Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #460

The Week That Was: 2021-06-26 (June 26, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”  – George Orwell (1983) [H/t Ron Clutz]

Number of the Week: 33 years

THIS WEEK:

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

CERES Again: Last week, TWTW discussed a paper by Norman Loeb, et al. of the CERES team published in Geophysical Research Letters, “Satellite and Ocean Data Reveal Marked Increase in Earth’s Heating Rate.” TWTW thought the title was unfortunate and the data period used too short (mid-2005 to mid-2019). The data collection starts in 1997 and published data are available from 2000. Over the years data sources have changed. Roy Spencer praised Loeb and his co-authors. However, Spencer stated:

“The period they study is rather limited, 2005-2019, probably to be able to use the most extensive Argo float deep-ocean temperature data” Spencer also stated: “It should be noted, however, that the absolute value of the imbalance cannot be measured by the CERES satellite instruments; instead, the ocean warming is used to make an ‘energy-balanced’ adjustment to the satellite data (which is the ‘EB’ in the CERES EBAF dataset).”

TWTW editor Howard Hayden, with extensive research in atomic physics, took strong exception to the paper, as did TWTW reader Brendan Godwin, who retired from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Hayden wrote a rebuttal of the paper to the publisher, Geophysical Research Letters (unpublished because of cost) which provides a basis for further understanding of the greenhouse effect.

To Hayden, a statement in the abstract is severely erroneous:

“Climate is determined by how much of the sun’s energy the Earth absorbs and how much energy Earth sheds through emission of thermal infrared radiation.”

Hayden states:

[Earth’s] “Climate is determined by the very large difference between surface radiation and planet radiation, and is most assuredly not determined by minor positive and negative imbalances between absorbed solar energy and radiated IR” [Outgoing infrared radiation].

In the rebuttal, Hayden explains that contrary to many claims Venus is not hot due to “runaway greenhouse effect.”

With frequent but small, ephemeral exceptions, the radiant heat that a planet emits to outer space equals the heat absorbed from the sun.  Indeed, this is true for Earth within 0.3 percent. For Earth, the incoming/outgoing heat rate amounts to about 240 W/m2, averaged over the surface; for Venus, owing to its high 76% albedo, only 156 W/m2.

The surface of the planet emits IR according to the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law.  The surface of Earth at 288 K emits 390 W/m2, some 150 W/m2 more than the earth emits to space.  That 150 W/m2 of heat retention is the cause of the 33 ºC temperature rise over the non-GHG Earth with the same albedo. Venus at 737 K emits 16,730 W/m2 from its surface, but only 156 W/m2 into space. The 16,574 W/m2 difference, due to the composition of the extremely dense atmosphere of Venus is what determines the climate of Venus: 511 ºC hotter than the hypothetical Venus with the same albedo but no greenhouse effect.

[Hayden did not account for the emissivity (typically taken to be about 98%, but is likely to be 93%) but using it would change the numbers a bit, but would not affect the general conclusion.]

On Earth, above 100 parts per million in volume (ppm), the effectiveness of carbon dioxide (CO2) in blocking outgoing infrared radiation is limited. It is rather like a dragster approaching top speed. What it did may be impressive, but it cannot accelerate much more. The heat of Venus is from its atmospheric pressure at the surface of about 93 times that of Earth at its surface.

The January 18, 2020, TWTW discussed a paper by Dewitte, Clerbaus, and Cornelis, the abstract of which stated: “The increase of the OLR [Outgoing Longwave Radiation] is higher than the decrease of the RSR [Reflected Solar Radiation measured by CERES from 2000 to 2018]. Also, the incoming solar radiation is decreasing. As a result, over the 2000–2018 period the Earth Energy Imbalance (EEI) appears to have a downward trend of −0.16 ± 0.11 W/m2dec.” [Boldface added] Small errors in measurement of two different large quantities can result in large errors in calculating the difference between the two quantities. There is disagreement as to whether the small imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy is positive or negative. The authors of Loeb, et al. should have realized that before making extravagant claims of “unprecedented” to the press.

The generally accepted estimate for CO2 concentration before industrialization is 280 ppm, the effectiveness of CO2 to provide additional warming was already severely limited before industrialization. Contrary to claims by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, adding CO2 to the Earth’s atmosphere will not cause runaway greenhouse. The governments of China and other developing countries in Asia probably realize this, and will probably smile as Western politicians rant, and continue to build coal-fired power plants unless they are paid enormous sums not to. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Doublethink or Doubletalk? Doubletalk is the deliberate mixture of sense and nonsense. Being kind, Bjorn Lomborg uses the term doublethink from Orwell (quote above). In the Financial Post (Canada) he writes:

Our current climate conversation embodies two blatantly contradictory claims. On one side, experts warn that promised climate policies will be economically crippling. In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that achieving net-zero in 2050 will likely be ‘the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.’ That is a high bar, surpassing the Second World War, the black plague and COVID.

On the other side, hand-waving politicians sell net-zero climate schemes as a near-utopia that every nation will rush to embrace. As U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told world leaders gathered at President Biden’s climate summit in April: ‘No one is being asked for a sacrifice.’

Both claims can’t be true. Yet, they are often espoused by the same climate campaigners in different parts of their publicity cycle. The tough talk aims to shake us into action, and the promise of rainbows hides the political peril when the bills come due.

George Orwell called this willingness to espouse contradictory claims doublethink. It is politically expedient and gets climate-alarmed politicians reelected. But if we want to fix climate change, we need honesty. Currently promised climate policies will be incredibly expensive. While they will deliver some benefits, their costs will be much higher.

Yes, climate change is real and man-made, and we should be smart in fixing it. But we don’t because climate impacts are often vastly exaggerated, leaving us panicked. The UN Climate Panel estimates that if we do nothing, climate damages in 2100 will be equivalent to 2.6 per cent of global GDP. That is a problem but not the end of the world.

Because climate news only reports the worst outcomes most people think the damage will be much greater. Remember how we were repeatedly told 2020’s Atlantic hurricane season was the worst ever? The reporting ignored that almost everywhere else, hurricane intensity was feeble, making 2020 one of the globally weakest in satellite history. And even within the Atlantic, 2020 ranked thirteenth.

Lomborg discusses that claims that climate policies will not require significant sacrifices are nonsense and that it is doubtful that China and most poor countries go along with the leaders of wealthy countries demanding sacrifices. Lomborg advocates innovation in green energy rather than sacrifice.

Economist Ross McKitrick writes in the following week’s Financial Post that:

“There is no robust evidence that even the worst-case warming scenarios would cause overall economic losses.”

“But as time has advanced, new data sets, and even reanalysis of the old data sets, has called those results into question and has shown that temperature (and precipitation) changes likely have insignificant effects on GDP and growth, and the effects are as likely to be positive as they are to be negative.”

As stated in the first section, above, neither sacrifice nor innovation in green energy is necessary, but innovation is desirable. However, the difference between doublethink and doubletalk is intent. Often one cannot sense the intent of politicians and it may be better to avoid politicians who engage in either or both. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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When Will It Burst? John Constable, a frequent writer on energy issues for the Global Warming Policy Foundation asks when will the renewable bubble burst? He answers:

“We don’t know precisely when this will happen, but China seems to be betting on the later 2020s, just before it has undertaken to reach peak emissions, giving it plenty of time to blame the West for breach of promise and return to carbon business as usual. That seems like a plausible date to us too.”

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Do They Think? Manhattan attorney Francis Menton is following the musings of the advisory panels formed under the state’s “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” of 2019. The main goals of the act are a 40% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 85% by 2050. It appears that the leadership is lost.

The Power Generation Advisory Panel, with the goal of decarbonization of power generation of 70% by 2030 and 100% by 2040, made its recommendations on May 10. Menton writes:

“The so-called recommendations evidence a truly astounding level of amateurism and cluelessness on the part of this Panel. It is completely obvious that these people have no idea how to go about ‘decarbonizing’ the electrical grid, or whether that can be done at all. Indeed, the apparent attitude of the members is that the only thing lacking is political will, and therefore if the appropriate orders are issued by government bureaucrats, then the goals will be accomplished. It appears that not one moment’s thought has been given to the potential engineering difficulties or costs of completely revamping an electrical grid that has taken over 100 years of incremental engineering improvements to develop to its current state.”

The panel is largely made up of environmental activists who have little or no knowledge of power generation.

The big three problems with decarbonizing an electrical grid would be reliability, cost and storage. Each of those three is barely addressed at all in the Panel’s May 10 presentation, Rather than trying to deconstruct everything, let me focus on the issue of storage.

The storage must be sufficient to cover many days of usage — indeed multiple weeks — and must also remain safely stored for many months between when the power is generated and when it is used.

The panel was clearly told that long-duration is critical for intermittent power. A consultant specifically stated:

“’the need for dispatchable resources . . . during winter periods of high demand for electrified heating and transportation and lower wind and solar output.’”

The panel’s recommendations as Menton presents them:

“In other words, they have no idea how it can be done, or whether it can be done, and nobody has even started working on the problem yet. But don’t worry, the electric grid will be 70% decarbonized by 2030, even with hugely increased demand from the likes of (mandatory) electric cars and (mandatory) electric heat in homes. [Analysist] Caiazza’s comment:

“’Long-duration storage is necessary so depending upon a technology that does not even exist in a pilot project is an incredible risk.’

“Again, the term ‘incredible risk’ seems to me like a wild understatement. The fact is that none of this is real. The only questions are when and how it is all going to fall apart and how much taxpayer money will have been thrown down the drain along the way.”

Remember, on April 30, 2021, New York prematurely closed Indian Point nuclear power plant which provided 25% of the power used in New York City. The government has no concept how to replace that electricity and now New York plans to decarbonize other electricity generation?  No massive-scale long-term storage technology exists to provide the huge gaps in power generation that occur with wind and solar. The largest storage technology existing is Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Virginia. It is replenished daily by nuclear and coal-fired power, not renewables. See links under Questioning Green Elsewhere.

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Extreme Heat: According to forecasts, the Pacific Northwest will experience extreme heat on June 27 and 28, possibly breaking all-time records for certain locations. Meteorologist Cliff Mass has an explanation of a unique combination of factors going far beyond usual explanations of “heat dome” or “global warming.” He goes through two separate ingredients uniquely combining: 1) “An unusually strong area of high pressure aloft over our region (known as an upper-level ridge;” and 2) “An Approaching Trough of Low Pressure That Creates Strong Easterly/Downslope Flow over the Western Slopes of the Cascades.”

Most homes in the Pacific Northwest do not have air conditioning, and many people will be uncomfortable. As Mass notes, the ability to forecast this extreme heat would have been impossible thirty years ago. Such extreme weather prediction is a product of numerical weather modeling and improving models by weather services. It is saving many lives.

The changing winds prompted TWTW to review transmission by the Bonneville Power Authority, which has the largest hydroelectric generation in the US. As of May 4, the total nameplate generation is 27,879 MW of which 79.5% is hydro and 10.5% (2930 MW) is wind. Over the last 7 days, wind power has ranged from about 2200 MW to Zero MW (several times). The erratic nature of wind power places great strain on hydroelectric generation and results in faster wearing out of turbines than originally planned. Relying on wind, with no reliable (dispatchable) backup is folly. See links under Changing Weather and Energy Issues – US

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Miami Building Collapse: Part of a residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed on June 24. Almost immediately some in the carbon cult blamed global warming causing sea level rise. NOAA’s data on sea level rise for Miami Beach stopped in 1981. The closest tidal gage data is for Virginia Key, a barrier island south of Miami Beach, about 30 miles south of Surfside.

“The relative sea level trend is 2.97 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.21 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1931 to 2020 which is equivalent to a change of 0.97 feet [30 cm] in 100 years.”

This is significantly less than James Hansen’s 2006 prediction of a 600 cm (20 foot) rise by 2100. Although details are not available, one engineering report on the building stated there was slight land subsidence, but not enough to cause a collapse. Subsidence from ground water extraction is a problem in some coastal areas which is solvable by low-cost desalination. See links under NIPCC Reports (2008, p 18) and Changing Seas.

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14th ICCC: The 14th International Conference on Climate Change presented by The Heartland Institute will be October 15 to 17, 2021, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. See https://climateconference.heartland.org/

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SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD

THE JACKSON

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 past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barrack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz, Michael Mann, Christiana Figueres, Jerry Brown, AOC, and Neil Ferguson 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 31. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. For a list of past recipients and their accomplishments in earning this honor see http://www.sepp.org/april-fools-award.cfm

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Number of the Week: – 33 years. Writing in Real Clear Energy, Rupert Darwall states that on June 23, 1988, James Hansen of NASA-GISS testified before a US Senate panel starting the dangerous CO2-caused global warming fear in the US that we are seeing today. Four days earlier, the G-7 claimed climate change required “priority attention.” In September, Margaret Thatcher gave her speech to the Royal Society of a global heat trap. In December, the IPCC was founded. The predictions driving this political fad are turning out as valid as James Hansen’s prediction of a 600 cm (20 foot) sea level rise by 2100. See link under Questioning the Orthodoxy.

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Censorship

Google funds virus research too, and with the same man who channeled money to Wuhan

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, June 23, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Will Google censors censor the Google charity?]

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

The troubling case of Professor Ridd

By Adrienne Stone and Joshua Forrest, On Line Opinion, June 24, 2021 [H/t Jennifer Marohasy]

https://ift.tt/2UMHC3N

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://ift.tt/1QdudpR

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

Serious Error of Physics in Recent GRL paper Loeb et al on Earth’s ‘unprecedented heat retention’

By Howard Hayden, Via WUWT, June 22, 2021

Bjorn Lomborg: Enough with the net-zero doublethink

If we want to fix climate change, we need honesty

By Bjorn Lomborg, Financial Post, June 17, 2021

https://ift.tt/3A7GEiE

“Both claims can’t be true. Yet, they are often espoused by the same climate campaigners in different parts of their publicity cycle. The tough talk aims to shake us into action, and the promise of rainbows hides the political peril when the bills come due.”

No, NASA, Earth Has NOT Been Trapping Heat at an Alarming New Rate

By Anthony Watts, Climate Realism, June 21, 2021

Ross McKitrick: Why climate change won’t hurt growth

By Ross McKitrick, Financial Post, June 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/2UxbFfJ

“But as time has advanced, new data sets, and even reanalysis of the old data sets, has called those results into question and has shown that temperature (and precipitation) changes likely have insignificant effects on GDP and growth, and the effects are as likely to be positive as they are to be negative.”

Fact checking IRENA: Ignore the renewables industry PR and turn to empirical data

By John Constable, GWPF, June 23, 2021

Why Everything They Said About Solar Was Wrong

Solar Panels Will Create 50 Times More Waste & Cost 4 Times More Than Predicted, New Harvard Business Review Study Finds

By Michael Shellenberger, His Blog, June 21, 2021 [H/t Paul Homewood]

https://ift.tt/3gYbxyE

Link to article: The Dark Side of Solar Power

By Atalay Atasu, Serasu Duran, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Harvard Business Review, June 18, 2021

https://ift.tt/3gG03hX

Three Strikes You’re Out!

By Scott Hargreaves, Ad from Institute of Public Affairs, AU, June 25, 2021 [H/t Tom Quirk]

[SEPP Comment: With a graph based on calculations from the MODTRAN database showing that “runaway greenhouse” is a grim fairy tale.]

The Utter Uselessness of Climate Change ‘Science’

By Jack Cashill, American Thinker, June 19, 2021

https://ift.tt/3wIf2yq

Defending the Orthodoxy

Guest post: Why CO2 removal is not equal and opposite to reducing emissions

By Kirsten Zickfeld, Prof of Climate Science, Carbon Brief, June 21, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Agree, the removal of 50% of the globe’s CO2 will do little to cool the planet. Contrary to the professor’s assertions, the reason is that the last 200 ppmv of CO2’s concentrations did little to warm the planet. See graph based on MODTRAN linked above.]

Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

Most new wind and solar projects will be cheaper than coal, report finds

Almost two-thirds of renewable energy schemes built globally last year expected to undercut coal costs

By Jillian Ambrose, The Guardian, June 23, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://ift.tt/3gWhRFE

The link to the publication failed, but it may be: Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020

By Staff, International Renewable Energy Agency, June 2021

https://ift.tt/3j4goQe

[SEPP Comment: If wind and solar generate power, what is the cost when they don’t? Failed to find hard data in the report of the actual cost of generation and found no data on cost of backup. The report may confuse costs with bids at auction which are after subsides with no cost of backup.]

More intense and frequent thunderstorms linked to global climate variability

Using isotopes from Texas cave stalactites, scientists in Texas A&M’s College Of Geosciences studied thunderstorm changes in the Southern Great Plains

Press Release, Texas A & M University, June 22, 2021 [H/t WUWT]

https://ift.tt/3j0vfv2

Link to paper: Abrupt Southern Great Plains thunderstorm shifts linked to glacial climate variability

By Christopher R. Maupin, et al. Nature Geoscience, May 6, 2021

https://ift.tt/3xR5RwC

From Abstract: “Thunderstorms in the Southern Great Plains of the United States are among the strongest on Earth and have been shown to be increasing in intensity and frequency during recent years.” [Boldface added]

“We analyse oxygen isotopes from Texas stalactites from 30–50 thousand years ago to assess past changes in thunderstorm size and duration using a modern radar-based calibration for the region.]

[SEPP Comment: Disagree with the boldfaced. Increasing intensity and frequency may be the result of improved radar tracking. Thirty to fifty thousand years ago was a cold period and may have no relation to recent warming, particularly that of the past 11,000 years.]

Rising greenhouse gases pose continued threat to Arctic ozone layer

New study shows climate change is increasing ozone depletion over the Arctic

Press Release, University of Maryland, June 23, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://ift.tt/3qsuZGY

Link to paper: Climate change favours large seasonal loss of Arctic ozone

By Peter von der Gathen, Nature Communications June 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/3y5UhNL

From Abstract: “Output from numerous General Circulation Models (GCMs) also exhibits positive trends in PFPLM over 1950 to 2100, with highest values occurring at end of century, for simulations driven by a large rise in the radiative forcing of climate from greenhouse gases (GHGs).”

[SEPP Comment: Avoid critical thinking; just run the model!]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

IEA’s Net Zero By 2050 Report: Credible Roadmap Or Unhinged Advocacy?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 23, 2021

Happy Birthday, Global Warming: Climate Change at 33

Global warming entered politics in June 1988.

By Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, June 24, 2021

https://ift.tt/35NsYvv

Seal Numbers Increased 700% Since The 1970s – But Models Project Future Declines Due To Sea Ice Loss

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, June 21, 2021

Link to paper: Trends in abundance of harp seals, Pagophilus groenlandicus, in the Northwest

Atlantic, 1952-2019

By Mike O. Hammill. et al, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, 2021

After Paris!

Unelected climate advisers attack Boris Johnson for putting COP26 at risk

By Staff, GWPF, June 24, 2021

Change in US Administrations

Infrastructure package scales down Biden climate investments

By Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk, The Hill, June 24, 2021

https://ift.tt/2U1F3KC

“That plan called for spending $174 billion to ‘win the EV market, including the goal of building a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030 and electrifying 20 percent of the country’s yellow school bus fleet.”

Problems in the Orthodoxy

G7, coal 10

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Flawed modelling is condemning Britain to lockdown

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, June 21, 2021

https://ift.tt/3y5fM17

“Nearly two decades ago, Professor Philip Thomas of Bristol University got the death toll from mad-cow disease right – ‘a few hundred’, he said – and was pilloried for his optimism.

“He told an inquiry that ‘the Government’s continued inability to give proper consideration to the spectrum of scientific opinion… must be a cause for major concern. It is clear that those tasked with devising policy – ministers and civil servants – need to adopt a more critical attitude to the scientific advice they are offered, even when that advice comes from one of their advisory bodies.’ That warning was ignored.”

Let Them Eat Cake!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 25, 2021

Models v. Observations

New Study: Southern Ocean Sea Surface Salinity Level “Unexpected”…Climate Models “Very Much A Construction Site”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, June 22, 2021

Link to paper: Southern Ocean anthropogenic carbon sink constrained by sea surface salinity

By Jens Terhaar, et al. Science Advances, Apr 28, 2021

https://ift.tt/3sWiyTm

“In the same study the authors found that the Southern Ocean sea surface salinity CO2 uptake results ‘are in better agreement with observations in the CMIP5 model ensemble than in the new CMIP6 model ensemble.’”

Model Issues

Climate Models: Worse Than Nothing?

By Robert L. Bradley Jr. American Institute for Economic Research, June 23, 2021

An underestimated negative cloud feedback from cloud lifetime changes

By Johannes Mülmenstädt, et al. Nature Climate Change, June 3, 2021

https://ift.tt/3jhab3z

When testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity, small modeling errors add up fast

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Jun 18, 2021

https://ift.tt/35zpFry

Link to paper: Testing general relativity with gravitational-wave catalogs: The insidious nature of waveform systematics

By Christopher J. Moore, et al. Cell, June 16, 2021

https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(21)00545-9?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2589004221005459%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

[SEPP Comment: Errors may multiply like bacteria.]

Measurement Issues — Surface

Global Warming is happening, what does it mean?

By Andy May, WUWT, June 22, 2021

How to compare today to the past

By Andy May. WIWT. June 24, 2021

“In the last post, I discussed the problems comparing modern instrumental global or hemispheric average temperatures to the past. Ocean temperature coverage was sparse and of poor quality prior to 2005. Prior to 1950, land (29% of the surface) measurements were also sparse and of poor quality.”

Tropics Lead Ocean Temps Return to Mean

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, June 24, 2021

Changing Weather

The Reason for the Extreme Warmth on Monday–And My Podcast on the Heat Wave is Out

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, June 25, 2021

https://ift.tt/2U803Qg

The Difference Between Weather And Climate

By Tony Heller, His Blog, June 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/2U12c04

[SEPP Comment: Video. Changing attitudes according to recent weather events. Then NASA altered the data.]

Drought, heat, climate disaster

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

“Still, unprecedented drought is a sign of something, right? Well, yes. Of ignorance and hype according to Roger Pielke Jr. who tweeted quite the series on the past history of drought in the continental United States. It turns out drought has been declining over the past 20 years not increasing. And that over the last century and a quarter it’s been… declining slightly.”

Forest Fires of May/June 1890

By Tony Heller, His Blog, June 22, 2021

https://ift.tt/3gOrzuJ

The Most Intense Typhoons

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 21, 2021

Humid Air Makes Ice Cream Cones Melt Fast!

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, June 20, 2021

https://ift.tt/3xxEJ4U

[SEPP Comment: Example of latent heat released by condensation.]

Changing Climate

Aerosols on ice Part II

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

“A general consensus of these other records is that the global fire emissions may have been relatively high early in the past millennium (1000 to 1500 CE), with a decreasing trend from the Medieval warm period (~1000 CE) to the Little Ice Age (LIA; 1600 to 1800 CE).”

Changing Seas

Sentinel-6 Sea Level Rise—A Follow Up

By Rud Istvan, WUWT, June 22, 2021

Relative Sea Level Trend, 8723214 Virginia Key, Florida

By Staff, NOAA, Accessed June 26, 2021

https://ift.tt/3w2Po6D

Attack of the sea snot

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

Peter Ridd: Great Barrier Reef ‘has completely recovered’ from 2016 bleaching event

By Peter Ridd, Sky News Australia, Via GWPF, June 22, 2021

“If climate change is going to affect the Great Barrier Reef, it’s going to affect all the reefs of the world, but they’re only picking on Australia because they don’t like our climate policy – it’s just a political stunt that has been fueled by our own untrustworthy science institutions.”

Sea Levels Surrounding Sweden Have Fallen 2 Meters Since 1731

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, June 24, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Eastern Sweden and the Gulf of Bothnia are at the European center of land rise from the rebound effect of the glacial ice mass melting.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Global Warming? Scott Base Antarctica Endures -115F

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 23, 2021

[SEPP Comment: An example of the importance of partial pressure for evaporation and condensing rather than temperature alone.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Glyphosate Doesn’t Cause Cancer: New EU Report Confirms What We Already Knew

A new report out of the European Union confirms what scientists have known for decades: the weed killer glyphosate poses minimal risk to human health and the environment.

By Cameron English, ACSH, June 17, 2021

Glyphosate Doesn’t Cause Cancer: New EU Report Confirms What We Already Knew | American Council on Science and Health (acsh.org)

Link to report: Procedure and outcome of the draft Renewal Assessment Report on

glyphosate, June 15, 2021

Submitted to: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemical Agency (ECHA)

“The European Union’s (EU) Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG) has just released an 11,000-page report yet again showing that the popular herbicide is safe when used as directed.”

[SEPP Comment: The lawyers lining up for billions of dollars will not like this!]

U.N. Rejects Its Own Data to Claim ‘Climate Change’ Threatens Mass Starvation in Madagascar, Mainstream Media is Onboard with the Lie

By H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Realism, June 24, 2021

Lowering Standards

Science journals, Wuhan and a truly bizarre Twitter episode

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, June 20, 2021

https://ift.tt/3h0w5Xj

Using “Enviromentalism” and the UN as a trade weapon: China fires fake “Reef Scare” missile

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, June 22, 2021

Climate wars: Secret China plot to declare the Great Barrier Reef as ecologically ‘in danger’

By Staff, The Australian, Via GWPF, June 22, 2021

Climate Scientist: “Politics Is Now The Battleground For Climate Change”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 25, 2021

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

You’ll need a magnifying glass to see it

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

[SEPP Comment: Glacial flow is accelerating at a glacial rate over a three-year period?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

How David King Misled To Parliament

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 21, 2021

“It is a serious offence to give false testimony to Parliament, and King should have been forced to return to both Committees to apologise.”

Air pollution death toll claims just blowing smoke

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 19, 2021

[SEPP Comment: For about forty years what became known as the London Underground used coal-fired steam locomotives and carried millions of passengers yearly. By today’s standards, it was filthy. But how many employees and passengers died prematurely?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

Why The Claimed “97% Consensus” Is Meaningless

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, June 22, 2021

“One of the clearest visions of how science is the process of disbelieving the experts comes from the 11th-century Persian physician, philosopher, and astronomer Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Sina, better known in the West as Avicenna, who over a thousand years ago wrote…”

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Climate change anxiety: Young people ‘feel hopeless’

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 24, 2021

[SEPP Comment: The BBC cannot tell the young the truth: Don’t believe our propaganda.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Children for Propaganda

Score one for Greta

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

“Perhaps Ms. Thunberg could turn her profound learning to explaining why COVID lockdowns didn’t put a dent in the increase in atmospheric CO2. Or why politicians promise stuff and then don’t deliver.”

Tough times in utopia

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, June 23, 2021

Communicating Better to the Public – Protest

Andrew Neil Interviews XR’s Roger Hallam

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 25, 2021

“The interview is mainly notable for Hallam’s very open admission about what his policies would mean for the UK economy.

“Unfortunately, Andrew Neil only makes a brief mention about emissions in China and the rest of the world, and fails to drive home that fundamental weakness in XR’s position.”

Questioning European Green

Green Group Accuses Europe of Climate Change Colonialism

By Eric Worrall, June 25, 2021

“The European Green Deal also ignores the environmental impact of Europe’s drive for renewable energy and electric mobility on other parts of the world, where resources for this economic shift will have to be extracted. It also does not pay attention to how climate change and environmental degradation have disproportionately affected its own marginalised communities and the poor and destitute in the Global South.”

Power Grid Operators, Experts And Federal Audit Office Warn Of Blackouts As Coal, Nuclear Get Phased Out

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, June 23, 2021

Power Prices Rocketing

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 25, 2021

Clueless on Net Zero cul-de-sac

By Staff, GWPF & The Times, June 25, 2021

Questioning Green Elsewhere

New York Has No Idea Whatsoever How To “Decarbonize” Its Electric Grid

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, June 25, 2021

https://ift.tt/2SwKLnv

Funding Issues

UN Fury: World Leaders Just Failed to Deliver $100 Billion / Year Climate Deal

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 22, 2021

“If renewable energy was genuinely the more affordable option, it would be like the kerosene / whale oil revolution all over again. Nobody would be demanding handouts to switch to renewables. People would be flocking to renewables of their own free will.”

What really happens with the money spent on ‘infrastructure’?

By David Ennocenti, American Thinker, June 18, 2021

https://ift.tt/3gBf1XJ

“With estimates that as much as 95% of Biden’s infrastructure bill is going to anything but infrastructure, the money spent on that 95% will end up in the same place as that beer in your refrigerator — after it’s been fully expensed. That is not a way to stimulate our current economy.  Investment is best when it comes from the private sector.”

Litigation Issues

The Human Right to a Safe Climate – Putting Democracy Under Judicial Guardianship

Following Urgenda’s success in the Dutch climate case, climate activists have started proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.

By Lucas Bergkamp & Katinka M. Brouwer, Real Clear Energy, June 21, 2021

https://ift.tt/3x1Tkps

[SEPP Comment: Can lawyers define a “safe climate”?

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Offshore Wind “Virtually Subsidy Free”- Justin Rowlatt

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 23, 2021

“Even by BBC standards this is a grossly deceitful report from Justin Rowlatt:”

“Also the fact of a guaranteed price, and with it priority access to the market, is in itself a ‘subsidy’, as it gives financial advantages not offered to other generators. Nor do the wind farms have to pay for the cost of intermittency, which they introduce to the system.”

Energy Issues – Non-US

Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa’s energy future

By Duggan Flanakin, WUWT, June 23, 2021

Climate change: Set target to cut car use, minister told

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 24, 2021

Potty SNP Minister Thinks He Can Turn Off England’s Electricity

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, June 20, 2021

“But even worse, what would happen to all of that surplus wind power? Wind farms would have to be paid constraint payments to switch off, which last year averaged £74/MWh. Instead of exporting 15.6 TWh, Scotland would have to foot a constraint payment bill of £1.2bn.

“But it gets worse. Nuclear power contributed a quarter of Scottish generation in 2019, but a chunk of this will disappear when Hunterston B shuts next year. The other nuclear plant, Torness, is not likely to be around much longer either. That leaves Peterhead CCGT and a small amount of hydro and other bits and pieces. Pray, Mr Ewing, what would Scotland do when the wind stopped blowing?”

Energy Issues — US

Why Marginal Pricing in Wholesale Electric Markets May Need Reform

By Bernard L. McNamee, Real Clear Energy, June 20, 2021

https://ift.tt/2UM3U5K

Because marginal pricing means that the energy price set by the last resource picked is paid to all resources that clear the market, renewables with little to zero costs are paid the same amount of money as dispatchable on-demand resources – usually a natural gas plant.

TX and CA: Canaries in the Coal Mine

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, June 25, 2021

Bonneville Power Administration

By Staff, BPA.Gov/transmission, Accessed June 26

BPA Balancing Authority Total Wind Generation, Near-Real-Time

https://ift.tt/3dkEaDX

BPA Balancing Authority Load and Total Wind, Hydro, Fossil/Biomass, and Nuclear Generation, Near-Real-Time

https://ift.tt/3y1Dvz0

The Importance of Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas

By Jude Clemente, Real Clear Energy, June 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/3x094t1

Texas Starts Waking Up To The Issue Of The Full Costs Of “Renewables”

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, June 20, 2021

https://ift.tt/3wWsDm1

[SEPP Comment: Rather than address the real problems of global climate modeling and altered data, politicians have continued with phony solutions to a phony crisis.]

Consumers Energy to Quit Coal by 2025, Speeding Closure of Five Units

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, June 24, 2021

“Its plan to bank on natural gas as a source of baseload power rests on considerations that a ‘predominantly renewables scenario offers insufficient capacity to meet reliability standards—in the winter when solar energy is less abundant and in the summer,’ it noted. ‘Gas plants provide flexibility to be dispatched as needed for long-duration needs (days or weeks).’”

Looters, Moochers, Parasites: ‘Green’ Energy (Remembering Ayn Rand)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, June 21, 2021

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Boom in Native American oil complicates Biden climate push

By Matthew Brown and Felicia Fonseca, AP, June 24, 2021

https://ift.tt/3qxDQqY

Britain set to approve new oil and gas projects despite COP26 climate conference

By Staff, The Times, Via GWPF, June 23, 2021

Return of King Coal?

Coal phase-out plan gets pushback in power-hungry Indonesia

By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, June 16, 2021

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear Plants Don’t Need a Taxpayer Bailout: Profits Could Top $279 Million in 2021

By Todd Snitchler, Real Clear Energy, June 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/3do7yJA

“There’s a better solution. An economy-wide price on carbon will ensure that consumers get the best deal, innovation is encouraged and all resources—including existing nuclear—can compete to reduce America’s carbon footprint.”

[SEPP Comment: Why is it a best deal? The influence of carbon dioxide on temperatures is like a dragster nearing top speed. What it did was impressive, what it will do is limited.]

GE Hitachi: Nuclear Costs, Innovation Must Be a Pivotal Focus for Carbon-Free Future

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, June 23, 2021

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)

What do granite and bananas have in common? Radioactivity. As it turns out, radioactivity is all around us and has been for eons.

By Andrew Karam, ACHS, June 21, 2021

https://ift.tt/3jhuldP

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

President Biden Bans Imports of Chinese Forced Labor Manufactured Solar Panels

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 25, 2021

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Testimony to the House of Commons Committee on Natural Resources Regarding Biofuels and Renewable Fuels Policy in Canada. Ottawa Ontario, June 21 2021,

By Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, June 21, 2021

[SEPP Comment: McKitrick states that based on his calculations, the cost to the economy is six dollars for every dollar in benefits from biofuels. Then he gives other examples of how bad policies lead to other bad policies. Ontario subsidized wind and solar to phase out coal, which resulted in higher electricity prices, driving out manufacturing. So, the Province subsidized electricity to manufacturing and households and now spends $700 million more annually on electricity subsides than it spends on Long Term Care facilities.]

A Game-Changing Vision for Geothermal Energy

By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, June 24, 2021

Hydrogen’s Spectrum of Colors

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, June 22, 2021

[SEPP Comment: The many colors of a colorless gas.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Biden Embraces California’s Zombified Rail Boondoggle

By David Ditch, The Daily Signal, June 21, 2021

“California’s rail project is a perfect example of something designed to maximize political benefits rather than the public good.”

UK Government Funded Climate Think Tank Demands Peak Cars by 2030

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 24, 2021

“According to the Institute of Public Policy Research, even Electric Vehicles are not green enough to permit unfettered growth in car ownership.”

Carbon Schemes

CCUS: Big Opportunity and Hard Questions

By Stan Kaplan, Power Mag, June 22, 2021

[SEPP Did the earth experience a climate catastrophe when the concentration of CO2 was ten times that of today?]

Gabon paid for protecting forests, in African first

By AFP Staff Writers, Libreville (AFP), June 22, 2021

https://ift.tt/3dEgqej

“Gabon has received $17 million in recompense for successfully cutting its carbon emissions by reducing deforestation and forest degradation, the environment ministry said in a statement.”

[SEPP Comment: No doubt the funds will benefit the poor.]

California Dreaming

Blackouts Loom in California as Electricity Prices Are ‘Absolutely Exploding’

By Robert Bryce, Real Clear Energy, June 24, 2021

https://ift.tt/3do8wFs

Facing Dry Year, CA State Water Board is Draining California Reservoirs

CA reservoirs were designed to provide a steady five year supply for all users, and were filled to the top in June 2019

By Katy Grimes, California Globe, May 21, 2021

Health, Energy, and Climate

Defund The Academics! CSIRO, Australian Unis had worked with Wuhan Lab too (and they forgot to mention it for 18 months?)

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, June 25, 2021

Other Scientific News

Higher airborne pollen concentrations correlated with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates, as evidenced from 31 countries across the globe

By Athanasios Damialis, PNAS, Mar 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/3qtLzo3

Opening sentence of the Abstract:” Pollen exposure weakens the immunity against certain seasonal respiratory viruses by diminishing the antiviral interferon response.”

Some seafloor microbes can take the heat: And here’s what they eat

By Staff Writers, Cape Cod MA (SPX) Jun 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/3h1Rqje

Link to paper: Degradation of biological macromolecules supports uncultured microbial populations in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments

By Sherlynette Pérez Castro, The ISME Journal, June 10, 2021

https://ift.tt/3dnc8Yp

From the article” Right at the seafloor where the geothermal heat meets the cold deep ocean, the sediments often have a cozy 30-60C, ideal temperatures for heat-loving microbes (thermophiles). These exotic heat-lovers can use methane as an energy source and thrive in seascapes that are so different from most other ecosystems on Earth that they could well exist on another planet entirely.”

Other News that May Be of Interest

Butterflies cross the Sahara in longest-known insect migration

By Staff Writers, Reading UK (SPX), Jun 23, 2021

https://ift.tt/3wWsHSN

Link to paper:

Environmental drivers of annual population fluctuations in a trans-Saharan insect migrant

By Gao Hu, et al. PNAS, June 29, 2021

https://ift.tt/2SOYer8

Don’t like eating greens? Blame it on Brassica domestication

New study shows genetic diversity of wild Brassica rapa came from domestication

Press Release, NSF, June 22, 2021

https://ift.tt/3j1RznT

Link to paper: Brassica rapa Domestication: Untangling Wild and Feral Forms and Convergence of Crop Morphotypes

By Alex C McAlvay, et al Molecular Biology and Evolution, Apr 30, 2021

https://ift.tt/3qvFfxX

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE

“Global Warming Has Begun”

By Tony Heller, His Blog, June 25, 2021

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/06/global-warming-has-begun-2/ Video

https://realclimatescience.com/2021/06/global-warming-has-begun/  Script

[SEPP Comment: Is 350 ppm the safe level? About the same as in 1988, the year of Hansen’s testimony?]

Music to Soothe the Climate Denial Away?

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, June 23, 2021

“Jackson’s 15-minute piece, ‘Doubt,’ was written in collaboration with Naomi Oreskes, the Henry Charles Lee Professor of the History of Science whose academic work, including her 2010 book ‘Merchants of Doubt,’ has focused on the denial of climate science.”

[SEPP Comment: A better song for her and her colleagues may be: “It’s Hard to Be Humble” by Mac Davis. “Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble; When you’re perfect in every way; I can’t wait to look in the mirror; Cause I get better looking each day; To know me is to love me; I must be a hell of a man; Oh Lord It’s hard to be humble; But I’m doing the best that I can.”]

Nothing shows how pathetic solar and battery power are like the pitiful celebrations

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, June 20, 2021

“Western Australia has again demonstrated its remote renewable energy generation chops, after successfully powering the Pilbara town of Onslow entirely on a combination of large and small-scale solar and battery storage for a total of 80 minutes.

“Only 520,000 minutes short of a whole year.”

ARTICLES

1. Biden’s Prairie Chicken Fillet

The feds use the Endangered Species Act to block fossil fuels.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ, June 22, 2021

https://ift.tt/3jlIMxy

“Why did the lesser prairie chicken cross the road? Apparently to shut down oil and gas development. Witness how the Biden Administration is reviving an Obama Administration effort to list the member of the grouse family under the Endangered Species Act to restrict energy development.

“Late last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed a regulation to list the lesser prairie chicken as either threatened or endangered, depending on the region. More than 95% of the lesser prairie chicken’s range falls on private property across Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Its range also overlaps with the Permian Basin—the most productive oil-and-gas shale field in the U.S. Green groups have for years used the Endangered Species Act as a way to restrict land development.

In 2015 a federal judge blocked the Obama prairie chicken endangered listing because the Administration had not sufficiently considered alternatives to conserve bird habitat. Businesses and state and federal regulators had already agreed to a plan to support conservation efforts, which gave landowners flexibility to manage their property and compensated them for improving the bird’s habitat.

“Oil and gas companies have since contributed more than $60 million to a conservation fund. While the plan hasn’t been perfectly executed, it seems to be working. An October 2020 study prepared for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies found that the population of lesser prairie chickens across the five states grew to an estimated 34,408 from 18,142 in 2014.

“Environmental groups nonetheless sued the government in 2016 to force another listing. The Biden Administration has now agreed to re-list the bird, which could restrict energy development on up to 21 million acres of land.”

The editorial presents no justification to list the bird as endangered or threatened and concludes:

“There’s no urgent reason to list the lesser prairie chicken other than to appease green lobbyists and their desire to use every regulation possible to stop development. Candidate Joe Biden promised that he wouldn’t ban oil and gas fracking, but his Administration plans to restrict it step by step with a regulatory onslaught, and the lesser prairie chicken listing seems to be part of the strategy.”

******************

‘Energy’s Digital Future’ Review: The ‘Transition’ From Oil

Transnational elites and American politicos want society to rearrange the energy market. For ‘society’ read ‘government.’

By Mark Mills, WSJ, June 22, 2021

https://ift.tt/3wWswXD

TWTW Summary: The senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute writes:

“Amy Myers Jaffe’s ‘journey thinking about energy as a problem’ began in 1973, waiting in those infamous gasoline lines. She hasn’t been alone in that journey. OPEC’s oil embargo was a defining event that has haunted the thinking of policy makers for decades. It inspired hundreds of books on energy policy. Some now argue that we inhabit an entirely different world from that of OPEC’s heyday. That is Ms. Jaffe’s theme in ‘Energy’s Digital Future: Harnessing Innovation for American Resilience and National Security.’ She wants our policies to shift accordingly.

“First, Ms. Jaffe notes, our central concern these days is no longer energy shortages or import dependencies. We’ve gone ‘from scarcity to abundance.’ The new worry is about having too much oil and too much of it burned: ditto for natural gas, oil’s hydrocarbon cousin. That reversal is, of course, driven by worries about climate change and the fact that hydrocarbons still fuel 80% of the world economy. Ms. Jaffe, a research professor at Tufts, joins many others calling for an ‘energy transition’ to a supposedly inevitable lower-carbon future.[Boldface added]

“Second, Ms. Jaffe argues, our era is different because the world now has what she terms ‘digital energy technologies,’ defined as ‘the convergence of automation, artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things.’ The effect of all those, we’re told, will be a drop in oil demand. Ms. Jaffe embraces the idea of ‘stranded assets’ coming to those hapless companies that stay invested in hydrocarbons as ‘digital energy’ suppresses demand and governments require ‘a regulated transition to cleaner energy sources.’ Her position: ‘Society . . . cannot afford to let the private sector keep creating infrastructure that undermines long-term societal goals.’ By ‘society’ she means government. [Boldface added]

“One of the challenges ‘society’ must keep in check is the potential for ‘digital energy technologies’ to encourage more energy use. Autonomous vehicles—about which Ms. Jaffe devotes many pages—will require the government to ‘lead in framing the rules’ on how they’re used. And when it comes to electric vehicles, she writes approvingly about the benefit of ‘an entire country’ that would ‘ban today’s car technology’ based on the internal combustion engine. Ms. Jaffe assures those bitter clingers (to adapt a phrase) that no one is ‘proposing repossessing’ their gasoline car. It will be a natural transition—enforced by government.

“For all her focus on digital energy, Ms. Jaffe spends a great deal of time exploring the politics, geopolitics and economics of oil—and for good reason. Aspirations aside, petroleum is central to meeting today’s global energy needs; it powers more than 95% of all transportation of goods and people. Even the International Energy Agency’s most aggressive ‘transition’ forecast sees global oil use in 2050 still roughly 25% higher than in 1973.

“Politicians properly fear a repeat of anything like 1973 gasoline lines, and especially the overnight 400% jump in oil prices. Witness what happened in May when hackers took the Colonial Pipeline offline and triggered brief shortages and gas lines in a handful of southeastern states: The administration promptly issued orders to temporarily relax an assortment of regulations to restore supplies quickly.

“It’s a mystery why this administration and Congress, or indeed scholars and academics like Ms. Jaffe, evince so little concern about the supply-chain risks associated with the ‘energy transition.’ All the green technologies progressives want the U.S. to move to—wind turbines, solar panels, batteries—depend on imports of the machines themselves, or key parts for them, and especially the critical minerals with which they’re made. Ms. Jaffe does note that China is ‘the dominant country with the majority of the world’s processing plants for vital minerals and materials for the green revolution.’ But she brushes past the problem by observing that ‘as demand for the minerals rises, more mines will be developed.’ True, but few if any of those new mines will be in the U.S. Increasing our dependence on foreign powers, some of them hostile, seems like a bad idea.

“Instead, Ms. Jaffe focuses somewhat admiringly on China’s vaunted ‘leadership’ and subsidies for electric cars and solar panels. She contends, correctly, that American innovators are at a disadvantage competing with ‘government-funded Chinese counterparts.’ She believes that amped up R&D is one key to charting a path to new kinds of energy production. So do many transnational elites and American politicos in both parties. So does Microsoft, which in its 2020 climate-policy manifesto conceded that the energy plans it and others favor ‘will require technology that does not exist today.’ That we are rearranging our economy based on technologies we don’t in fact possess should probably cause more alarm than it does. “

After giving examples that the justifications have changed but the message is the same, more government control, Mills concludes:

“Ms. Jaffe observes that today the government must engage in the ‘reshaping’ of ‘business models.’ But she claims ‘this not about having the government ‘pick winners,’ an idea often met with derision by libertarians and others who have more faith in free markets than in politicians to allocate resources.’ The importance of that division in energy policy—faith in markets vs. faith in politicians—hasn’t changed a bit in the past half-century.”

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June 28, 2021 at 04:09AM

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