply of any given natural resource is only one part of the equation. The other is human ingenuity, which adapts to circumstances and turns what were once luxuries into everyday amenities. That’s why Julian called the human mind “The Ultimate Resource.” And that’s why it never runs out.
“Julian left us in 1998 but his spirit can be detected in any number of thinkers. Matt Ridley, author of ‘The Rational Optimist,’ is one. The economist Thomas Sowell is another. So is anyone who stands up to say: Give people free markets and property rights, and you will be astonished by how much they will improve their lot—and ours.
“Fifty years out, alas, Mr. Ehrlich remains as impervious to the evidence as ever. In an interview two months ago in the Guardian, Mr. Ehrlich decreed the collapse of civilization a ‘near certainty’ in the next few decades. Which may be a good reminder that skepticism is in order whenever someone waves the flag of ‘science’ to justify the latest antihuman nostrum.
“Because it turns out hell isn’t other people after all. To the contrary, human beings constantly find new and creative ways to take from the earth, increase the bounty for everyone and expand the number of seats at the table of plenty. Which is one reason Paul Ehrlich is himself better off today than he was when he wrote his awful book—notwithstanding all those hundreds of millions of babies born in places like China and India against his wishes.”