Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

From my twitter feed:

New Republic: Stop obsessing about global warming – Environmentalists ignoring poor countries’ needs [link]

Mavreen Smiel  I want to take a hammer to academic publishing. For realz. [link]

John McLean: Parsing the IPCC’s Piffle  [link]

Roger Pielke Jr.  Yes–>”based upon the same evidence, it is possible to pursue quite different policy options”  [link]

Vox Meet the companies that are hoping to profit from global warming: http://vox.com/e/5795260 

Chip Knappenberger A Clear Example of IPCC Ideology Trumping Fact http://j.mp/1sZ60WJ 

The perils of economic consensus: Disagreements among economists are healthy — Must-read [link]

Kalee Kreider Fascinating/balanced story on the risks and benefits of no till agriculture, GMO’s and pesticides [link]

Eric Posner An Empirical Study of Political Bias in Legal Scholarship  [link]

Why energy efficiency is about to come roaring back [link


139 responses to “Week in review

  1. Anthony Watts

    Hi Judith.

    Since Part 1 was published here, you may be interested in Part 2 published at WUWT. Historic Variations in Arctic Sea Ice – Part Two


    • Thanks Anthony, I’m holding my breath waiting for the new historical data set!

      • Orach and Steven Goddard also have comments on this:


      • Omanuel

        It seems remarkable that we can forget the recent past so quickly. what hope is there therefore to put the modern age into its proper context with the climate of hundreds of years ago?


      • Tonyb,

        Truth is a very powerful force and will not be hidden by would be world tyrants.

      • Steven Mosher

        “However, the conclusion must be that drawn that warming was more widespread in the arctic generally -not just the Atlantic side-than is currently noted in the official sea ice data bases covering1920-1945/50 and that the official records appear to substantially overstate the ice area extent. Some of the thinning of the ice and reduction of glaciers noted today appears to have had their genesis in the period referenced, or earlier.”

        with no actual numbers, no actual method, no actual uncertainty calculations, I fail to see how your conclusion MUST BE drawn.

        In general we have a collection of text that is long on adjectives and short on quantitative analysis. Further since we have apples and oranges to compare its hard to say anything MUST be drawn.

        Finally, I find it odd that today when it warms and the arctic melts, skeptics, such as Anthony point to the wind and soot .. as if warmer temps did nothing. but when looking at historical records they quickly assume that warmer temps mean less ice. I dont doubt the latter, I only note the inconsistent application of a principle amongst skeptics

      • To the extent that we are ignorant or uncertain about past climate/weather, we are ignorant or uncertain about almost all the climate/weather which has ever been. Therein lies the critical value of Tonyb’s efforts.

      • Hi Mosh

        I always am gratified when you protest at history. Why are your number based historical anecdotes better than my written historical anecdotes, which, in the case of the warming in question, are backed up by newsreel?

        I first noted soot on ice in an 1850 report on the arctic for which the US was blamed. Having seen recent film in an excellent BBC series soot seems to be very prevalent in the arctic. Soot melts ice and snow. How relevant it is to today or previous events I think we have still to ascertain.


      • Reposted from WUWT thread Historic Variations in Arctic Sea Ice.
        Beth the serf,August 23, 2014 at 3:23 am

        Thank you tonyb, so much here from the historical record. I will read in detail over the next two days but note the primary Russian records of the 1930’s, Pisarov, Zubov, Altman indicating that there was Arctic warming prior to GHG concentrations..

        Down Memory Lane:
        When I read your long historical record, beyond the IPCC’s back to the seventies quickie, yr CET records and voluminous farmers records, ships’ records, church records, re crop failure and weather, ice fairs on the Thames, opening of northern ports and North West Passage, advance and retreat of Alpine glaciers, I think of
        another ‘on the record’ comment which is relevant to climate science, a comment by Winston Churchill regarding our human built in checking devices, ‘what is called in military terms, taking ‘cross bearings,’ ‘independent testimony’ ‘ to a conjectured reality.

        We have seen the criticisms of ‘anecdotal’ (?) climate models, problems with what goes in, number of trees in a tree ring sample, problems with tree rings as a temperature proxy, methodology, funding pressures, unknowns, clouds n’ such, but with the historic record, when it’s not the sus public proclamations of leaders, but log books, almanacs, ‘we were there,’ the crop failed,’ these constitutes valuable primary documentation, no cui bono.

      • Beth

        Thanks for your kind comments here and at WUWT. Also thanks to mosomoso.

        I wonder if climate scientists do a climate history module during their studies as putting things into a historic context seems to be a common failing? Why are random anecdotal numbers given so much more credence than text? As the animal farm characters might have said;

        ‘numbers good, writing bad.’

        Its a great shame that historical climatologists and the number crunchers can’t work more closely together.

      • Tony,

        I have a book called ‘The Man Who Found Time’ about Scottish gentleman farmer,.James Hutton, who on his farm, and out and
        about in the Scottish countryside, studied the geology and fossil evidence, evolving a theory that directly contradicted a consensus
        that the earth was only 6000 years old.’ Merely’ anecdotal?

        And while I’m about it re memory hole, a serf’s ‘History’s Chequered History.’ Check out me conclusion, )

        Beth the serf.


      • Steven Mosher

        “I always am gratified when you protest at history. Why are your number based historical anecdotes better than my written historical anecdotes, which, in the case of the warming in question, are backed up by newsreel?”

        Huh. address the question.

        MUST be drawn?

        1. I make no decision.
        2. Ive not said which is better
        3. Numbers, I’d like to see numbers and methods
        4. a newsreel doesnt establish a number

      • Someone needs to point out to Mosher that in many cases, historical anecdotes are the BEST record we have :)

      • Mosh

        Come off it. The last few paragraphs are sprinkled with qualifications and uncertainties.

        That the warming was longer and more wide spread than officially recognised and did not take into account Russian data makes it reasonable to say that overall warming must be greater than acknowledged even with the apples and oranges presented.


      • Mosh

        I said this above in answer to your earlier comment

        ‘I first noted soot on ice in an 1850 report on the arctic for which the US was blamed. Having seen recent film in an excellent BBC series soot seems to be very prevalent in the arctic. Soot melts ice and snow. How relevant it is to today or previous events I think we have still to ascertain.’

        Have you any opinion of the likely importance of soot either now or in the past as a catalyst for significant arctic melting?


      • Matthew R Marler

        Mosher: Huh. address the question.

        MUST be drawn?

        1. I make no decision.
        2. Ive not said which is better
        3. Numbers, I’d like to see numbers and methods
        4. a newsreel doesnt establish a number

        I can see your point. You are allowed not to make a decision.

        The newsreel does not establish a number, but it does establish a ranking, and that is useful and non-ignorable, at least non-ignorable for someone making a decision. If a decision must be made, however, the evidence favors more melting in the past than claimed by people who have decided that the present low Arctic ice cover is unprecedented. The claim that present low Arctic ice cover is unprecedented is itself merely a ranking, and it also has no numbers to support it. May we infer correctly that you also do not conclude that the present low Arctic ice cover is “unprecedented”?

    • Beth

      That was a very good edition of your internationally acclaimed journal. About time for a spoof climate one where history starts around 7.15 this morning.


  2. Is Richard Betts of UKMO a lukewarmer?

    “Everyone** agrees that we can’t predict the long-term response of the climate to ongoing CO2 rise with great accuracy. It could be large, it could be small. We don’t know. The old-style energy balance models got us this far. We can’t be certain of large changes in future, but can’t rule them out either.”

    From http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/8/22/its-the-atlantic-wot-dunnit.html#comments

    • ‘Everyone’ of course is subjective…

      The CDC has received “nasty emails” and at least 100 calls from people saying “How dare you bring Ebola into the country!?” CDC Director Tom Friedman told The Associated Press Saturday.

      “I hope that our understandable fear of the unfamiliar does not trump our compassion when ill Americans return to the U.S. for care,” Frieden said.

      “The safety and security of U.S. citizens is our paramount concern,” said the State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, in a statement released Friday morning. “Every precaution is being taken to move the patients safely and securely.”

      and might actually not make any sense at all. Know fooling around now is of paramount importance to your security today.

    • ntropyalwayswins

      I spoke to Richard Betts at a climate conference in Exeter a couple of months ago and wrote here at the time that I thought he was more sceptical than we would expect. Having read a great deal of Phil Jones’ work I would say the same about him as well.


      • tony
        Excellent work on the Historic Variations in Arctic Sea Ice. Really informative.

      • tonyb
        Also, thanks. So good to get updates on the data and historical past to put things in perspective. All one can do is keep providing objective information and work to reverse the political capture of climate science in pursuing anti growth progress. With millions if not billions of world people lacking fresh drinking water, sewage treatment or electricity it seems this is the time to develop science in the service of mankind. And the earth. Lots to do and high priorities before we shut down coal fired electrical plants in the east and increase electrical costs.

        CAn’t wait for sea level updates and long slow thaw going back further in time. Given Steve Goddard, ?, discussions in temperature changes or modifications of the past since 1920,

        Do you see delta temperature changes in CET over the past 100 years?

  3. From the article:
    Al Gore, the world’s first carbon billionaire?

    According to The New York Times’s John Broder, Gore could become the world’s first “carbon billionaire.”

    One of Gore’s investment that is poised to pay off royally is Silver Spring Networks, which produces hardware and software designed to make the electricity grid more efficient.

    Now these foes are fuming that Gore is poised to profit — in a big way — from investments in companies which seek to address the ecological crises he has been warnings about for years. Broder writes that Gore could be viewed as “profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures he has invested in.”

    During his time in the private sector, Gore has made a number of investments in green technology ventures, including projects making solar cells and waterless urinals.

    Today, Gore does not reveal his net worth, but the fact that he was able to single-handedly make a $35 million investment in Capricorn Investment Group, a private equity fund started by his friend Jeff Skoll, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and film producer, speaks volumes about the magnitude of his wealth.

    Some of Gore’s private sector green tech activities include:

    · Founder of, and investor in, London-based Generation Investment Management, which is run by David Blood, a former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management

    · Partner at, and investor in, Kleiner Perkins.

    · Invested in partnerships and funds that try to “identify and support companies that are advancing cutting-edge green technologies and are paving the way toward a low-carbon economy.”

    · Stake in “the world’s pre-eminent carbon credit trading market and in an array of companies in bio-fuels, sustainable fish farming, electric vehicles and solar power.”

    · Adviser to high-profile technology companies including Apple and Google, “relationships that have paid him handsome dividends over the last eight years.”

    · Capricorn has invested in Falcon Waterfree Technologies, the world’s leading maker of waterless urinals.

    · Generation has holdings in Ausra, a solar energy company based in California, and Camco, a British firm that develops carbon dioxide emissions reduction projects.


  4. From the article:

    Move over, Al Gore. There’s a new wealthy environmentalist whom conservatives love to hate. If you haven’t heard of him yet, meet Tom Steyer.

    In the past, environmental leaders like Gore have often struggled to deliver a message that resonated: They’re too caught up in the stratosphere, living lives of excess that make it easy for critics to cry hypocrisy. Gore, for one, has been much maligned for his use of private jets.

    At a Democratic Party fundraising dinner earlier this year, Gore called Steyer “Mr. Tipping Point,” according to Politico. During the dinner, Steyer “talked about the importance ‘of climate as the issue of our times, the need to act politically’ and ‘how social change requires using climate as a winning issue in campaigns.’ ”


  5. From the article:
    Top Ten Billionaires Saving the Planet

    1. Richard Branson

    2. Ted Turner

    3. George Soros

    4. Jeff Skoll

    5. Zhengrong Shi

    6. Gordon Moore

    7. Sergey Brin and Larry Page

    8. Michael Dell

    9. Michael Bloomberg

    10. Bill Gates


  6. On Styner:
    From the article:

    Aside from that, Steyer seems to misunderstand the charge. I don’t doubt that he has no reason to be venal; he is, after all, in the .000000001%. But I do have reason to suspect he’s a giant hypocrite who once made a fortune off fossil fuels. For more on that, see this excellent reporting from Powerline’s John Hinderaker.


    • Hinderaker = Koch Industries

      well-documented association

      • Matthew R Marler

        We3HubTelescope: Hinderaker = Koch Industries

        well-documented association

        So what? Are you disputing that Hinderaker is generally correct, and correct in this instance? Steyer did get rich off fossil fuels, before divesting (some of) his fossil fuel interests. He is one of the people who opposed the Keystone XL pipeline because it would compete against companies in which he had holdings.

        That does not mean that Steyer is wrong now, of course, but people who worry about money and associations ought to worry as much about Steyer as about the Kochs..

  7. Peter Boettke has some interesting things to say about the “consensus of economists” here:


  8. Will the Pacific hurricanes cool the incipient El Nino?


    • Time For An Ob

      I dunno – everyone got excited about the prospect of an ENSO on the basis of the strongly anomalous westerly winds:

      But the recent westerly anomalies are close to zero:

      And the wave of high temperature anomalies appears to have crested already:


      El Nino died without anything killing it.

      • One reason for not being too impressed by anyone’s “science” on climate has been the klimatariat’s simplistic attitude toward ENSO. An El Nino is just a matter of degree and interpretation, and there is no reason at all to be surprised either by the occasional “super” like 1983 or by the fading away of an incipient El NIno. Nor is there anything odd about a major “event” like 1997-8 being quite benign in Oz, while weak “events” like 1902-3 and 2002-3 have been catastrophic in effect. There is substance in ENSO, but it’s not a joystick.

        While El Nino is supposed by many to be a neat mechanism which kick-starts drought in Eastern Australia, the history of drought and heat here shows that so many other factors, known and unknown, are at work; and that translating a rough observation set like ENSO into solid prediction is corrupting what might be a very handy tool. No El Ninos in our driest decade and our most lethal heatwave during a La Nina flanked by neutral years (1939) should surely make us more cautious and less mechanistic. (Mind you, the WW2 Drought was textbook, with a double whammy strong El Nino doing the business. But was it just El Nino?)

        Right now in my part of Oz we are getting a damp August which has been unexpected (but welcome!). The dry, nagging westerlies came and left early, and what has taken their place is cool and sappy conditions which are not at all typical of the late NE winter, even in La Nina years.

        Mind you, that could all change about again and I could be fighting fires in the summer. You see, in common with every other human on this planet, I don’t know what the climate will be doing a few months out from now. ENSO helps me guess, which is better than nothing.

      • mosomoso, “There is substance in ENSO, but it’s not a joystick.” And many tell us there is no control knob. We’ll just have to keep flying on a wing and a prayer, as always, and laugh off the occasional crash.

  9. The Left has raised the alarm that human-caused global warming (AGW) may lead to the extinction of all species on Earth. Over 6,000 new species (new to us) have recently been discovered in the oceans over a ten year period. And, as many more await discovery in the near future. It sounds like the Left is worried about AGW leading to catastrophic extinctions of species that they currently know nothing about and do not care to know about because discovering new species will of course require the use of more energy.

  10. In addition to the points made by Knappenberger and Michaels is the fact that most of the period 1951 – 2012 has already happened and is input to the various climate models. Making the output of a model agree with input should be trivial. It’s noteworthy that most of the various IPCC models couldn’t even do that.

  11. The “pay-wall” for scientific publications should be discarded. Last vestige of what the church went through when Gutenberg printed copies of the Bible. “The times they are a changin.” – Bob Dylan Will we?

    • David Wojick

      Replaced by what, Philbert? Author pays (and controls)? Government pays (and controls)? Having readers pay puts them in charge.

      • A direct quote on this “pay wall” issue (which I despise) from Jon Butterworth from his book Smashing Physics (2014) describing the experimental discovery of the Higgs boson (Butterworth was one of the physicists deeply involved, so no lightweight):

        pp. 215-216

        >”Unfortunately the only way of getting the ALPHA results seems to be pay Nature Publishing Group $32, despite the fact that your taxes probably already contributed to the cost of the experiment. Prohibitive fees either at publication time or when you want to read the paper restricts the results of research to an elite of well-funded institutions and individuals. They deprive scientists elsewhere of opportunities, thereby depriving science of their skills. Demand for open access to research results is growing, and we had already decided that any definitive result on the Higgs would be freely accessible , even if this ruled out some very prestigious journals”

        Butterworth and his colleagues use the arXiv archives system, available to anyone with an internet connection. They disdain the “rock star” syndrome so prevalent within “climate” science – one does not need to wonder why

  12. Steven Mosher

    Energy efficiency.
    I expect Joshua to argue that it’s not a no regrets policy.

    • David L. Hagen

      On what basis? As an engineer, there is a strong argument for energy efficiency. Economic optimum insulation thicknesses are often double conventional installation practice. However, when calculating optimums, you must include heat generation by people and energy use within the building, as these can be large relative to the heating energy demand. Under optimum insulation, half or more of the heat needed may come from people and energy use – resulting in a downward shift from the external “balance temperature” from the typical 65 F (5F below the control temperature) used for “degree day” calculations. See:
      Hagen, D.L. “Optimum Insulation with Internal and Solar Heat Gains.” The Sun: Mankind’s Future Source of Energy. Proceedings 7th International Solar Energy congress, Paper No. 1072, Session 42-2, New Delhi, India, Pergamon Press, January 16-20, 1978

      • http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/early_consumption.cfm

        Industrial and transport make up more than 70% of energy consumption, so insulation might not be the lowest hanging fruit.

      • David L. Hagen

        “No regrets” vs “climate mitigation”
        Efforts that make economic sense are welcome.
        Imposing unjustified costs on society and harming the poor is not. e.g. see Fig. 1 in: McKinsey & Company, Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy. Version 2 of the Global Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve, 2009

        See image

        They show residential insulation as ~ -33 euro/t CO2.
        Contrast cost of carbon capture from power plants and sequestration at aver about 45 euro/t CO2. I have seen other reviews estimating $75 to $100/ton CO2 for CCS. For a dose of hard reality, see 2014 IEA Review by Jacobs Trends, Challenges and Next Steps in CCS Regulation

        Capital cost premium of 76 percent CBO 2012: $3,070/kw with CCS; $1,740/kw without CCS
        NOTE: Capital costs for Kemper County, with 65% capture, are nearly 300% higher than would be required for conventional coal plant
        * Is this an outlier ?
        Operating cost premium also 76 percent CBO 2012:
        $104/ mw-hour with CCS; $59/mw-hour without CCS
        • Existing subsidies insufficient to close cost differential
        * IRC §45q: tax credit of $20 per ton captured and sequestered,
        $10 per ton captured and used for EOR
        * Expires after credits claimed for 75m tons
        * Total stimulus funds available for CCS are $3.4bn
        * Kemper plant costs $5.5bn

      • Carbon capture is probably more costly than shown in many of these estimates. I understand their design basis assumes the co2 must be injected in sealed formations which don’t allow it to leak. If this is the case they have to answer where do they expect to find such rocks? I just can’t envision costs being as low as they estimate. Maybe they don’t know what it takes to inject fluids at high pressure?

    • David Wojick

      Energy efficiency cannot replace energy use, so its benefits are limited. Excess efficiency is expensive hence wasteful (of money not energy). Every dollar spent for efficiency is a dollar not spent on something potentially more useful. Thus forced efficiency is a high regrets policy.

      • It’s not that simple. I agree that a top-down one-size-fits-all forced efficiency program would fail to achieve meaningful results. However, picking off the low-hanging fruit makes sense.

        As an example, people (conservatives) have been freaking out over the past 20 years about forced water conservation via low-flow toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, showerheads, faucets, drip irrigation, etc.

        In the current severe drought in California, we have more people and produce more crops using less water than during the 1976-77 severe drought. If water use efficiency was not implemented, the current severe drought would be a disaster.

      • Howard | August 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        “If water use efficiency was not implemented, the current severe drought would be a disaster.”

        Can you cite a source for this comment; including the definition of “a disaster?” Does a water disaster in California justify imposed water conservation in Oregon or Louisiana? Would it be better for California to spend the $billions allocated (and spent) for high speed rail on water infrastructure?

      • PMHinSC (or are you a right-wing sock puppet of Joshua?)

        Do your own homework and prove me wrong. Shifting your case to other random states proves you are desperate to “win” the argument to stroke your biased motivations.

        Schopenhauer mocks you from the grave.

        Perhaps you are correct: wasteful spending of water, energy, food, money, good will, etc. are commendable practices while conservation and efficiency are bad. I am sure all of starving poor in the developing world agree because deep in their hearts, they understand it is your birthright. Please support your hypothesis with peer reviewed journal articles.

      • No regrets is technically actions that have a benefit/cost ration greater then unity – without considering climate change costs or benefits.

        Thus ‘no regrets’ is site specific and can only be properly evaluated in economic freedom.

        Precision agriculture might be a perfect example.


        Reduce weedicide use, focus higher application rates on weeds, reduce resistance, reduce costs, reduce environmental impacts.

      • who said the benefits were unlimited, dolt.

      • California could save a lot of water if they changed their toilet reservoirs to hold 40 % more water. This way they wouldn’t have to flush twice. Here in Europe we use the larger toilets and they work great!

      • If you purchase LED lighting and thus lower your overall expenses, higher initial outlay followed by reduced ongoing outlay, you wind up having money to spend on something else.

        You seem to be arguing that spending excess money on energy is a good thing.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Howard: Perhaps you are correct: wasteful spending of water, energy, food, money, good will, etc. are commendable practices while conservation and efficiency are bad.

        PMHinSC did not say anything of the kind. His questions were whether particular actions were justified by particular situations. Take his example, would California be better off if the money invested (and to be invested) in a high speed rail line (dubbed “the train to nowhere” because it avoids major population centers like Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles) were invested in improved water management instead?

        There is in any time and place a finite amount of investment money, and in some places and times that money might be better invested in something other than CO2 reduction for the foreseeable future. I sometimes address the hypothetical options for the Indus Valley: improved efficiency in energy production or improved flood control and irrigation?

        His other question was who pays for whom and for what? Why should recurring droughts in California impose taxes or restrictions on oil extraction on Louisiana, especially if California misinvests in rail instead of flood control and irrigation infrastructure?

      • Fernando: Don’t know what you are talking about. The two-flush low flush problem was solved in the last millennium.

        Matthew: Water conservation (efficiency) is a good analogy to energy efficiency. Our drought today is more severe than in 1976-77, we have the same basic supply, use less water and feel less of a pinch.

        Again, read your Schopenhauer to see how bringing up extraneous hobby horses (LA oil) and straw-men (high speed rail) is just a trick used by weaklings.

        Of course additional water storage and expanded conjunctive use is needed in California and the arid west that feeds the country. Librul demoncrat environmentalists have stopped intelligent water resource expansion in California and pushed for a stupid bullet train. These are examples of a failure of instituting no regrets policies. One “no regrets” policy championed by the librul elites was water conservation which was fought by the conservative (?) right wing.

        For climate, the “no regrets” (AFAIK) includes energy efficiency, nuke, fracked gas, energy techno research, getting off coal, increasing smoke-stack emissions of particulates, NOx, SOx VOCs, and Ozone precursors. Something for every ideology to love and hate and fight over because “winning the debate” trumps effective action.

      • Howard | August 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm | “Do your own homework and prove me wrong.”
        I wasn’t trying to prove you wrong. I was asking for a source that quantifies your claim that “water use efficiency… prevented a disaster.”
        I don’t know if it did or it did not and you obviously don’t either. If you can’t support your own argument don’t ask others to do it for you.

        Howard | “you are desperate to “win” the argument.”
        I don’t know what argument you think I was trying to win.

        Howard | “… wasteful spending of water, energy, food, money, good will, etc. are commendable practices while conservation and efficiency are bad.”
        You are knocking down a straw man argument I never made.
        I also did not argue that conservation is not a commendable thing to do.
        It was saying that water problems in California are, at least to some extent, the result of poor fiscal and resource management and that conservation may or may not have kept the problems from becoming a disaster. Solutions to those problems in California might not be required or work in other states.

        Suggest next time read what I write a little more carefully or don’t bother to read it.

    • “No regrets” is a myth. (NOT a lie, but a metaphorical truth used to incent some action.) Energy efficiency, to some extent or other, can probably be considered (very) “Low-Regrets”. Depending on how the energy supply system evolves, it might turn out that the extra effort spent on that efficiency was wasted. Probably not, and even if energy comes to be cheap as dirt, other things discovered while trying to improve efficiency might well make it worth it.

      But it’s certainly hard for me to come up with a scenario where people would say “gee, I really wish we hadn’t done that.”

  13. Fukushima Radiation Proves Less Deadly Than Feared by Robert Peter Gale & Eric Lax (Bloomberg)

    Radiation spikes detected in the weeks and months following the Fukushima accident caused concern and sometimes panic. One day a higher-than-permissible level of iodine-131 (300 becquerels per liter, or less than 0.00008 parts per trillion) was detected in the drinking water in Tokyo. People immediately emptied stores of bottled water. However, the amount of contamination in Tokyo water was so low, Tokyoites would have had to drink 6 quarts of it a day for a month to get the same radiation dose that an airline crew member receives in a year of flying between Los Angeles and Tokyo.

    • Those comparisons are a bit bogus. My mom died of lymphoma attributed to radiation exposure, she was the last of six of her team who were applying the same experimental protocol to patients, and from what I gather radiation can be focused. Therefore the random hits experienced by airplane crews aren’t really comparable to what happens in other exposure events.

      • Somewhat bogus but not completely. Radioactive Iodine tends to accumulate in the thyroid and the greater the iodine deficiency the greater the accumulation. Paradoxically, treatment for thyroid cancer can include introduction of radioactive iodine into the thyroid. On the whole though, Japan’s “safe” limits were extremely low compared to most nations. So low that a perfectly normal bag of sweet potatoes started a bit of a panic in Thailand.

      • I guess the Japanese focused too much on those “safe limits” rather than avoiding events which could exceed them 1000 fold? Did you ever wonder how could anybody be so dense to put all their emergency pumps in the same location? The Fukushima pumps and Germany’s solar power mess made me lose hope. Macondo made me decide I can only trust myself.

      • The Macondo incident hasn’t left any permanent damage as far as I know. It did little damage even as it happened. There was a lot of hand wringing and gums-flapping, but little in the way of hard evidence.

      • Seems to me that it is more like we see with the history of cyclamates. All sweeteners apparently go through the same pin ball path to a proper perspective–e.g.,


        Aspartame, distributed under several trade names (e.g., NutraSweet® and Equal®), was approved in 1981 by the FDA after numerous tests showed that it did not cause cancer or other adverse effects in laboratory animals. Questions regarding the safety of aspartame were renewed by a 1996 report suggesting that an increase in the number of people with brain tumors between 1975 and 1992 might be associated with the introduction and use of this sweetener in the United States. However, an analysis of then-current NCI statistics showed that the overall incidence of brain and central nervous system cancers began to rise in 1973, 8 years prior to the approval of aspartame, and continued to rise until 1985. Moreover, increases in overall brain cancer incidence occurred primarily in people age 70 and older, a group that was not exposed to the highest doses of aspartame since its introduction. These data do not establish a clear link between the consumption of aspartame and the development of brain tumors.

        In 2005, a laboratory study found more lymphomas and leukemias in rats fed very high doses of aspartame (equivalent to drinking 8 to 2,083 cans of diet soda daily) (1). However, there were some inconsistencies in the findings. For example, the number of cancer cases did not rise with increasing amounts of aspartame as would be expected. An FDA statement on this study can be found at http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm108650.htm on the Internet.

        Subsequently, NCI examined human data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study of over half a million retirees. Increasing consumption of aspartame-containing beverages was not associated with the development of lymphoma, leukemia, or brain cancer (2).

      • Focus Fernando, http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/12/27/japans-new-limits-for-radiation-in-food-20-times-stricter-than-american-and-eu-standards/

        Having unrealistically strict safety standards can be just as bad as having no standards.

  14. David L. Hagen

    Does homogenization “correct” or “politicize” temperature trends?
    Australian Met Office Accused Of Manipulating Temperature Records

    One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per century has been homogenized and become a warming trend of 2.5C per century. This is a station at an airforce base that has no recorded move since 1941, nor had a change in instrumentation. It is a well-maintained site near a perimeter fence, yet the homogenisation process produces a remarkable transformation of the original records, . . . In Rutherglen in Victoria, a cooling trend of -0.35C became a warming trend of +1.73C. She raised her concerns (repeatedly) with Minister Greg Hunt.

    GWPF summary

    Heat is on over weather bureau ‘homogenising temperature records’ Jennifer Marohasy
    Graph Pre vs Post Homogenization 3.5 C/century difference!

    Similarly see Darwin Zero – Before and After

    It is highly improbability that a station would suddenly start warming at 6 C per century for fifty years, no matter what legitimate adjustment method were used (see Fig. 1).

  15. David L. Hagen

    Climate policy & Bird deaths: Solar vs Fossil
    How are we to objectively evaluate the impacts of climate on different energy systems?
    Bird Deaths From Solar Plant Exaggerated By Some Media Sources

    There seems to be some hysteria online about bird deaths associated with the Ivanpah solar project in California.. . .The same article says that hundreds of thousands of birds might be dying, or 28,000 or 1,000. . . . Brightsource says the number is much lower than 1,000.
    What do these numbers mean compared to other sources of bird deaths? Power lines alone might kill up to 175 million birds a year, according to a US Fish and Wildlife Service document. Up to 3.7 billion are killed by cats. . . . “Every year an estimated 500,000 to 1 million birds are killed in oilfield production skim pits, reserve pits, and in oilfield wastewater disposal facilities,” explained a document from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. . . .14,000 chickens are slaughtered each minute in the US, according to the Organic Consumers Association. . . .
    are the Ivanpah birds rare or endangered, or are they more common and in great supply? . . .
    Are we supposed to believe that some of the authors of these articles are great bird lovers defending wildlife based on sound evidence and effective reasoning? Or is their motive simply creating clickbait articles to get pageviews or bashing solar power?

    • “Power lines alone might kill up to 175 million birds a year” etc. Ivanpah output averages around 100mw (400mw nominal * 25% capacity factor). The USA consumes around (?) 500,000mw. So multiply Ivanpah by about 5,000 to get a fair comparison. Then ask : are there alternatives which would kill less birds?

      • David L. Hagen

        Mike Jonas
        See LRAD.com 2000X

        The extended frequency range of the LRAD 2000X ensures voice commands will be clearly understood over distances to 3,500 meters (and beyond in certain environments).

        Consider also the consequences of EPA’s forceably shutting down our economy by closing coal fired power or doubling the cost of residential power to $0.38/kWh as in Germany.

    • Sounds like the typical handwaving designed to distract you from trying to understand the problem. What on earth does ‘14,000 chickens are slaughtered each minute’ have to do with the incineration of wild birds at Ivanpah? Perhaps that would distract the PETA brigade, but says nothing about an impact on wildlife. Power lines are also a distraction. Are we supposed to believe that massive solar arrays and wind farms don’t need power lines to hook up to the power grid? Power line deaths need to be added to the solar array and wind farm deaths, not distracted from them. Finally, bird and bat deaths at solar arrays and wind farms are in addition to all of the other deaths birds are subjected to from windows, wires, cats and the like. They are a new source of mortality. This is propaganda designed to mislead.

      • David L. Hagen

        Alternatively, to put it in context:
        How are we to discuss the various impacts of “western civilization” on people vs on nature?
        How are we to “steward the earth” as entrusted to us by our Creator?
        Is an argument being made that we “must not “harm” (aka change) nature”?
        What about 3 billion poor who desperately need fuel and electricity for health, work and education?
        On what basis are we to weigh such arguments?

  16. It seems to me both sides of global warming have their obscurantists, it is the magnitude that makes any difference. Koch, meet Soros.

  17. How can the warmest year scenario be again running in land/sea based measurements of temperature when the Satellites are running colder and the areas we live in have been having extremely cold years. Record snow in Australia and America.
    Further have the past yearly records 2005 and 1998 changed yet?
    According to Zeke changes in past records are made on a daily basis where such information comes in to all past records.
    Hence we should have a slightly lower 1998 and 2005 record to beat in 2014 than 2013. Is this correct?
    If not, why not.
    What sort of computer programme adjusts the past data but does not adjust the past yearly records?

  18. According to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom Australia rates third behind Hong Kong and Singapore. New Zealand is ranked at 5, Canada at 6 and Denmark rounds out the top 10. All of the countries in the top 10 are considered to be Free. They are all also peaceful. A new study has found that higher levels of economic freedom can help reduce the risk of violent conflict. That if peace is more profitable than war then peace wins out. It all comes down to the pursuit of self interest.

    Why does the US come in at 10?

    The United States, with an economic freedom score of 76, has lost ground again in the 2013 Index. Its score is 0.3 point lower than last year, with declines in monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, and fiscal freedom. The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and its score remains well above the world and regional averages.

    Registering a loss of economic freedom for the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. has recorded its lowest Index score since 2000. Dynamic entrepreneurial growth is stifled by ever-more-bloated government and a trend toward cronyism that erodes the rule of law. More than three years after the end of recession in June 2009, the U.S. continues to suffer from policy choices that have led to the slowest recovery in 70 years. Businesses remain in a holding pattern, and unemployment is close to 8 percent. Prospects for greater fiscal freedom are uncertain due to the scheduled expiration of previous cuts in income and payroll taxes and the imposition of new taxes associated with the 2010 health care law.

    Restoring the U.S. to a place among the world’s “free” economies will require significant policy reforms, particularly in reducing the size of government, overhauling the tax system, transforming costly entitlement programs, and streamlining regulations. http://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates

    It is significant in terms of promoting peaceful and prosperous societies – as an early release this week of a section of the 2014 Economic Freedom of the World report shows.


    But in real-world terms, what is the magnitude of the effect of economic freedom on the risk of civil war? Holding all variables at their mean values, raising economic freedom alone by one standard deviation above its mean value reduces the model’s overall prediction of civil war risk at the mean values of all variables by 375%, which is substantively quite large. In other words, if a country such as Pakistan, which has an economic freedom score close to the average, increases its economic freedom to the level close to Singapore’s or Chile’s, it would reduce the chance of civil war occurring by roughly four times its current risk. Contrarily, a country that raises its income by one standard deviation about the mean value would only reduce its risk of a civil war onset by 1.07 times on average, a much smaller impact comparatively. Although the war-averting effect of greater economic freedom is comparable to that of higher per-capita income, it is presumably much easier for a country to reduce the risk of war by improving policies and building institutions, such as instituting proper macro-economic management by independent central banks, organizing a credible commitment to property rights, and ensuring the freedom of markets for trade and investment from endogenous sources.’ http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/free-markets-and-civil-peace.pdf

    A resurgence of the values of classic liberalism is more important than ever in the face of concerted ideological agendas of the extreme left. They use climate change as a stalking horse for radical social and economic theories and this must be identified and resisted wherever it rears its ugly head. There is little less at stake than freedom, peace, prosperity and the creation of a truly global civilisation this century.

    • I read that article, too, Ellison. I live in the US and it saddens me that we have slipped so far from the freedoms that built this country. We have become a spider’s web of laws that trap us in its tangled complexity.

      Here is a story that you might find interesting. To me, it is a harbinger of what might be in store for nations unwary of loose immigration policy. After Mexico won independence from Spain, it didn’t have enough people to occupy what now is Texas, then part of Mexico. So it encouraged immigrants to settle the land. It was those very same immigrants that wrested Texas from Mexico. It seems that politicians are incapable of learning from the past, even when that past is part of their very own history!

      From the article:

      An equally urgent concern for the young country was guarding its far northern possessions from United States expansion; Texas was especially vulnerable to encroachment from that country, and colonization offered the best deterrent. But Mexico lacked the strength of population numbers to settle the north. Consequently, it tried enticing European and American immigrants to the region to act as defense forces against Indians and foreign powers. The political issues raised by the new settlers became the dominant topic in Texas during this period. In January 1821 the Spanish government gave Moses Austin of Missouri a contract to establish a colony on the Brazos River with 300 Catholic families. When he died on June 10, 1821, his son, Stephen F. Austin, inherited the contract, and by the end of 1821 colonists began reaching Texas, some of them establishing themselves on the main settlement, christened San Felipe de Austin. The Mexican government confirmed Austin’s contract via the Imperial Colonization Law of January 1823.


  19. Danley Wolfe

    I had a Twitter account once but canceled it (but only with enormous difficulty). I must have become a real curmudgeon while not looking but I wish that Twitter were never invented. Not a substitute for real communication conversation, but good for hurling one line jokes and ad hominems. It encourages on the spot opinions which may not be well thought out and top of the head agi-talk.

  20. Can’t anyone find a way to blame this on human burning of fossil fuels? For the children?


    • Webby

      Your KKK reference is childish enough anyway and merely demeans your undoubted intellect. Why don’t you give it a rest and delete it?

      At the very least delete your reference to Max, who as you may remember has died and is unable to respond to your silliness.


  21. Sorry Bill Gates, You Are Wrong on Renewable Energy

    Two Videos That Illuminate Energy Poverty
    By Bill Gates
    on June 25, 2014

    • That Jigar Shah who wrote the Bill Gates critique sure sounds arrogant. By the time I read the first few paragraphs I was ready to turn him in to the Ministry of Love.

      • Here’s that first paragraph:

        > Bill Gates just blogged on energy poverty. In that post, he agrees with the political scientist Bjorn Lomborg who “argues that before poor countries can move to clean energy, poor families need access to cheap electricity so they don’t have to burn dung, cardboard, or twigs for heating and cooking. These dirty fuels produce indoor air pollution that is terrible for health (especially for children).”

        Good old arrogant card.

      • He appears to have created, and recently sold, a company called SunEdison. Which is currently being sued by DuPont, claiming

        that SunEdison’s use of solar modules and cells that contain Samsung SDI Co., Ltd front side metallization paste constitutes the patent infringement.

        So is his whole investment model based on stealing IP? Or is DuPont swinging too wide a loop with their patent claims? The technology appears to have been developed by them.

      • Here’s the main paragraph:

        > Energy is starting to look a lot like mobile phones as distributed solutions leapfrog outdated and ineffective centralized networks. They have done so overwhelmingly out of the desire to power the poor — not to solve climate change. They also happen to rely on the most affordable, effective and direct tool available: distributed clean energy that puts power directly in the hands of poor populations on a time frame that matters.


        Lomborg proponents should note this section title: Ending energy poverty has nothing to do with climate change

        Anything but CO2.

      • Solar and wind make zero sense in the US, but for poor countries where the per capita energy use is low anyway and there is no energy infrastructure, solar makes sense. This would be a good opportunity for non-governmental organizations to make a dent, as I know some already are.

      • Permanent Press will soon be outsourced to robots for the ‘Ministry of Love’.


        Years of learning have shown her the light of what lies ahead… it does not look good.

      • Matthew R Marler

        willard(@nevaudit): Good old arrogant card.

        Anything but CO2

        Do you have a point?

      • > Do you have a point?

        Yes, I do.

      • The arrogance is that conservatives can lecture on how families should raise their children. If they want to burn dung indoors, that should be their RIGHT!

        The arrogance card is a form of psychological projection.


  22. I am appreciative to Tony Brown for researching and posting reliable historical information on Article Sea Ice variations.

  23. So now in Ferguson, it is quiet. But after scores of outsiders came in, fanned the flames of racism, and rioters burned 30 businesses, the outsiders will leave. But the residents will be left with the burned out businesses and an infamous reputation. No one will want to start a business there, invest there, or otherwise carry on with normal economic activities. The outsiders and no doubt a few locals exacerbated the very problems that helped produce the troubled teen and the unfortunate incident.

    This is one of those things that is very disturbing, but I’m at a loss to see how to fix it.

  24. A search on the NY Times site a few minutes ago revealed no information on “Chen and Tung.”

    If there is no hiatus, there is no need to explain it. :)

  25. The Ice Age cometh!
    From the article:

    British Botanists conducting a Summer survey of Scotland’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, have been stunned to find evidence of recently formed multi-year ice fields, areas of compacted snow, some of which weigh hundreds of tons.

    According to the BBC;

    “Hazards common in arctic and alpine areas but described as “extremely unusual” in the UK during the summer have been found on Ben Nevis.

    A team of climbers and scientists investigating the mountain’s North Face said snowfields remained in many gullies and upper scree slopes.

    On these fields, they have come across compacted, dense, ice hard snow call neve.

    Neve is the first stage in the formation of glaciers, the team said.”

    The team has also encountered sheets of snow weighing hundreds of tonnes and tunnels and fissures known as bergschrunds.

    Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-28885119

    This is how ice ages start – a buildup of snow which does not melt in the Summer, which leads to a positive feedback loop, as the growing ice sheet reflects more and more sunlight back into space.


    • Someone needs to call in Cowton and Way to re-jigger the temperature records there!

    • Right, but there won’t be a new ice age since land owners will never allow glaciers to advance. That is the biggest anthropgenic effect, we don’t like year ’round snow.

    • jim2

      I just posted this at WUWT.

      —- —-
      That the climate can change drastically in just a short period can be seen in these Scottish related excerpts. The first of which seems to indicate that glaciers are no stranger to Scotland.

      1) “The reality of this period of cold is reinforced by this account from 1610 when John Taylor, talking of the hills around him in Deeside Scotland, remarked that “the oldest men alive never saw but snow on the top of divers of these hills both in summer as in winter.”

      2) “Our modern bouts of amnesia regarding previous climatic conditions can be seen to be nothing new by reading the comments from the annals of Dumfermline Scotland from 1733/4, when it recorded that wheat was first grown in the district in 1733. Lamb wryly observes that was not correct, as enough wheat had been grown further north in the early 1500’s to sustain an export trade (before the 1560’s downturn).

      This information also usefully confirms a warm period around that date, to one that had changed to a cold period by the time of Pastor Schaller commenting in 1560.

      3) “A farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of the local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.

      “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change.”

      It then goes on to say;
      “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
      and also; “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”

      ——— —-

      These taken from my article;



  26. Political Junkie

    In an earlier comment Jim2 referenced a 2009 article about the potential for Al Gore to become the world’s first ‘climate billionaire.’

    Here’s a 2012 piece suggesting that Big Al realizes that the tax payer funded green gravy train may have left the station:


    • That’s interesting. It appears he has intercepted as much easy government money as he can, so now he is moving on.

  27. NASA Unveils Technology May Not Be The Only Factor in Climate Change
    However, the research project called Human and Nature DYnamical also known as HANDY, is paving the way for even more correlations to how earth and human relationships can be harmful. The irreversible collapse study orchestrated by Safa Motesharrei accompanied by natural and social scientists, highlights spellbinding historical connections between failed empires in comparison to modern-day politics.

    • Are you sure Karl Marx didn’t author this paper? What a crock!!

    • From the article:
      NASA is distancing itself from a new study that investigates how unsustainable resource exploitation and rising income inequality could potentially lead to the collapse of human civilization as we know it.

      NASA officials released this statement on the study today (March 20): “A soon-to-be published research paper, ‘Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies’ by University of Maryland researchers Safa Motesharrei and Eugenia Kalnay, and University of Minnesota’s Jorge Rivas, was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA. It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity. As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions.”


  28. ‘Faced with a perceived conflict between expanding global energy access and rapidly reducing greenhouse emissions to prevent climate change, many environmental groups and donor institutions have come to rely on small-scale, decentralized, renewable energy technologies that cannot meet the energy demands of rapidly growing emerging economies and people struggling to escape extreme poverty. The UN’s flagship energy access program, for example, claims that “basic human needs” can be met with enough electricity to power a fan, a couple of light bulbs, and a radio for five hours a day.

    A reconsideration of what equitable energy access means for human development and the environment is needed. As this paper demonstrates, a massive expansion of energy systems, primarily carried out in the rapidly urbanizing global South, in combination with the rapid acceleration of clean energy innovation, is a more pragmatic, just, and morally acceptable framework for thinking about energy access. The time has come to embrace a high-energy planet.’ http://thebreakthrough.org/images/pdfs/Our-High-Energy-Planet.pdf

    The other side of the story for people who are perhaps generations away from grid energy is embodied in the Biolite stove.


    Which is a tremendously good idea – saving lives, saving money, saving forests and charging cell phones. There are quite significant carbon dioxide reductions – for $6.66/ton – carbon monoxide reductions ( an ozone precursor) as well as substantial reductions in black carbon – which contributes some 1.1W/m2 to forcing.

    Ultimately – the Breakthrough Institute call to embrace an inevitable high energy future for the planet is the moral path – the highest priority for global civilization. There are – however – worthwhile first steps that are relatively cheap.

    • I’m a big fan of the Biolite stove

    • The “high energy” paper mentions that public policy brought energy to the masses. In the US, private industry brought energy to the masses. The first step was taken by John Rockefeller who enabled people to replace wood with kerosene. It was only up from there. He got rich in the process, but he produced jobs and benefited society. Viewed in that light, he gave back as he got.

  29. Oilfield tech takes another step forward … RE-fracking.
    From the article:

    If those prove fruitful it may consider expanding the practice to its holdings in the Denver-Julesburg Basin of Colorado and the Eagle Ford formation in Texas.

    Another Haynesville operator, Dallas-based Exco Resources Inc, said it boosted output from a 2010 refracked test well by 1.3 million cubic feet of gas per day. It didn’t say how much gas it was producing before the refracking. Average initial production from new wells Exco drilled in the second quarter was 12.9 million cubic feet per day.

    Some of Exco’s Haynesville wells after four years were producing about a fifth of what they did in their first year, with output declining 69 percent that first year alone, according to the company.

    Exco believes the technology can be applied to 400 of its so-called “vintage” wells that were drilled several years ago using what is now outdated technology.

    The company is planning a refracking campaign for 2015, Hal Hickey, Exco’s president, told investors on a July 30 conference call.

    “We’ve been at the forefront” in the Haynesville, he said.


  30. Two natural drivers have been identified that explain measured average global temperatures since before 1900 with R^2>0.9 (95% correlation) and credible values back to 1610. Global Warming ended before 2001. The current trend is down.

    Search AGW unveiled for the two natural drivers, method, equation, data sources, history (hind cast to 1610) and predictions (to 2037).

  31. Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Warns on Oil Supply
    Rising Costs, Global Turmoil Could Lead to Supply Problems if Companies Fail to Invest

    STAVANGER, NORWAY—The chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, said Monday that worries such as rising oil-sector costs and global turmoil could lead to a lack of oil supplies down the line, if oil companies fail to make sufficient investments.

    The world’s oil fields are in decline, so the world needs to replace close to 40 million barrels a day of new capacity within the next two decades, Mr. Al-Falih said. A lot of those resources will be complex and expensive, such as shale oil and gas and heavy oil projects.
    “So, to tap these increasingly expensive oil resources, oil prices will need to be healthy enough to attract needed investments,” said Mr. Al-Falih.

  32. After over 100 years of relentless ACO2 emissions, we come to the horrible realization that crop yields just couldn’t be better.
    From the article:

    The USDA corn conditions were estimated 73% in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, a 1% increase from last week.
    Soybean conditions were reported with 70% of the crop in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, a 1% decrease from last week.
    Spring wheat conditions were reported with 66% of the crop in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, a 2% decrease from last week.

    Crop conditions are at favorable levels not seen since the early 1990s. Ideal weather throughout the growing season has provided enough sun and moisture to produce what has been estimated by the USDA to be record-breaking yields for both corn and soybeans this year. The USDA estimates were supported by the in-field inspections performed by the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour scouts last week. Crop tour reports estimated larger corn yields in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Ohio over last year’s crop. Soybean yields are also estimated to increase from last year in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and South Dakota.


  33. Obama owns the decreasing oil production on Federal lands. Another zero for O’Bumbles.
    From the article:
    Shale drilling has turned North Dakota and Texas into an embarrassment of oil riches, while the Arctic state has seen its output collapse. Since the shale boom took off five years ago, the Lower 48 states have seen production skyrocket by 77 percent, according to an analysis by Global Hunter Securities. Simultaneously, Alaska’s oil production has plummeted from a peak of more than 2 million barrels per day in 1988 to less than 400,000 currently, the Energy Information Agency says.

    The state fell to No. 3 in oil production, behind North Dakota, in 2012.

    Read MoreElite oil fields redefine meaning of crude’s ‘Big Three’

    The divergence between Alaska and the Lower 48 can be attributed to a little-understood fact. The drilling boom in Texas and North Dakota is largely due to state and private ownership of oil fields. Data from the Congressional Research Service show that oil production from federally owned land, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, represents less than 40 percent.

    “The U.S. talks about an “all-of the above energy policy while strangling development of federal oil lands,” said Mike Krancer, head of the energy practice at the law firm Blank Rome. “It’s politics. National parks are one thing, but when you have the oil acreage in a state like Wyoming, Colorado or Alaska, they make it prohibitive.”


  34. The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google
    By Ryan Gallagher 25 Aug 2014, 1:09 PM EDT 44

    The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

    The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

    ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.


  35. Climate change to cut South Asia’s growth 9 per cent by 2100: Asian Development Bank
    Reuters Aug 19, 2014, 09.32PM IST

    KATHMANDU: Climate change will cut South Asia’s growth almost 9 per cent by the end of the century unless world governments try harder to counter global warming, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday.

    The region is home to a fifth of the world’s population and is already vulnerable to climate extremes: seasonal floods, cyclones and droughts that ravage vast swathes of agricultural land and displace hundreds of thousands of people every year.

    The costs of countering climate change in South Asia will also increase over time and will be prohibitively high in the long term, the ADB’s “Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia” report said.

    Gross domestic product (GDP) losses are projected at 12.6 per cent for the Maldives, 9.9 per cent for Nepal, 9.4 per cent for Bangladesh and 8.7 per cent for India by 2100.

    “Without global deviation from a fossil-fuel-intensive path, South Asia could lose an equivalent of 1.8 per cent of annual GDP by 2050, which will progressively increase to 8.8 per cent by 2100 on the average under the business-as-usual scenario,” it said.

    The Maldives will also be hardest hit in the next few decades, with a loss of 2.3 per cent of GDP. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka will lose 2 per cent, 1.4 per cent, 1.8 per cent, 2.2 per cent, and 1.2 per cent, respectively, by 2050.


    • “Climate change will cut South Asia’s growth almost 9 per cent by the end of the century.” That is less than two year’s growth, a drop in the ocean. I’d make an informed guess that the reduction in end-century GDP from emissions reduction programs would be much greater.

  36. I wonder what Zeke Hausfather and Mosher think about these examples of “homogenization” of temperatures?


    (By way of WUWT)

    Didn’t the New Zealand government not long ago just trash their own “national temperature record” because it was so clearly manipulated?

    Can the Aussies be far behind?

    • Me too. The more I’ve thought about the CE post on BEST, the more I’m skeptical. If a given station, for example, hasn’t moved and had a flat temperature trend, then the BEST re-analysis should reproduce that thermometers readings. I understand BEST calculates a temperature field, but if the field is accurate, it should reproduce the readings at a given site, and additionally supply numbers where there are no thermometers.

    • There have been several articles in The Australian on the issue, drawing on the work of environmental scientist Jennifer Marohasy. An example: the 100-year record at Rutherglen, Victoria, has shown a 100-year change of -0.37C, which BOM has changed to +1.73 after “homogenisation.” BOM claims this relates to a movement of the thermometer, the records show that the thermometer never moved and the nature of its surroundings was unchanged.

  37. From the article:

    Mexico will likely get a huge economic boost from reforms to its energy market, according to experts, and the reasons go beyond stripping monopoly power from its state-run oil company.

    Domestic and international businesses have been scrambling to position themselves since Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a major series of energy reforms into law earlier this month. But one thing is for sure: Experts agree the Mexican economy will reap major benefits from the new legislation—with several organizations estimating that the reforms will generate a 2 percent GDP boost by 2025, and add about 2 million jobs.
    Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, speaks about energy reform at Los Pinos, the presidential residence, in Mexico City in August 2014.

    Much of that growth is expected to come from increased oil and gas production and foreign investment allowed, but Mexico’s economy will also see major gains from the availability of cheaper domestic energy, experts told CNBC.


  38. From the article:

    As a result, consumers in Texas are getting something of a double-whammy from wind. They pay the cost of maintaining the system in their bills, while paying part of their taxes to subsidize the construction of the additional lines to the wind farms.

    The three-member PUC has been at odds over ways to improve the many failing of Texas’ deregulated electricity experiment. Nelson, for her part, has no been a big fan of renewables in general. It’s not clear how her fellow commissioners will feel about the wind subsidy study or what actions, if any, they might take.

    But Nelson is right about one thing: it’s time to start asking some tough questions about wind power. Other states have been less generous in supporting it, and Congress last year refused to extend wind’s production tax credit, which caused wind farm construction to plummet.

    Consider what Warren Buffett told his shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway ’s annual meeting in Omaha this year:

    On wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.

    But what about wind generation that’s already built? Texans have already invested billions, and they deserve to know if wind power can stand on the same competitive footing as other forms of power generation. If can’t, the state will have to ask itself some other tough questions: what will it take to make it viable, and for how long will we be willing to pay the price?


  39. OK, this is way off topic, but is another example of willful blindness by progressive governments and media, in this case the British Labour Party and the BBC.

    Human trafficking is a problem everywhere, but this level in just one town in England is just horrific. This being the BBC, they identify the perpetrators as “Asian.” If you read one of the other articles, you learn that the “Asian” ethnicity involved is Pakistani. Guess what the religion of the overwhelming number of Pakistanis is. If you guessed the religion of peace, you guessed right. But of course, that had nothing to do with the British government, and the BBC, ignoring this for over a decade. Now if even one Catholic priest had been involved….


    • Another example of government lying to protect a murderous religious sect.

    • Meh, in the vernak over there sprak ‘asian’ translates as Paki, unless otherwise specified. This is not to detract from your main point of the willful blindness of the BBC. So, it’s a monopoly; there are entrained corruptions in such.

      Amusing to choose information to monopolize. Oh, well.

      • Amusing to choose information to monopolize. Oh, well.

        Way back in 1969 I took a (high-school) class in journalism, where the teacher told us about a conversation he once had with an old-time newspaper editor about motivations. He (old-time editor) said the primary motivation was power.

  40. From the article:

    A repeat of last winter’s deep freeze could lead to electricity blackouts in a clutch of states spanning the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic as proposed environmental regulations propel a switch toward natural gas-fired power.

    PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, proposed new measures aimed at ensuring it doesn’t again flirt with losing 22 percent of its electricity capacity as it did during the “polar vortex” in early January. Echoing the concerns of Republicans and some centrist Democrats who have admonished the Obama administration for rules that would restrain the use of coal-fired power, PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a “rapid transition” from coal to natural gas.


    • Hey, wait just one minute: Great Britain is supposed to get the black and brownouts first.

  41. Revkin makes a good post:

    “The underlying anthropogenic warming trend, even with the zero rate of warming during the current hiatus, is 0.08 C per decade. However, the flip side of this is that the anthropogenically forced trend is also 0.08 C per decade during the last two decades of the twentieth century when we backed out the positive contribution from the cycle….” – Tung

    Assuming he’s correct, I find it hard to get worried about 0.8 C per century of outcome.

    “If I spend three years analyzing my data, and the only defensible inference is that “the data are inadequate to answer the question,” how do you publish? How do you get your grant renewed? A common answer is to distort the calculation of the uncertainty, or ignore it all together, and proclaim an exciting story that the New York Times will pick up.” – Wunsch

    He was not directly referring to Tung as far as I can tell. He may be right about how it sometimes works.

  42. EU to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles

    European Union to ban dozens of high-wattage household electrical appliances in follow-up to controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners

  43. Hi Dr. Curry:

    In your opinion as a climate scientist, and considering any known uncertainties in measurement, is the following statement true?

    From 1998 to 2013, during a period where surface air and sea temperatures have plateaued, the global ice mass has experienced an accelerated decline (trending down).

    If YES, can the mass loss be explained in light of the surface temp plateau? And could the global ice mass loss be due to an identifiable natural forcing?

    IF NO or UNCERTAIN or UNKNOWN can you explain the discrepancy with GRACE satellite data (see citations below) or other methods of measurement?

    Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL040222/abstract;jsessionid=5CC63C213C94CF82C29D3519069FF8C7.f03t03



    Thanks, Hanzo