Week in review – energy and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

.@BjornLomborg: Why wind and solar power cannot be a major solution to climate change [link]

IEA: UN pledges will cause dramatic slowdown in energy emissions by 2030 |  [link]

Cautionary tale of Finland’s #nuclear power: [link]

US Congress To Investigate NOAA’s Temperature Adjustments [link]

Factcheck: The steel crisis and UK electricity prices | [link]

Matt Ridley: The myth of basic science [link]

Knocking down Florida Power & Light obstruction – Court Clears Hurdle For Solar Power To Flourish [link]

US Opposition To Climate Finance Stalls UN Climate Talks [link]

It’s time to rethink America’s corn system. [link] …

Minecraft for Energy Wonks: This Game Puts You in Control of America’s Climate Headaches. [link]

Climate Change Slams Global Economy in a New Study From @Stanford and @UCBerkeley [link] (an angle on this i’ve not seen before)

Senator Whitehouse on RICO – Time to wake up: a touched nerve [link] …

Why biofuels and marginal lands for biofuels are a lot less promising than you may have heard [link] …

Interesting essay: “Carbon dioxide: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong” [link] …

Some diesel cars have pollution emissions (NOx) that are higher than buses. [link] …

Climate change is adding to hurricane damage costs, new study suggests | [link]

New poll: “Only 39% who believe that the climate is changing indicate that the warming is caused by human activity” [link] …

Staying below 2°C increasingly brutal US, Europe, China will use up carbon budget by 2030 [link] …


“India and China have already won and the Paris climate conference has become irrelevant” [link] …

British Steel’s Green Death [link]

Game changer? Useful blog @chinadialogue detailing #China’s ambitious new policies toward ‘ecological civilization’ [link]

Insight into Indian views on climate change [link]

Seasteading could be the answer to sustainably feeding 9 billion people. [link]

Arctic offshore lease sales halted, no extension on current leases: Interior Dept [link]

The Revolving Door Between GMO Companies and US Government Agencies [link] …

Chinese Academy of Sciences: Global Warming May Be Very Good For China [link]

The Atlantic: Interview with Bill Gates on the Future of Energy [link]

Conventional fuels are the key to India’s #energy future [link]

Gov’t Watchdog Investigates If EPA Is Being Honest About Ethanol’s Environmental Impacts [link]

Vox:”Europe’s love affair with diesel cars has been disaster..green policy gone horribly wrong” [link]

The pending Paris accord: not your father’s #climate agreement [link]

Matt Ridley: Some policies to fight climate change have done more harm than good [link]

IEA: Southeast Asia fossil fuel energy boom to last for decades [link] …

EU drafts new heating strategy to favor #renewables via heat pumps, geothermal and co-gen. [link]

The carbon intensity of the global economy fell 2.7% in 2014 but a decline of 6.3% a year is needed for climate goal [link]

Carbon capture plant removes CO2 from atmosphere, turns it into fuel [link]

Joyashree Roy, IPCC Lead Author, urges West to stop trying to force India onto low-energy, renewables-only path. [link]

“Japan is financing high-efficiency coal-fired power plants for developing nations”  [link]

UK Parliament: Unintentional Bias in Courts [link]

325 responses to “Week in review – energy and policy edition

  1. Another blogger is considering the possibility of crowd funding to get the truth to the public: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/pondering-a-funding-campaign/#comment-64939

  2. ==> “US Congress To Investigate NOAA’s Temperature Adjustments”

    Lysenko! McCarthy! The end of free speech! The end of the enlightenment!

    Grab the women and children! Head for the hills!

  3. From the article:

    According to an analysis by a group of 16 civil society organizations, current promises of advanced countries are way below what they owe the world given their historical shares of emissions. The US emission cut plan is about a fifth of what their ‘fair share’ should be while that of the European Union is slightly more than a fifth of its share, the report released on Monday said. Japan is cutting emissions by only a tenth of what it should while Russia is not going in for any cuts at all.

    The developing countries, including India and China, are broadly meeting their fair share of emission cuts, the civil society analysis points out.


    • Heh, the BRICs know fossil fuel use is a benefit not a cost. It’s only the deluded and guilt ridden West which thinks otherwise.

      They’ll learn.

      • Seems to me if we’re going to charge for emissions we should pay for what those emissions gave the world. A dollar in and a dollar out. Those emissions bought technology that spread round the world. They bought medicines and health that benefited everyone on the planet. Time to pay folks. Let’s call it a dollar in for a dollar out and it’s a wash.

    • “what they owe the world”? We are talking about the countries which provided the basis for worldwide reduction of poverty, moving billions to middle class status with clean water, sanitation, power, healthcare, education etc. I suspect that the great bulk of the world is grateful for this.

      • And the thing is, if they want to stop the “exported” CO2 production, all they have to do is stop exporting goods to the rest of the world. Problem solved.

      • The Brits should charge India royalties for the English language.

      • justinwonder,

        Maybe the Indians might retaliate by charging royalties for words like tea, pyjama, verandah, and a few others.

        I believe the game of chess originated in India, as did a few other things. Royalties galore!

        I should quit while I’m still behind!


      • Mike,

        They can keep tea, etc. I do think we owe the Ethiopians for coffee. I could NOT live without coffee.

    • My post at Times of India:

      The Industrial Revolution began in England in the 18thC, the rise in CO2 emissions was modest until post-1945. As to what Western industrial countries “owe the world,” what does the world owe them? Without the energy-driven growth of the West, and the enormous rate of innovation and technological advance which accompanied it, the whole world would still be mired in poverty, living a life which is “nasty, brutish and short.” Instead, billions today have living standards which would have been unavailable even to the rich 150 years ago. Don’t recently developed countries value their improvements in clean water supply, sanitation, job diversity, incomes, healthcare and education which have come about because of fossil-fuelled growth and all that that led to?

      As it happens, I don’t think that it is proven that significant warming will occur, and it has definitely not been shown that it would be net negative. There are more pressing issues today than prospective global warming, and the future is always uncertain, it always surprises us. It would be best for us to increase our capacity to deal with whatever befalls: that means policies which foster self-reliance, resilience, innovation, entrepreneurship, free trade and markets – in short, the opposite of the futile, costly, centrally-driven emissions-reduction policies adopted and proposed by warmists with little knowledge or understanding of economics and human well-being.

      Of course, it’s not all one way – India gave me Vipassana meditation, which is priceless.

  4. A case study on cyclone damage to wind turbines:

  5. From the article:

    The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study reveals how the US — the biggest historical polluter – has tried to mislead the world on emissions by shifting the base year from 1990 to 2005.

    The comprehensive study, titled ‘Captain America (US climate goals: a reckoning)’, lays bare that the world’s most powerful economy is doing very little to combat climate change. The US ‘climate action plan’ “is neither ambitious nor equitable” and it puts the world at “deadly risk” given the consequences of a changing climate, the study says.


  6. “By comparison a high efficiency “super-critical” coal generating unit has an average efficiency of 45 percent and emits an average of 0.72 kilograms/kilowatt-hour. In other words, for every ton of coal the super-critical plant produces 40 percent more electricity and emits about 30 percent less carbon dioxide.”

    The trouble with improving coal is that Exxon and Gazprom lose customers and you miss out on all those fun pipeline wars.

    Every wind turbine or solar panel gives Big Gas (branch of Big Oil) a break. Will you go Qatari or Russian? Iranian? Which Middle Eastern or African hot spot would you like your gas to traverse? (There’s are all those North American gas riches – but where’s the fun in domestic? It’s like eating at home.)

    No. The trick is to use coal heavily where there’s no choice but make sure it’s not modernised or improved. Coal power and dams are so last century. Poverty will only be solved by adjusting temperatures, wasting resources and buying into as many international tensions as can be generated. Confused? Ask the Pope. He’s a Jesuit.

  7. “US Congress To Investigate NOAA’s Temperature Adjustments”

    Here we go again. Remember back in April when the GWPF was going to set up an investigation? “Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures”, said the Telegraph? Terms of Reference, call for submissions. Then as soon as the submissions came in, it all fizzled. No report, and no, we won’t publish submissions. Maybe some day someone will try to publish a paper.

    • Yet another hearing? I suspect Congressional Republicans have a new strategy to defeat opponents: bore them to death.

    • It would be faster and more cost effective to simply reduce the US contribution of money and resources the UN to 5% of the 2010 level.

    • richard verney

      These data sets are quite simply not fit for purpose. That is the take home from even a cursory review of them.

      it is long over due that all the land based thermometer data sets were rigorously reviewed not simply looking at the homogenisation process, but also the quality of the stations, and the composition of the data set as a whole with adding and removing stations.

      There is no record from say 1880 to date, since the stations are not the same throughout the entirety of the record.

      There is no global data, because large tracts of the globe are simply not measured at all, and the spatial coverage has changed throughout the data set.

      These data sets are useless for the scientific task to which they are being put. It would be good to get to the bottom of the true error bands of these data sets.

      • A complete waste of time, so please do it. Get as many denizens involved as possible. Load them up with work. Take away their cellphones and social networks, and impose harsh deadlines. Absorb them into this project of abject futility… same answer.

      • Sorry JCH, I’m not that dumb. I’ll keep my cellphone and social network and focus on the real work – winning elections.

      • Tell you what JCH, since you are so convinced that fossil fuels are such destructive forces, why don’t you give up everything of benefit that results from theire use. You can use a pigeon or other means not requiring the use of fossil fuels to let us know how that works out for you.

      • My family has been in the soil and gas industry since 1982. Just another reason to pay much attention to your unskeptical ponypooh.

      • Soil was more interesting! :)

  8. Matt Ridley: The myth of basic science
    I find this article very lengthy and wordy, but otherwise quite unremarkable.

    • I agree. He confuses the progress of science with individual priority. Yes, it often happens that a discovery made by someone would shortly have been made by someone else. That does not devalue the progress of discovery, or the contribution of basic science.

      • Yep, a dance between theoretical science, applied science, and technologists, (and the occasional maverick.)

    • richardswarthout

      Quite true. He ignores the benefits of research such as that of Maxwell, Bell Labs, and IBM.


    • He doesn’t ignore anything. He simply points out that like in so many other areas, it is simple and natural for simple people to think that the best and most efficient way to do things is to run it from the top down and plan it all out. Sometimes this may get you some valuable results but it often results in unintended consequences. The best kind of research to promote may be both applied research and basic research. But the large amount of funding by the US government is usually still smaller than the research funds expended by corporations. At least it used to be. It seems the effect of Repub and Dem TARP and QE and ZIRP and IRS rules has been to cause corporate CEOs to buy back their own stock and create another bubble rather than invest in their businesses. Yet another unintended consequence of all you geniuses and your 5-year and 5-decade plans to manage your fellow citizens.

      • Jeb Bush tried the top down approach and failed. Trump and Carson are getting bottom-up support. It’s nice to see the rich-funded dynasty scratch its collective head in confusion for a change.

        Paul Ryan is getting promoted because the Redimowits believe he can raise a lot of money. That’s because the rich “conservative” donors like him because he is for “open borders.” That’s worked out real well for Europe.

        The bottom-up grass roots are getting trampled by the political and rich class.

  9. CO2 into fuel! Once that plant is running in 2016 or 2017, it will produce 200 to 400 litres of gasoline or diesel per day, and there are already groups interested in buying the product, Corless said.

    Next up, cutting costs and increasing production.

    The quantity is risible, but perhaps the facility will be a great study case.

    • I doubt it will be able to compete with sea-water extraction, but all the names go into the hat.

    • The project makes no sense to me. OK to capture the CO2 as far as CaCO3, though that sounds like using expensive and energy-requiring alkali. But converting CaCO3 into C makes no sense – I’m not even sure how it can be done, but it has to use lots of energy. And we have plenty of C – coal. Better to bury the CaCO3 and convert coal.

      • It’s a regenerative cycle: they use CaO (actually Ca(OH)2) to capture the CO2, converting it to CaCo3. They then heat it with water (a well-established process called slaking) to produce CO2 and regenerate the Ca(OH)2.

        Looking at the article, they got some details wrong: when they say:

        The pellets are then heated to 800 or 900 degrees Celsius and break down, releasing pure carbon.

        …They really mean “pure CO2”. (I’ve studied the Carbon Engineering process in the past.)

        It’s probably not as energy efficient as the USNavy’s process for sea-water extraction, but like that one it could be powered by solar power, although not very efficiently in Squamish, B.C. And even at good locations for solar, there’s the problem of either energy storage, or extra capitalization for enough more plant to deal with the intermittency.

        But windmills are a different matter. I ran across a paper a while back analyzing the use of windmill blades as a capture surface, prima facie it would appear feasible. The energy from the windmill would probably be much greater than needed to power the slaking process, although that’s just a guess, and would depend on the efficiency.

        But using windmills offers another option: use the energy to crack water, and react the H2 from that with the CaCO3 to produce methane (and/or short-chain hydrocarbons) and Ca(OH)2. AFAIK that’s an exothermic process, so the entire process could be powered by its input materials.

        And while B.C. isn’t much good for solar, wind is fine. And storage isn’t a problem: all that wonderful hydro-power implies orders of magnitude more pumped hydro storage when needed. Francis turbines are relatively cheap, and new dams/reservoirs wouldn’t be required.

        Unlike CCS, a power→fuel option wouldn’t actually sequester CO2, but the resulting fuel would be easily transported, and fossil-neutral. And it would replace existing uses of fossil fuel.

      • OOps!

        It looks as though they’re using potassium rather than calcium now: K2CO3 rather than CaCO3.

        My bad.

      • Or both:

        My guess is that they’ve got several processes, and are confusing things a little to slow down the competition copying their process.

        But it’s all the same in principle.

      • The process for regenerating KOH is what used to be called Gossage’s process (c 1830). But all this does is collect the CO2. I don’t see any progress toward making fuel.

      • I don’t see any progress toward making fuel.

        Splitting water to make H2 is well-known technology, although a version(s) suitable for scaling and appropriate learning curve/economies of scale is/are still in prototype stage(s).

        There’s a well-known process for combining CO2 with H2 to create fuels. IIRC in its simplest, nickel-catalyzed form, it produces a mixture of methane and short-chain hydrocarbons suitable (AFAIK) for immediate distillation and sale as gas and liquid fuels. The navy (IIRC) spent some effort trying to “tune” the process to reduce methane production, while similar “tuning” would probably be necessary to restrict the output to methane. (But Wiki, link above, doesn’t mention that.)

        But why bother? Just use it in its natural form, and separate the products and sell them separately.

      • “There’s a well-known process… “
        Exactly. Nothing new here. I actually agree with you that it is as sensible to use the fossil form, provided their CO2 can be buried, as I’m sure it can. Reducing it to CH4 which can be burnt has no advantage over sequestration and then burning other carbon.

      • Reducing it to CH4 which can be burnt has no advantage over sequestration and then burning other carbon.

        Well, you were the one who didn’t “see any progress toward making fuel.” Both paths are helpful to solve the fossil CO2 problem. If it’s cheaper, frack the gas/oil out of the ground, and bury the CO2. When making gas/oil out of the CO2 and solar (or wind) power becomes cheaper, use that instead of digging it up.

        Whichever, if the technology grows to maturity and sufficient scale, it will be available to draw down the fossil CO2 emitted in the past, present, and near-term future, after the fact. If necessary.

        As well as reducing it to carbon-based materials for construction.

  10. Nick

    If sceptics think they have evidence of deliberate malpractice let’s see a peer reviewed paper instead of constant sniping. It does get tiresome


    • climatereason:

      If sceptics think they have evidence of deliberate malpractice let’s see a peer reviewed paper instead of constant sniping. It does get tiresome

      While I agree with the general point, why do you call for a “peer reviewed paper”? All the talk about and arguments over “peer review” are largely a waste of time. It’d be much better if we could just discuss work on its merits, not on whether or not it has some “peer review” tag, the meaning and value of which is impossible to discern due to “peer review” being so inconsistent.

      • Peer review is done by the insider clique and does not prove anything.

      • Brandon

        The point about ‘peer reviewed’ is that it raises above the level of sniping.

        At the moment such claims are made in sceptic friendly outlets and it does not get thoroughly examined in a rational and objective manner looking at both sides of the argument without wild claims and counter claims


      • Tony, unless the alleged peer review is in a consensus approved publication, the in-crowd will dismiss it, out of hand. Do you recall that BEST couldn’t get published, except in a pay for play journal of last resort. There is no chance the gatekeepers are going to let a paper that finds something wrong with their story get published in a mainstream journal.

      • Don

        I am not necessarily disagreeing, but it is plain that sceptics pointing out alleged problems in sceptic friendly blogs is not going to gain any traction in official circles.

        I am not convinced at malfeasance so the warmist community will be even harder to convince.

        Any suggestions as to where it can be properly debated?


      • There is no chance the gatekeepers are going to let a paper that finds something wrong with their story get published in a mainstream journal.

        Of course, Don, the consensus crowd are like the Jews. They control the media, the journals, the scientific organizations, etc etc.

      • Agreed Brandon.

        Peer – reviewed has to be one of the more abused and misrepresented terms in the climate debate.

        Though carbon pollution is trying to give it a run for the money.

    • Tony, our Congress is responsible for oversight on how our tax money is spent. Let the investigation begin. It will be interesting to see if the NOAA is as good at obstructing and stonewalling as the Justice Dept., IRS, State Dept., Veterans Admin., EPA and the transparent White House.

      • NOAA will have access to the best obstructionist advisors that taxpayers can buy, the aforementioned agencies of this most transparent administration evah! Unprecedented transparency! Why, we can see right through them!

      • Obstructionists don’t need to buy anyone as long as an uncurious and biased msm exists aided by pop culture icons like jon stewart, maher, gollywood in general, and our acedemic institutions. Skeptics need to figure out a way to use the tactics of the warmests to capture the interest and imagination of the dumded down msm and others – that is,coming up with scary scenarios of a world without fossil fuels – a world whose sole energy sources are wind mills and solar panels. A silly idea, but we now live in a silly society.

      • I’m glad you’re acknowledging your defeat long before your debacle.

      • Or, run on natural gas if economically feasible.

      • Posted in the wrong place. But, to JCH, the losers are those who will be affected by the idiocy you , whitehouse, and the left in general advocate. If enough adults in congress do their job to stop the lunacy, there may yet be hope. Until the, you should work on training a few carrier pigeons.

  11. And still no progress on utilising the wonderful heat trapping and storing capacity of CO2 to generate energy. None – not a joule, not an erg, not a Hartree!

    Strange, that.


    • richard verney

      It is amazing since according to K & T there is approximately twice as much DWLWIR as there is Solar. Why would anyone wish to tap into solar if twice the energy was available at a different wavelength, especially since solar is fickle with clouds, the angle of incidence and its ineffectiveness at high latitudes, and not overlooking the fact that solar does not shine at night which is when most people require most energy..

  12. Some diesel cars have pollution emissions (NOx) that are higher than buses

    Good for Vox. Usually not my favorite news source, but this is a pretty balanced report. If some news outlets “of record” would remove their rose-colored glasses we would read much more about the consequences of making climate policy decisions based upon fear, good intentions, and ideology rather than good judgement and sound engineering.

    • richard verney

      Do they?

      Pollution is essentially a factor of combustion efficiency, fuel quality and diesel consumption. There is no reason to expect a bus to score well in such stakes.

      I bet that buses emit more pollution than about 30 small cars, and for most of the day they run around with just a handful of passengers. If one is concerned about pollution, they should be taken off the road except for rush-hour, ie., only used during a small period of the day to get people in and out of work where the benefits of people working out weighs the adverse consequence of pollution from buses..

    • “Good for Vox. Usually not my favorite news source, but this is a pretty balanced report.”
      Your view is entirely opposite of mine.
      NOx emissions are a tradeoff vs. CAFE related fuel efficiency. You can have very nice fuel efficiency, or you can have very poor NOx emissions, but not both.
      Note that the trucks and buses in question have vastly different performance profiles – and have relatively very crappy fuel mileage.
      While this doesn’t excuse VW’s actions, equally this doesn’t excuse the Vox articles lack of any technical understanding of the real problem, as opposed to headline blaring yellow journalism.

      • The irony is that CAGE drove this to save the planet from CO2, the plant food. Unnecessary, disastrous, farcical, desperately tragic for the poor, grand opera, the works.

        Welcome, we progress.

      • Also, tkspr, ‘poor’ is subject to ambiguity in your comment. I don’t commonly editorialize, but ‘very low’ in your context is probably better than ‘very poor’.

        Heh, unless I misunderstand you.

      • @kim
        Very poor vs. very low – agreed.

    • I agree, this article misses on a lot of the details, and that is where the devil lives. But, at least it stirs the pot a bit and is willing to broach the possibility that hastily concocted policy, even if well-intended, can do more harm than good.

      A similar example was California’s conclusion in the 1960s that CO from autos was the enemy. The state mandated unique CO limits, and car makers responded with air pumps on CA-bound cars in the late 60s, which fed air into the exhaust to convert CO to CO2.

      CO limits were met, but with higher vehicle cost, poorer performance, higher fuel consumption, higher CO2 output, shorter vehicle life (and thus higher CO2 per mile for the total vehicle life-cycle), etc. All to reduce the output of an unstable gas which naturally reverts to the more stable form, CO2. There was very little publicity given to this fiasco at the time, but it makes a sobering case study, reminiscent of the present diesel issues.

      • sciguy
        I disagree with your view.
        A common Bullhorn (i.e. mainstream media) tactic is to put all the inflammatory stuff on top, and stick in a sentence or two of “balance” at the very end where the vast majority of readers never get to, not to mention the headline – which does nothing but reinforce the “VW bad” meme.
        This tactic is the written equivalent of a sound bite.
        Such methods are common within the “consensus” journals and media where CO2 = death is in the top 90%, with a sentence or two at the end that might say that the conclusions came from a simulation, is the personal opinion of the writer, and/or is an opinion rather than a scientific fact.

  13. “Carbon capture plant removes CO2 from atmosphere, turns it into fuel.”

    I have a couple of carbon capture plants which didn’t cost $9 million dollars, and don’t require an energy supply capable of raising several hundred tonnes of calcium carbonate to 800 C.

    They are called trees. They extract CO2 from the atmosphere, and can either be used as fuel directly, or subjected to pyrolysis, using wood as fuel.

    This produces a wide range of products including methanol (called wood alcohol for good reason). Carbon is what is left.

    Can I get a few million to upscale my pilot project for carbon capture?

    Or isn’t it “technological” enough?


    • Matthew R Marler

      Mike Flynn: They are called trees.

      Humans did once use trees to power transportation, in steamships and railroads. Then humans switched to coal, and then oil, gasoline, and diesel fuel. In the undefined future when the fossil fuels are scared or expensive, it would be good not to have to transition back to trees for portable fuel. .

  14. What I appreciate about Bjorn Lomborg is that unlike the official Western AGW establishment he is more interested in helping people battle the elements not other people.

  15. In the category of economics: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/10/21/sweeping-study-claims-that-rising-temperatures-will-sharply-cut-economic-productivity/

    2nd source: http://www.wired.com/2015/10/climate-change-is-going-to-cost-the-world-money-lots-of-money/

    And the first question that comes to my mind is that since the world has been warming during the ‘industrial age’ (leaving aside causation) isn’t there a corresponding increase in world wide gdp which runs counter to the conclusions offered in these articles?

    The ‘skeptic’ in me wonders if folks went at this the wrong direction. Based on the indications that some countries will benefit and some will not due to the 55F ‘sweet spot’ won’t that lead to those countries who will likely benefit to be less inclined to support G.W. mitigation oriented policies?

  16. Re: Climate Change Slams Global Economy in a New Study From @Stanford and @UCBerkeley…

    Finding that climate change alone will improve Mongolia’s economic performance by 1400% while reducing America’s by 36% should have given the authors pause to reconsider their economic model.

    I’m surprised the authors didn’t select a title like: “Just warm Mongolia up a little bit and those goats will be churning out the tögrögs.”

    • Mongolia has mucho coal and now even more incentive to dig it up. Look out Gaia!

    • The Berkeley Stanford and the study on hurrican related damages are excellent.

      Excellent as in they offer excellent evidence that economics is as full of made up crap as climate science.

      Anyone note that the entire premise of the hurricane paper is a line from the IPCC report saying it is a certainty that the intensity and frequency of huricanes are increasing due to climate change? Forget the actual numbers. Just go with an assumption and pretend it is a fact.

      Imagine what would happen if accountants adopted the same methods?

  17. Re: Congress investigating Noaa. This is no better than RICO’ing. While my (amateur) take is Nieves finding heat moved in to the Indian ocean makes more sense than Karl’s adjusting buoy temperatures, this is not the kind of investigation I can support.

    • It is very different. Congress is responsible for the oversight of federal agencies. They have an obligation to investigate the allegations of deliberate manipulation of data. Civil RICO means suing private entities.

      • Congress is poorly situated to conduct the sort of in-depth, detailed analysis required to ferret out data manipulation or scientific malfeasance. Such oversight should be performed by an Agency’s IG or by OIRA/OMB. Even those options are admittedly difficult when such offices are controlled by political appointees — but that problem is only compounded in the politically-driven Congress.

        Congress is better positioned to conduct investigations into broader questions of funding direction and policy. That it fails even at this more appropriate level does not encourage me as to the ultimate impact of a Congressional investigation into climate data gathering and statistical methodologies.

    • I suspect that Nieves,and her paper, will come to Karl’s defense. Physics indicates they’re both likely correct, though Karl has further to go. They are not in conflict with one another.

      • JCH,
        You’ve indicated before that they are not in conflict, but are they in agreement? The approaches do not suggest that there is no warming of the oceans. However, Nieves indicates it’s located in the Indian Ocean while Karl basically adjusts the more contemporary (modern) instrumentation to coincide with the more ‘old school’ methods. To me, this would be akin to then taking the satellite data and doing the same. It makes no sense to me unless we’re becoming worse at our measurement capability as we update our systems. Surely the newer systems could be expected to have greater precision and accuracy. If not, why bother?

      • One is about OHC, which includes SST; one is about surface air temperature, which includes SSTs. I do not know what the would have to disagree about unless one or the other saw some sort of error in the others work. I doesn’t look like Karl was out in time for her to see it; and it doesn’t look like Nieves was out in time for him to see it.

      • JCH,
        I get that they crossed and likely were not seen by each other, but the issue I have with Karl is the adjustment of the more contemporary to fit the less contemporary methodology.

        http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/06/10/climate-scientists-criticize-government-paper-that-erases-pause-in-warming.html (I’m not a Fox fan, but just providing the link).


        I’m still learning (hope we all are), but find discomfort with why we cannot trust the more up to date technology.

      • JCH,
        Specifics (from the Fox article) which lead to discomfort:”The ARGO buoy data do not show much warming in surface temperature since they were introduced in 2003. But Karl’s team left them out of their analysis, saying that they have multiple issues, including lack of measurements near the Arctic.

        In an email, Karl told FoxNews.com that the ARGO buoy readings may be added to his data “if scientific methods can be found to line up these two types of temperatures together … (of course after correcting the systematic offsets) … This is part of the cumulative and progressive scientific process.”

        Karl’s study also clashes with satellite measurements. Since 1979, NOAA satellites have estimated the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. They show almost no warming in recent years and closely match the surface data before Karl’s adjustments.”

      • Whether you adjust the ships or the bouys doesnt matter.

        As for the satellites, I have asked that Pete Maverick, aka “Tom Cruise”, be allowed to pilot them. That way he can buzz some airport towers with the satellites and make some observations of the temperature of the surface of the earth. Of course, airports are controversial.

      • JCH,
        It does if the results are (even in Karl’s word) not inclusive of the most current technology which one would presume to be more accurate.

        You can choose to ‘believe’ what you chose to believe. My tendency is to rely on the more current technology.

      • The chief scientist at Remote Sensing Systems, RSS, has stated he considers the thermometer series to be more accurate at estimating the surface air temperature.

        I think it is pretty far out to believe one can attack Karl with satellites.

      • JCH,
        I’m not ‘attacking’ anyone. But satellites and ARGO buoys? Why are we spending the millions (billions) if their results are not robust? Seriously. Even Karl (from the quote from the article presuming it’s an accurate quote) indicates those data were not used in his work.

        Karl’s data ‘clashes’ with satellites and ARGO was ‘left out’ due to issues, according to the article. Well apparently there were ‘issues’ which he chose to address via inclusion. That’s not an attack, but leaves me wondering why to chose to not address those two very contemporary resources.

  18. When you consider The Big Bang Theory, Howard, who doesn’t have a PhD, was the only one who actually produced anything. He worked on the human waste disposal system for the International Space Station as well he developed the Mars Rover. Whereas Sheldon, the Theoretical Physicist prodycded bugger all. So Sheldon The Scientist, paid by public funds, turned out to be the money vortex.

  19. UK air pollution monitoring has a very murky history. Margaret Thatcher was involved in station cutbacks. The Inspectorate of Pollution then was described in Parliament as a “cowboys’ charter”:

    Original source (including a piece from J Corbyn):

    An article from New Scientist at the time.
    Green Stew: http://bit.ly/1kE1vCy

    And here is an interactive monitoring networks map where you can see how sparse some of the current monitoring is:

  20. Claimants Change Slams Global Economy…

    From the article: “…if the economies continue to respond to heat the way they have in the past…”

    If. If we stand still at the edge of the sea for 50 years we will get our feet wet.

    • A major part of our success as a race has been our capacity to respond to ever-changing circumstances. Rather than having been switched off, that trait seems to have been accentuated with the pace of innovation and technological change. Humans have never been static, why waste time hypothesizing what would happen if we stood still for years? I don’t think that my productivity declined when I moved from the UK to much hotter Queensland.

      • O Great and Mighty Cunn,

        Tell to me the secret of your ability to withstand, nay, even prosper in the face of, the awful increase of temperature resulting from relocating from the UK to the searing and unendurable heat of the Antipodes.

        The greatest minds of the ages decree with great certainty that mere mortals such as we cannot possibly endure an increase of average temperature of 2 C.

        The results are certain to include scrofula, ague, weakening of the mind, and atrophy of the testicles, at the very least! Your ability to survive, even thrive, under such adverse sub tropical conditions, is a testament to your firmness of will.

        I salute you, sir. You stand as a shining beacon, a testament to mankind’s ability to overcome the worst aspects of the most severe climate changes!


      • But Mike! Who knows how much Faustino may have accomplished since he didn’t stay in the UK and there is no evidence in comparison.

      • The Great Cunn has a trick, Mike. Brisbane may be much closer to the equator than Melbourne but its hottest day only reached 43.2C – and that was in 1940. Melbourne, on the other hand, reached 46.4C on Black Saturday 2009, and managed an unofficial 47.2C on Black Thursday, the date of the world’s biggest known inferno, in 1851. We can believe those maxima were more than just numbers in view of the terrifying conditions that came along with the numbers.

        Even Adelaide has topped 46C (in 1939, an annus horribilis for heat and fire) and managed 6 consecutive days of 40C+ in 1908. It was, er, worse than they thought.

        So the Great Cunn is not quite as tough as he makes out. It’s pretty rare for sub-tropical Brissie to top 40C, making one suspect more of that complexity thing going on. Clouds? Winds? Currents? Horse latitudes? My, the climate can be a complex thing!

        And to make Faustino feel more at home, Brisbane has just once dipped below zero – but that was in 2007, so we’re not supposed to talk about it.

      • Faustino,

        You are absolutely correct. One only needs to consider the human responses to the challenges of the past and present. Tens of millions of people have already migrated from Latin America to the US in order to escape war, crime and poverty. The response to the LIA included enclosure, root crops, pulses, rotation and other innovations and, as everyone can plainly see, we are still here.

        Nothing new here.

  21. Geoff Sherrington

    Australia has an adjusted temperature product named Acorn-Sat which draws upon about 112 stations located throughout the country. It is claimed that adjustments are balanced, that warming is offset by cooling in the Acorn adjustment/homogenisation schemes.
    Having just obtained a NOAA list of several hundred Australian sites, with labels that there is a non-adjusted and adjusted version for most of the stations, I selected from it the 112 Acorn sites. Using the NOAA “before and after” graphs, I calculated the temperature change in degrees per century, using the NOAA linear regressions provided.
    In summary –
    60 stations showed warming after the adjustments that NOAA report,
    33 showed cooling and
    19 showed no change.

    The “average” warming rate was +0.6 degC/century, the average “cooling” was -0.7 degC/century and “no change” was 0 degC/century.

    Does this matter? Well, it does if one considers the official claim that Australia has warmed 0.9 degC in the century to year 2010.
    Well it doubly does when one considers that the basic justification for claiming global warming to exist come out near 1 degC/century.

    You can check this for yourself, as the data for what seems all the world is at

    p.s I do not endorse the customary linear regression method used by NOAA and many others. It is used here simply because it is common and perhaps commonly understood.

  22. “Smith’s document request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ordered the agency to turn over scientific data as well as internal “communications between or among employees” involved in the study, according to a letter Friday by the House committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Tex.). Johnson accused Smith of “furthering a fishing expedition” by looking for ways to discredit NOAA’s study, which was published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Science.”

    ie time to let the facts take their place if you are a Democrat warmer

    “Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry herself a repeat anti-climate witness performing regularly in committees for Republicans here in Congress. Again, no mention of this interest of Ms. Curry’s by the Wall Street Journal editorial.Whatever the motivation of the Wall Street Journal and other right-wing climate denial outfits, it is clearly long past time for the climate denial scheme to come in from the talk shows and the blogosphere, and have to face the kind of truth-testing audience that a civil RICO investigation could provide. It’s time to let the facts take their place, and let climate denial face that “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

    ie lets run a fishing expedition if you are a Democrat warmer

  23. Judtih,

    RE: Matt Ridley’s: The myth of basic science

    I can actually give an example from my own career of applying basic science to technological development:

    In the early ’80s, after I got my Ph.D. in theoretical elementary-particle physics, I worked for a firm that designed electronics used in what was then high-end studio video equipment. I figured out how to use the real-space-renormalization group, a complicated mathematical technique used in theoretical sold-state and elementary-particle physics (Kenneth Wilson won a Nobel for inventing the technique), to improve the performance of our devices.

    Our company won a technology Emmy Award (1989) for the work that I, and a couple dozen other engineers, did creating these devices.

    Except… truth be told, my work did not exactly revolutionize technology: it really did improve our product, but so did dozens of other ideas from me and my fellow engineers. And, in fact, in working with some very bright engineers, I learned as much from them as they learned from me: a good deal of what I learned from those engineers made me a better physicist.

    My experience did convince me that there probably should be more interaction between “pure scientists” and nuts-and-bolts engineers. But, on the whole, my experience has validated Matt Ridley’s point: technological progress comes about by bright, curious people actually fooling around with concrete technological problems. What I have generally not seen in my own career is a direct transmission belt form pure science to applied science to engineering to consumer products: the particular example I gave above was, alas, an unusual and not terribly important exception.

    My experience ranges from pure physics (quantum field theory and all that) to semiconductor chip design. I will defer to others on fields of which I am ignorant, though, I will note that, so far, the mapping of the human genome does not seem to have produced the practical results that were hoped for.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • Having seen the process of technological advance up close and personal in a broad range of areas, I hear the ring of truth in Matt Ridley’s piece, too.

      I would only caution that he paints the patent issue with rather a broad brush, and he seems to asking the wrong question in that context. Although the requirement for a patent is that the claimed subject matter be new, useful, and unobvious, the real value of patents not so much that they are incentives to arrive at such unobvious concepts–although to an extent they serve that purpose, too–as it is that they enable the inventor to attract the capital required to make the concept into a product that people will actually buy.

      What that means is that patent system is necessarily rather a blunt instrument but one that, despite some counterproductive aspects, remains a net societal benefit, albeit one that could be focused better than it currently is.

  24. I just posted this comment on the Brookings discussion of opinion polls on climate change (it will be interesting to see if it passes moderation):

    As a physicist (Ph.D., Stanford, 1983), I found this a bit amusing. *Of course*, the globe has warmed — I actually first learned about that as a child back in the ’60s from my great-grandmother: Grandma only went through the fourth grade, but she had seem the warming herself over three quarters of a century. And, *of course* humans have contributed to it: the argument behind the greenhouse effect is freshman physics.

    But, exactly how big is the anthropogenic effect, exactly how dramatic will the warming become during this century, how significant are non-human causes (solar variability, inherent variability in the climate system), and exactly what can and should we do about it? Those are hard questions.

    I’ve been interested in global climate modeling since the early ’70s (a high-school friend was involved in some of the early work on modeling clouds). It is hard, very, very hard. Getting definitive scientific results that will stand the test of time… well, the nature of scientific research is to have legitimate uncertainty and disputes.

    Alas, the complexity of real science cannot be captured in the sort of sound-bite questions that are asked by public-opinion pollsters. If the public is befuddled, perhaps that is because the pollsters and our entertainment/news media (our news media are really just entertainment) insist on oversimplifying the complex and contentious nature of real science.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • True Dave, but public policy is based on what people believe, so polls are important. The scientific issue is merely an appendage of the policy issue.

      • DW,

        Yeah, but I’m not claiming the polls are unimportant, but rather that they encourage stupid answers. Where is the answer that says “Yeah, the globe has warmed and, yeah, humans contributed something to it, but the details are much more complex and the science much more unsettled than the media claims.”

        Consider, one of the possible answers offered in the poll discussed in the Brookings’ post: “Caused by human and natural factors.” Everything on this planet is influenced by both human and natural factors. Taken literally, that is the only possible answer to their question.

        In a completely, totally literal sense, even the temperature of the earth’s core is (very, very, very slightly) influenced by humans. What makes the earth’s core a dumb example is that everyone knows that human actions have an utterly insignificant effect on the temperature of the earth’s core.

        The poll takers are expecting respondents to implicitly fill in words such as “significant”: the result is that the answers the pollsters get are really what respondents think will best convey the respondents’ true views, as opposed to a literal response to the (badly constructed) question.

        So, you get pollsters interpreting the way respondents interpreted what the pollsters were really trying to get at, even though the pollsters were too careless to actually construct good questions.

        It is notorious that badly constructed polls get invalid answers. All of the polls I have seen on the climate issue are very, very badly constructed.


      • Do poorly designed and inadequate polls lead to poorly designed and inadequate pollicy?


  25. The new Brookings poll is very interesting.

    Very few Americans think that GW is caused entirely by humans, and not just Republicans. It would be interesting to see a poll on the various fractional ranges. Perhaps more importantly, the amount people are willing to spend is trivial compared to the cost of the proposed mitigation actions.

  26. RE: IEA: UN pledges will cause dramatic slowdown in energy emissions by 2030, here’s my comment at the Carbon Brief blog:

    This is not what the IEA says at all. The report says that emissions (from energy and in total) will go up, not down.

    The phrase they use is that GROWTH will slow dramatically. But emissions will still go up.

    What is more interesting is that this version of the report, which is an update of an initial version published earlier in the year, now estimates that the impact of the commitments will be lower than when only 36 countries had submitted INDCs. It’s as if it would be better in terms of emissions if the 114 countries that have submitted their INDCs since then were to do nothing.

    The actual numbers are that CO2 equivalent emissions in 2030 in the updated report, with INDCs covering nearly 90% of global emissions, will be 41.9 Gt, as against 40.6 Gt in the earlier report, with only 34% coverage. Most of the increase is driven by the energy sector, contrary to your headline.

    The earlier report said that the impact on INDCs would be to delay the IPCC emissions target by just eight months. There is no equivalent in the updated report but clearly it would even less than this on the revised figures.

    What the latest report does provide is an updated estimate of the cost of these policies: $1.35 trillion over the next 15 years, which for those who areinterested in numbers is more than two years global health spending.

    So we are being asked to spend the equivalent of two years global health spending to delay climate change by (less than) eight months.

    Are you saying this is a good thing?

    • correction: $13.5 trillion

    • If you read all the IPCC doom and loom scenario’s and the various talk of ‘cuts’.

      In essence…no one but the hardcore environmentalists talks about ‘real cuts’…most overnments talk about reducing emissions compared to a baseline. The baseline is 2% increase per year.

      Hence..building a 45% efficient coal plant in China cuts emissions from a baseline 30% efficient plant.

      Hardcore environmentalists…desperate to demonstrate some level of success tend to misread ‘cut’s compared to baseline’ as actual cuts.

  27. stevefitzpatrick

    1. Senator Whitehouse’s RICO fantasies prove that he is indeed a lunatic.

    2. The essay “Carbon dioxide: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong” lightly glosses over the discrepancy between projected warming from GCMs and measured warming, insisting that measured warming is “within the models range”. Pretty thin gruel. If the author had accurately noted than the true sensitivity is likely near the low end of the model range, his essay would have been a good one. But he did not do that because the higher model warming projections are used to project declining agricultural yields…. and, of course, climate alarm. The author can’t seem to get past the use of scare stories based on fantastic model projections of warming. Too bad.

    • “That same year [1977], James F. Black, a top scientific researcher at the Exxon Corporation gave that company’s executives a similar warning: “[T]here is general scientific agreement,” he told Exxon’s Management Committee, “that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.” According to emerging reports, Exxon executives kept that warning a closely guarded company secret for years.” Sen. Whitehouse.

      So “general scientific agreement” somehow was a “closely guarded company secret”?

    • It is not simply a fantasy.

      No, but what it boils down to is that the IPCC was hiding uncertainty under the rug, for political/ideological reasons, and they wanted it pulled out and taken account of. That was their opinion, and it was, and is today, a valid one.

      Certainly the selection of options for dealing with fossil CO2, and the amount of damage to be considered acceptable in reducing it, depend on an accurate understanding of the uncertainties around its effects and their impacts.

      As Climategate has proven, there was a definite conspiracy to prevent certain valid scientific points of view from being considered by the IPCC, among them some that emphasized the much greater uncertainty in the real science than admitted by the IPCC (at least in summaries for policymakers, etc.).

      Given that the clear proof of this conspiracy wasn’t made public till years later, the push-back by victims such as ExxonMobile shows admirable insight.

      • One can also argue that as the science developed and science-based skepticism grew Exxon realized their mistake. Many who were warmers in the 1970s later became skeptics. I know the guy who ran Exxon’s skeptical climate funding. He was and is a true skeptic.

      • there was a definite conspiracy to prevent certain valid scientific points of view from being considered by the IPCC

        What valid scientific view weren’t considered by the IPCC and how did Climategate “prove” it?

      • More effort spent on ignoring natural variability than understanding it. And here we are, desperately ignorant, being led to the Paris slaughterhouse.

      • Joseph

        Phil jones confirmed in 2006 that natural variability was greater than he had hitherto realised and the Met office removed their support of the notion of the climate flatlining til modern times around 2009

        I can hunt out jones paper if you are interested


      • Tony, I explain how that relates to ClimateGate and how it was prevented from being considered by the IPCC?

      • J, the roots of suppressing understanding of natural variability go back way further than ClimateGate. ClimateGate was a poster child for the effort, though, particularly since some of its documentation reaches back into those early, perverting, times.

      • Joseph- I’d suggest that two scientific points were minimized by the IPCC.
        1. The rate of being lower than was forecasted (pick your reason)
        2. That a slower rate of warming might not result in net harms. The conclusion of net harms is based on massive assumptions (gusesses) unsupported by reliable models or physics.

        To show I am wrong simply describe a significant harm that you believe will occur and when, and what scientific information you base this on

      • Joseph

        You have previously written that the issue is one of the risk of negative consequences causing great harms.

        Do you want massive spending on looking out for something striking the earth?

      • Here’s something I don’t understand, tony. If your timelilne of ’06 for Phil Jones and ’09 for the Met Office are correct, and why should I doubt you, then why weren’t they ready to come clean once ClimateGate gave them the opportunity?

        I realize that we’re now seeing this with another near decade’s of performance and perspective, but still, you’d think that someday bluffers must fold. The stakes become foolhardy, the abbatoir swollen thickly, liquidly.

      • Joseph

        It wasn’t me that made the claim and I don’t believe in conspiracies.

        The idea of natural variability was settled science until it fell out of favour around the time computer models became popular and those such as lamb, who had done much work on it, retired or died.

        Jones was a protege of lamb and his archives are stored at CRU.

        As you will have seen from the reaction here by some, (substantial) natural variability is considered anecdotal. When I was at the met office earlier this year having a meeting with one of their scientists it was confirmed there was virtually no modern research on natural variability as there was no funding for it.

        It is the Cinderella of climate science and with little modern research or advocates it is not a very great part of the ipcc climate science offer.

        As I say, it is There in black and white that Phil jones made that statement in 2006 when researching the remarkable warmth of the 1730’s which came to a shivering halt by the extremely harsh winter of 1740 .

        If you want to see the paper I will find the link.


      • The perversion of the damage function goes way back into the 80’s and earlier. It’s useful to remember that the early giants of the radiative effect almost uniformly considered increased CO2 to be a boon to the planet and the human race.

      • Kim

        See my reply to Joseph. I don’t think either party had been hiding anything that they could now ‘come clean’ about, it was just that natural variability was an un fashionable subject that had been overtaken by the belief that the climate had been stable until man started to release too much carbon. Their former web statement was clearly influenced by the hockey stick version of events.

        I detect considerable interest recently in the subject at the met office but there is no funding for it. As I know it takes an awful lot of research which if funded would bring limited results for a great deal of money . I will hunt out the original met office statement on the static climate


      • @Joseph…

        What valid scientific view weren’t considered by the IPCC and how did Climategate “prove” it?

        You know the answer to that; you’re just trying to waste people’s time.

        Well, I wasted a little, so here’s the smoking gun:

        […] The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see it.
        I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

      • t, the dirtyness was ’96 Madrid. There are others insanitary; this one’s most odious and deliberate.

        Heh, but your hygienage may vary.

      • Kim

        Here is the extract from my article which I note was published in 2011, so a little later timeline than I thought

        ‘This long slow thaw is clearly at odds with the current view of climate history, best described by the UK Met office-a prime contributor through the Hadley centre to the IPCC assessments, who assert:

        Extract “Before the twentieth century, when man-made greenhouse gas emissions really took off, there was an underlying stability to global climate. The temperature varied from year to year, or decade to decade, but stayed within a certain range and averaged out to an approximately steady level.”


        The statement was removed from their web site soon after this but is still available through the way back machine. Perhaps they were influenced by Phil jones.


      • t, there was surfeiting engorgement of a false narrative of CO2 climate dominance and exaggerated future harm, that is unsustainable. I’m with you it not being much conspiratorial, merely the mutual benefit of synchronous breathing. It takes no more than that to create an extraordinary popular delusion.

        The maddened herd is still headed over the cliff of disastrous policy changes. AK’s smoking gun above is duplicated all over the trampled ground, midst broken lances and Crispian’s arrows, so many dead warhorses of settled science; those who bellowed and breathed together know themselves, and amazingly, continue to blow their horns.

        There is no need to imagine a conspiracy. What we have is worse, and far less easy to deal with.

      • Were they kept out of the IPCC report? And what makes you think it was a “valid scientific view?” I wouldn’t want garbage in the IPCC report either. Would you?

      • I wasn’t that the paper was wrong, just that is was produced by the wrong tribe.

      • I wouldn’t want garbage in the IPCC report either.

        Your definition of “garbage” being anything that tends to conflict with your political/ideological agenda. Just like Jones, et al..

        A clear demonstration why the IPCC should never have been created, and should be removed from existence ASAP.

      • There was a time that the EPA was good and did good things, that time has passed.

        There was never a time that the IPCC was good and did good things, that time has not passed.

      • Thanks, t. I can see why the bluff still went in ’09. I can see why it still has to now.

      • The statement was removed from their web site soon after this but is still available through the way back machine. Perhaps they were influenced by Phil jones.

        Global temperature slowdown — not an end to climate change

        I was particularly interested in this forecast:

        Our decadal forecast predicts an end to this period of relative stability after 2010. We project at least half of the years after 2009 will be warmer than the 1998 record. Climate researchers are, therefore, reinforcing the message that the case for tackling global warming remains strong.

        Or there’s BEST:

      • Our decadal forecast predicts an end to this period of relative stability after 2010. We project at least half of the years after 2009 will be warmer than the 1998 record. …

        Smith et al

  28. The WORST STORM EVAH! was a big disappointment for the alarmistas. They were geared up for massive death and destruction to holler about at the party in Paree. The perfect propaganda storm.

  29. Joyashree Roy, IPCC Lead Author, urges West to stop trying to force India onto low-energy, renewables-only path. [link]

    “From Indian perspective growth now with adoption of more and more advanced technology means progress with justice for the masses. Search for alternative development models should and will continue given human curiosity and imagination. But experimentation with India will be equivalent to ‘development delayed is development denied’. How can we ask the poor part of India not to aspire for better food, better hygiene, better health? Who has given the right to the privileged few to deny them these options?

    Joyashree Roy is ICSSR National Fellow, Professor of Economics, Coordinator – Global Change Programme, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.”

    Yes, leave India alone, they can figure it out – they are the inheritors of an ancient culture with a history of achievement in math, literature, and agriculture. By evolution’s ultimate metric they are a success. They don’t need help from Gaia’s repentant true believers nor from the wind blown solar sharpies and other renewable carpetbaggers. They don’t need reparations either.

    • They don’t need help from Gaia’s repentant true believers nor from the wind blown solar sharpies and other renewable carpetbaggers. They don’t need reparations either.


  30. WTI is back around $45 after visiting around $50 last week.

    WTI Prices:
    OIL 44.60
    BRENT 47.99
    NAT GAS 2.286
    RBOB GAS 1.3036

    Images from http://marketrealist.com

  31. The Stanford/Berkeley climate/economics paper is seriously flawed. i am surprised it passed Nature review. Take 30 years of data on temperature and economic development for 166 countries to tease out an ‘optimum’ tempe for labor and agricultural productivity development. Come up with ~55F annual average— surprise, the temperate mean annual temperature for the US, Europe, and China. Common sense red flag 1: the US CONUS regional mean temps alone vary nearly as much as the whole sample of 166 countries. I personally compare South Florida to Chicago and Wisconsin many times a year. Miami annual mean 77F, Chicago 50F. Shows how statistically junky such cross sectional analysis is.
    Common sense red flag 2: Most developing countries with poor economic productivity growth are in ‘tropical’ Latin America (e.g. Nicaragua, Honduras, Venezuela…), Africa (Nigeria, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Congo…) or Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand,…). It is self evident that in all of those places, socialism, corruption, and military juntas are much bigger productivity hindrances than climate.
    Worse, the paper takes this absurdly confounded cross sectional result and then applies it as if it were an economic time series to estimate the ‘productivity damage function for the world’ for modeled 2100 warming. A big scary number just in time for Paris. Scary because it projects the consequences of Ortega, Chavez, Goodluck, Mugabe, and a brutally regressive Burmese military junta onto global warming.
    Shame on Berkeley and Stanford for producing such econometric garbage. And on Bloomberg BW for amplifying it.

    • The junkyard of “science.”

    • Being a large country, like the US, has the advantage of evening out impacts with internal redistributions. Smaller countries have less choices in adaptation and provide the more precise datapoints in this type of study. It looks like the damage function needs serious revision, which also impacts the social cost of carbon and how effective mitigation is versus adaptation. The study shows that adaptation alone leads to a declining net global GDP, so those using economics arguments for doing nothing need to consider this as the cost of that strategy. Mitigation becomes even more economically optimal with this new study, the cost of aversion being a much smaller fraction of GDP than this new damage cost.

      • JimD, PCT below new comment on the same paper gives an adequate rebuttal. Big/small land area balderdash. One always grows what works. That is what farmers do.

      • Who/what is PCT? The only adequate rebuttal would be someone redoing the study and showing the opposite result. I suspect badmouthing is easier, and will be the first course of action, but it is just hot air until actual numbers are produced.

      • PCT (below) appears to be a random blog person giving an uninformed opinion on a peer-reviewed Nature paper. Study the data first if you don’t believe it. Ask for the peer reviews.

      • bedeverethewise

        so those using economics arguments for doing nothing need to consider this as the cost of that strategy.

        If doing something amounts to nothing, then doing nothing accomplishes the same thing and costs less.

      • It is not free to do nothing because there is an economic suffering cost even on top of adaptation costs. Effective mitigation, on the other hand, pays itself back and limits that adaptation and suffering cost.

      • Jim D,

        “Mitigation becomes even more economically optimal with this new study”

        Did it occur to you that was the purpose of the study?

      • timg56, the purpose was to use past economic data globally to quantify the effects of warming. It’s yet another inconvenient result for the do-nothing crowd, but there it is. They are now free to put in the work to audit the study, but of course they won’t and I think they will just attack the authors and their institutions instead to gain the support of the anti-academic mob. It’s the easiest course.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Jim D,

        I must admit that you are probably the most predictable, and clearly the funniest, participant on this blog.


      • You probably think Nature is funny too, and just dismiss anything that appears in there based on some kind of prejudice against academia rather than looking into what it actually says and what facts it gives you in support. This is the easy route for skeptics and just looks rather lazy.

    • The Stanford/Berkeley climate/economics paper is seriously flawed. i am surprised it passed Nature review.

      I assume your surprise was tongue-in-cheek?

      A big scary number just in time for Paris.

      • You assume correctly. I knew Berkeley had fallen low. It produced Naomi Oreskes. Stanford is rather sadder. Used to be top three. Of course, then number 1 hired Oreskes from Berkeley and bagan its own tumble down. And number 2 fronted an attrocious website…so clisci is bringing all of academia down–except certain corners of GIT.

      • In case that reference was not clear, where I come from ( and back then) Harvard 1, Yale 2, Stanford 3. Now to ‘prove’ this case with 95% IPCC certainty and 97% comsensus of all Harvard alumni, Harvard won the Rose Bowl over Stanford in 1906. Figures, since it was a gone bad rugby scrum Harvard/Princeton about 1880 that ‘invented’ football. So Harvard had one whole generation more practice time. And then Harvard beat Yale 28-28 in THE GAME ( a clear moral victory) in the miracle of 1968, coming back 16 points in the last 2 minutes.
        I also note that yesterday GIT prevailed over Florida State on the last play. Fitting.
        Oh, this thread is not about college football? But football is surely as good a proxy to academic superiority as Mann’s tree rings are to paleoclimate temperatures…
        Or something illogical like that. Maybe. Sort of. Carry on.

      • ristvan:

        It’s one thing to take on the CAGW crowd — but to rub salt in the wounds of FSU fans? Wow! Now you’re really in trouble.

  32. Climate Change Slams Global Economy in a New Study From @Stanford and @UCBerkeley [link] (an angle on this i’ve not seen before)

    They wrote:
    Looking at 166 countries from 1960 to 2010, the researchers identified an optimal average annual temperature that coincides with peak productivity of, for example, labor and crops. It’s 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), or approximately the climate of San Francisco’s bay area. The paper appears in the new issue of Nature.

    Some crops do best in hot humid wet climates and other crops do best in colder and/or drier climates.

    Any research that says there is One temperature that is best for peak productivity is worse than total BS. Different crops evolved in different climates. Earth is wonderful because it is different in different places. Earth is wonderful because it does change and promote adaptation. Without adaptation, there would be no productive life on Earth.
    Rice does not do best where corn does best.

    How many crops are farmed in and around San Francisco?

    At least we get an idea of the BS and alarmism to expect from Stanford and UCBerkeley

    Thank you JC for posting the link for this. This shows how backward the “so-called” Academic people are.

    • “…crops…around San Francisco…”

      SF city has a unique climate – cool and foggy, sunny cool, sometimes windy depending on location. However, crops grown within about a 70 mile radius and on the coast include strawberries, Brussel sprouts, artichokes, and raspberries. Some protected locations, especially inland, can produce more warm weather crops. Personally, I dislike the climate of SF – too cold too often.

  33. Another Obumbles “success.” From the article:

    ObamaCare’s image of invincibility is increasingly being exposed as a political illusion, at least for those with permission to be honest about the evidence. Witness the heretofore unknown phenomenon of a “free” entitlement that its beneficiaries can’t afford or don’t want.

    This month the Health and Human Services Department dramatically discounted its internal estimate of how many people will join the state insurance exchanges in 2016. There are about 9.1 million enrollees today, and the consensus estimate—by the Congressional Budget Office, the Medicare actuary and independent analysts like Rand Corp.—was that participation would surge to some 20 million. But HHS now expects enrollment to grow to between merely 9.4 million and 11.4 million.

    Recruitment for 2015 is roughly 70% of the original projection, but ObamaCare will be running at less than half its goal in 2016. HHS believes some 19 million Americans earn too much for Medicaid but qualify for ObamaCare subsidies and haven’t signed up. Some 8.5 million of that 19 million purchase off-exchange private coverage with their own money, while the other 10.5 million are still uninsured. In other words, for every person who’s allowed to join and has, two people haven’t.

    Among this population of the uninsured, HHS reports that half are between the ages of 18 and 34 and nearly two-thirds are in excellent or very good health. The exchanges won’t survive actuarially unless they attract this prime demographic: ObamaCare’s individual mandate penalty and social-justice redistribution are supposed to force these low-cost consumers to buy overpriced policies to cross-subsidize everybody else. No wonder HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said meeting even the downgraded target is “probably pretty challenging.”


    • Jim2,
      Kinda have to wonder how much of the decline of Obamacare is a result of mass media headlines which state things like “The Decline of Obamacare” than any inherent problems with the system.

      • I think it has more to do with the COST!!

      • Cost for whom? Have you checked it out for yourself and compared? Ours is waaaay more economical.

      • Another problem is that too many people drank Obumbles’ Kool-aid before they knew what was in it.

      • No argument there. The processing was a$$inine! But the actuality? Not that bad and with higher participation (and single payer) would be much more feasible. And I’ve heard no alternatives put forth.

      • The pandering to panda,
        The oustering australia;
        Dance down the hall
        Of BRICkened wall,
        Impoverished regalia.

      • Single payer would be a lot cheaper, but this is the U.S. of A-wholes.

      • JCH,
        Until I hear an alternative, it’s what’s needed.

        The pre-existing coverage by itself (for those in need) saves who knows how much.

      • I helped an indigent relative sign up. He had a hernia with a pile of small intestine in his scrotum… huge. Completely debilitating. He had been knocking around the county system for more than a year with no treatment. His premium ended up at $200 a month, and he went to a urologist who got paid as though his premium was $800 a month. It’s stupid, but it’s all the dunces of this country would allow. He had no credit history at all, so it took about 6 hours on the phone. Big deal. He walked around like that for more than a year.

      • Who let’s a dear relative walk around for more than a year with a pile of small intestine in his scrotum? No wonder he doesn’t use his name.

        Well, aside from people looking out for themselves and their loved ones, this problem of indigency can be solved with single-payer-gubmint medical care. Instead of the wealthy getting their scrotum taken care of right away and the indigent waiting for more than a year, everybody waits in line for seven months to get the CHEAP scrotum repair.

      • Danny, what happens when not enough healthy paying customers sign up for health insurance?

      • Don,
        “Danny, what happens when not enough healthy paying customers sign up for health insurance?”

        Great question. Look at what was occurring before O-care for the answer. Medicaid for those less fortunate. Hospitals not getting paid. No coverage and bankruptcy for those with pre-existing (or just not getting treatment).

        The Republicans goofed on this one IMO. They should have owned it, said it was stolen (Mitt/Mass.) and marketed it to the fullest to ‘get more healthy’ to buy in.

        The alternatives were two: stay the course (which at least Obama tried to address), or the alternative put forth by the right which is __________________(silence).

        Sorry, but this one goes to Obama. It needs ‘patching’ and certainly improvement, but just calling it like I see it.

      • Classless pos.

      • I guess I hurt the nameless one’s little feelings. Maybe I should apologize. He did spend several hours helping his dear indigent relative sign up, after the poor chap had gone around for more than a year with a bum scrotum.

      • In my case I have no health insurance this year for the first time since I became an engineer in 1978. The reason is simple: the out of pocket cost for the most basic policy this year would be more than I have consumed in health care for my entire life.

        Pass. And wait for future developments.

      • You fell for the BS that Obamacare was the only game in town to fix the allegedly broken health care system, Danny. Along with the BS that everybody is going to get quality healthcare, it’s going to cost less and no rationing. Along with the pre-meditated lies about keeping your insurance and your doctors. Obamacare has so far cost the Demos control of Congress, and plenty of State governments. I predict it will get worse.

        They are trying this same BS story on immigration. OMG! Woe is us! The immigration system is broken and the only way to fix it is Obama-Amnesty. Illegal immigrants are breaking our borders and our law by the freaking tens of millions, so we make them legal. Nobody can think of any other way to deal it.

      • Don,

        “You fell for the BS that Obamacare was the only game in town to fix the allegedly broken health care system, Danny. ”

        Not quite accurate. It’s not necessarily the ‘only game in town’, but it was the only one offered. For starters, it would have been a better (more economical for consumers) if single payer would have been included, but it was a hard sell. I’ve still not seen specifics (and it would have to be pretty thick) from anyone else to repair/replace only to repeal. If you have, I’d love to see a resource and get behind it with as loud a voice as I can create.

        Costs have been going up and look like an avg. of about 7% higher this year. Some states in double figures (I’ve not looked in to why). Hospitals were often for it (lacking an alternative) as their costs for indigent care was growing. Heck, I’m okay with those who use the system to have to pay for it (that’s an important concept for those on the right), but just having it available for some, has proven invaluable. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s something. I hear “repeal and replace” but no details on the ‘with what’ and maybe that detail could prove far worse.

        I fear, Don, that it may be you who has bought in to the hype of how bad things are with Obamacare. Could that be? I’ve seen a few offhanded
        references of yours towards things like ‘Obamaphones’ and understand your need to express displeasure but at least in that one example (and maybe Obamacare) it’s misplaced.

        Immigration is a separate and side issue. And there again I’ve heard no answers (from either side). It’s a bag o’ worms, but I’m willing to evaluate offerings.

  34. “Carbon capture plant removes CO2 from atmosphere, turns it into fuel [link]”

    No mention of where the energy comes from to do this, never mind the necessarily dreadful inefficiencies of extracting a low value commodity from the air at low concentration.

    People managed to extract gold from sea-water many years ago. There are very good reasons why no one does so commercially.

    • michael hart: No mention of where the energy comes from to do this,

      The article says wind turbines.

    • No mention of where the energy comes from to do this,

      Doesn’t matter. It’s a prototype/proof-of-concept. If the technology catches on, the energy will hopefully come from wind turbines, perhaps using nearby pumped hydro for load balancing. (Daisy Lake, with the 158MW Cheakamus Generating Station, is about 40 km/25 mi away.)

      Currently, the heat for reconstituting the lime pellets comes from burning natural gas, although they claim the CO2 from that is fully absorbed. But if they use electrolytic hydrogen to combine with the CO2 to create methane (and short-chain hydrocarbons), it could probably be self-heating.

      • AK,

        Or you could just let trees grow. They would probably use up some of that other dreadful greenhouse gas created by burning stuff – water (H2O).

        It’s only a prototypical/hypothetical neoconceptual type of thing, but trees seem to work. I’m thinking of claiming intellectual property rights, by patenting the concept. I’ll sue anybody who grows trees without a proper license. What do you think?


      • Extracting gold from sea water can also be described as “prototype/proof-of-concept”, but the problem remains that you have to move vast quantities of sea water. Extracting anything from high dilution has very unfavourable thermodynamics.

        Trees are tree-shaped partly because they need to present such a high surface area for CO2 capture, even when the wind is moving the air for free. Per Mike Flynn, they will need to make sure that that their engineering plant is tree shaped, else they will probably have to even spend more energy sucking air in faster than the wind can blow. The idea is a loser.

      • acht, posted in wrong place the first time.
        should have been “very unfavourable kinetics, as well as thermodynamics”

      • The carbon capture scheme will become profitable as soon as the price of a Carbon Credit hits about $10000. All we need is a strong agreement in Paris. Then we can just mandate the viability of this technology.

        Kinetics? Schmetics!

      • Freeman Dyson, your darling, wants to engineer giant trees that take in vastly more CO2 than current trees. Imagine trees as tall as skyscrapers.

      • JCH,

        Those trees exist already in California!

      • Per Mike Flynn, […]

        You’re using that nut as an authority?

        [… T]hey will need to make sure that that their engineering plant is tree shaped, else they will probably have to even spend more energy sucking air in faster than the wind can blow.

        Yeah, next you’ll be proving Bumblebees Can’t Fly

        The idea is a loser.

        Tell that to Bill Gates.

        Actually, I doubt the air-capture idea will be able to compete with the US Navy’s sea-water extraction process. But that doesn’t make it a loser, except by comparison to an even better winner.

      • No AK, What makes the idea a looser is that it is ludicrous. Period. A huge waste of money and material. Just the upkeep will cost a fortune. The question is how long it will take Bill Gates to notice that sucking sound coming out of his wallet – and cut them off. Let’s jest hope they clean up their mess when they’re done.

      • @michael hart 3:22
        You said: “Trees are tree-shaped partly because they need to present such a high surface area for CO2 capture, even when the wind is moving the air for free. ”
        I have to disagree with this. Trees are tree shaped in order to capture light and shade out shorter competitors. CO2 distribution is not significantly different at ground level than at marginally higher elevations.

      • @AK
        You said: “Doesn’t matter. It’s a prototype/proof-of-concept.”
        The beauty of prototypes/proof-of-concept schemes is that economic reality can be ignored.
        Sadly, real world solutions don’t have this luxury.
        Merely because something can work, doesn’t mean it should be worked.

      • “Trees are tree-shaped partly because they need to present such a high surface area for CO2 capture, even when the wind is moving the air for free. Per Mike Flynn, they will need to make sure that that their engineering plant is tree shaped, else they will probably have to even spend more energy sucking air in faster than the wind can blow. The idea is a loser.”

        man will never fly


      • … lovely as a tree?

      • Steven Mosher,

        The good folks at ASU apparently want to reduce CO2 to 350 ppm, as the climate at that time was as good as it could possibly be.

        Now, the question is, what to do with all the CO2 removed from the atmosphere, at great expense, and with no discernible benefit?

        Well, here is a cut and paste –

        “CO2 Recycling uses the CO2 that is removed from air, as a feed stock for a variety of processes that might require 1-99% concentration. At lower concentrations, CO2 can be used to invigorate biomass growth for agriculture in greenhouses or bio-fuels. It also can be used to make materials like plastics. At higher concentrations it can be used to carbonate beverages, and enable enhanced oil recovery and synthesize renewable liquid hydrocarbons like methanol.”

        Wonderful. Remove it at great expense, then do things to it at great expense, so you can put it back into the atmosphere, all the while keeping the atmospheric concentration around the globe at the perfect 350ppm.

        Obviously, there are generous Government grants involved to keep this farce going. Thank goodness the rest of the world is waking up. Maybe the USA will catch up, in the fullness of time. I hope so.


      • If you want to take CO2 out of the air you have to go to the source.

        Build a coal fired plant.
        Build a long labyrinth (miles) of greenhouses.
        After the scrubbers, pump the exhaust through the greenhouses. It’s rich in CO2 and water, just what plants want.
        Use the waste heat to keep the houses warm instead of putting it out the cooling tower.
        Install UV lighting to keep photosynthesis going and use excess electricity when demand drops at night.
        Grow something you can sell. Watermelons, tomatoes, algae, pot, whatever.
        If you build enough greenhouses you can get (slightly) O2 enriched air out the other end which you can feed back into your power plant to improve your burn.
        You can burn your excess biomass too.

        Closed loop. Almost carbon neutral.
        (except for the emissions from smoking the pot)

        Building a huge machine and trying to sort molecules of well mixed air – is just plain nuts.

        Man will never beat the second law.

      • “The good folks at ASU apparently want to reduce CO2 to 350 ppm, as the climate at that time was as good as it could possibly be.

        Now, the question is, what to do with all the CO2 removed from the atmosphere, at great expense, and with no discernible benefit?”

        Your first argument was man will never fly.

        Now that you see prototype trees, the argument becomes,
        why would you want to fly.

        or it will be expensive to fly.

        As AK has adaptly pointed out direct air capture is a pretty good safety net when they skeptics of today are dead and gone and we need a
        solution to the problem they left us.

      • Oh, Christ.
        Now Steven Mosher and his grant-lampreys are going to build us the synthetic tree.

        David Springer, where are you when I need you?
        My crude insults may not pass Judith Curry’s (fairly generous) moderation standards. I need someone to do it for me.

      • It’s difficult to know where to begin with someone who posts a video of a professor who has re-invented the toilet brush.

        I’ll try.
        Steven Mosher, he needs to show a new way of making toilet brushes, not a new use for them.

      • Steven Mosher,

        “Your first argument was man will never fly.” You can make up whatever statements you like, and you often do. Anybody who takes the time to try to verify your statements will be sorely disappointed, in most cases.

        Repeating an untruth does not make it true. It is obviously a deeply ingrained Warmist trait. If you are going to fabricate statements, choose ones that are not so easily disproven.

        Not satisfied with one fabrication, you press on.

        “Now that you see prototype trees, the argument becomes,
        why would you want to fly.

        or it will be expensive to fly.”

        I have not mentioned artificial trees, or flight. I have merely quoted from a
        Iink you provided. Maybe you could go off and argue with yourself some more. You are getting quite adept.

        Feel free to promote artificial trees, artificial cows, even artificial intelligence, if you find you are lacking a sufiicient amount of the natural commodity.

        You are an odd lad, Steven. This might well explain your preoccupation with nonsense such as “surface temperatures” which aren’t, reducing CO2 levels, wiping out humanity because you believe that CO2 raises temperatures, and similar bizarre delusions. Maybe you could try sticking to facts. I find them much more satisfying. Of course, you can choose to pursue Warmist fantasies, if you wish.

        The choice is yours.


      • @Steven Mosher…

        Thanks Steven. I’ve been a little busy, and didn’t notice your contribution among the junk.

        You’re right, it’s a safety net. It’s also one that could probably be achieved at very little overall expense, without significant increase to energy prices. If done right.

        Unfortunately, too many people on both sides seem more interested in shutting their eyes and ears, and insisting on their own way.

        What happened to good old American compromise? We’ll switch to fossil-neutral energy, but we’ll do it in a way that doesn’t impact energy prices or economic freedom? CAGW fanatics all want to impose socialism, most of their opponents seem to want to deny any possibility of any problem.

        A pox on both their houses. Really.

      • I have a novel in mind, to be titled “The man who mistook a toilet brush for a tree.”

      • Oops, I misplaced my cockroach for a tree.
        I’d rather see, even a bee, than one be.

      • Man will never fly in airplanes made of gold.

      • Personally, I like the idea of capture and recycle. Pipe the CO2, NOx, etc. exhaust into the soil of nearby farms and water for algea. Find a good mix of plants and bacteria to turn the exhaust into nutrients. Use the carb-rich/ nutrient light plants to make fuels, alcoholic beverages, and feed farm animal and produce meat.

      • Ol’ Giant Stumphole.

    • Just fer fun:

      if they get ALL* the CO2 out of the air:
      CO2 being about 0.06% by weight – makes around 1600 tonnes (~1,3M m³) of air to be processed to get 1 tonne of CO2.
      (* don’t know what the actual efficiency of the process is, but i doubt it’s 1)

      1000 kg CO2 represents 273 kg of Carbon, which is worth about $15 right now if i dig it out of the ground. That, in Paris – might get you a cup of coffee.

      • Ken W,

        For an even greater dose of side splitting fun, try to grow a single plant in air containing no CO2 at all.

        The CO2 phobic crowd don’t seem to realise that O2 is needed to create CO2. Better not tell them, otherwise they’ll want to take all the O2 out of the air, and impose an oxygen tax.

        Removing all CO2 from the air is suicidal, if a little slow to achieve extermination of the human race.. Removing all oxygen from the air is more expensive, but quicker.

        It might be best not to interfere too much with processes we know almost nothing about. Just in case.


      • Steven Mosher,

        From your first link –

        “Jones also conducts research in the field of direct air capture, a geoengineering approach to the prevention of climate change. . . ”

        Preventing climate change? Would it maybe be easier to cure the common cold? What happens if you manage to prevent the climate from changing? Or is it just another example of Warmist English which doesn’t actually mean what says? And no, I didn’t miss Jones’ connection with GlobalThermostat – nice name, that!

        Second link –

        “In a Proceedings of the National Academy of Science study co-authored by MIT Professor Howard Herzog, he estimated the cost of air capture at “on the order of $1,000 per ton of CO2.” Later, speaking to Yale Environment 360, Herzog claimed anyone who put the cost of DAC significantly lower was “either not being totally honest or they’re deluding themselves.” You may think the Professor is a fool. I don’t.

        Third link –

        Advertising brochure? The best you can do? Are you going to invest? Why not?

        I particularly like the generation of electricity with a negative carbon footprint. A bit like hoisting yourself by your bootstraps.

        “Self-Carbureted Embodiments are truly stand-alone: they burn fuel in GT’s own gas turbines, generating the heat and electricity needed to capture their own emissions while also capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, remaining carbon negative.”

        Interestingly, they don’t show how they intend to achieve this free lunch. I suspect their PR people got a bit carried away. Producing a saleable commodity at no cost seems like a good idea. Or maybe the cost of the fuel outweighs the price of the product?

        Fourth link –

        A press release from the company that brought you the advertising brochure.

        Gee, Steven, I’m impressed! Not.

        Even NASA’s waking up. Re device for ISS to make water from CO2 removed from the air –

        “NASA will not buy hardware, but instead will purchase the water service. If the system does not work, NASA will not pay for it.” Who’d a thought? Results before payment? Sacre Bleu!

        Your links are just a variation of tracts handed out by the average enthusiastic but misguided cultist.


  35. Pingback: Week in review – energy and policy edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  36. “When the wind is not blowing, wind-generated electricity is the most expensive electricity of all, because it cannot be bought at any price.
    ~Bjørn Lomborg

    Given that the above is inarguably true and applies to solar power as well and the news fed to major publications about wind power being cheaper than fossil fuels in Germany and the UK are, according to Warren Buffet, “mostly a mirage” and totally dependent on robbing Peter to pay Paul government subsidies, it is clear that Western civilization blasted through the Space Age and built Towers of Political Babel in the Information Age only to have them all come crashing down in the Age of Wrongheadedness, as the inexorable quieting of the Sun is whispering our epitaph and religious third-world zealots in the Middle East prepare to pick our bones.

    • And you, apparently along with Bjørn Lomborg, do not understand integrated resource planning and operations using engineering economics. Obviously you don’t understand about decision making involving combined cycle natural gas (and how this impacts Renewables like solar). Engineering concepts like ELCC just don’t matter to you.

      The problem here at CE are the ridiculous and extreme Straw-men you and others present — 100% Renewable Vs. Zero Fossil Fuels.

      If you want to make arguments where U.S. Renewable penetration levels are too high (where solar is currently about one-half of 1%) and you have unquestionable and independent 3rd Party proof where engineering economics have not been followed here in the U.S. — then you have a valid point.

      • Reasonable people (like Nobel winning scientist Dr. Molina) are proposing a portfolio of mitigation actions to address AGW that will not destroy economies:

        (1) Fast Mitigation (methane, black carbon, smog, HFCs);
        (2) Renewable Energy decisions based on sound engineering economics;
        (3) Energy Efficiency — especially as discussed often by engineering giant ABB (like ultra supercritical coal units).
        (4) Foreign trade incentives to Developing Countries (for lower carbon footprint products).
        (5) Increased R&D funding Worldwide (including things like tax credits to solar as long as production costs keep on significantly dropping).

      • Example of reasonable Conservative voices — Christine Todd Whitman: http://www.politico.com/arena/bio/gov_christine_todd_whitman_and_robert_sisson,_president_of_conservamerica.html

        So many of the more vocal voices here at CE just don’t know what they are talking about. President Obama tried not just once, but twice, to get Congress to fund ~13 new nuclear power plants. Obama worked with Republicans like Ms. Whitman, and Senators (e.g., Graham, Alexander) to accomplish this.

      • Strawmen, like the poor, shall always be with us.

        You should try reading the multiple energy-related articles posted here by Planning Engineer and Rud Istvan.

      • Curious George

        You remind me of a Russian joke of about 1970. Scene: A Communist Party Central Committee meeting.

        Comrade Brezhnev: Americans have landed on the Moon. Our scientists decided to leapfrog their achievement. Comrades, we will land on the Sun!
        Comrade Academician Korolyoff: Comrades, that’s a worthy and lofty goal, but there are problems. The Sun is hot. Very, very hot.
        Comrade Brezhnev: Comrade – is he really a comrade? – Korolyoff is attempting to divert us. He raises objections to a plan he did not know about five minutes ago. But our scientists have foreseen the difficulty he mentions, and discovered a solution: We will land at night!
        (Five minutes of standing ovations.)

        BTW, I wonder if a strategic meeting at the White House preceding an Iraq invasion was similar in spirit.

        Margaret Thatcher noted and Lomborg understands (and, for what, 0.03°F?), it’s all just great… until, you eventually run out of other people’s money. Meanwhile, we may headed towards decades of global cooling, not warming and possibly an little ice age by the end of the century.

        Most existing coal and gas suppliers cost about half or less than wind and could run for decades; instead, we half-close them to accommodate wind. Whereas the new, cheap German wind-energy producers cost $80 per MWh ($0.08 per kWh), the average German spot price in 2014 was just $33 per MWh…

        …wind and solar make fossil-fuel-generated electricity more expensive. Some people may think that is a good thing… Significant wind and solar usage reduces the number of hours gas and coal generation operates; with large fixed costs, this makes every kWh more expensive. In a real electricity market, this would result in much higher electricity costs on windless evenings. But this is politically problematic, which is why markets are often constructed to spike much less.

        In Spain, gas plants were used 66% of the time in 2004, but only 19% of the time now, largely because of more wind use. Because the plants must be kept running 57% of the time to avoid losses, many are likely to close. Across Europe, possibly 60% of all gas-fired generation is at risk…

        And its positive impact on the climate is negligible. Consider two worlds: in the first, all governments implement all their green promises, as indicated by the IEA, and increase solar and wind energy more than seven-fold by 2040; in the second, not one new solar panel or wind turbine is purchased over the next 25 years.

        The difference in subsidy spending between the two worlds is more than $2.5 trillion. Yet the difference in temperature increase by the end of the century, run on the United Nations climate panel’s own model, would be a mere 0.0175°C (0.03°F)… ~Bjørn Lomborg

      • Opluso — I do read and comment often on Rud’s and Planning Engineer’s writings. Obviously, you have not read and tried to understand my comments very much.

      • Stephen Segrest: “And you, apparently along with Bjørn Lomborg, do not understand integrated resource planning and operations using engineering economics.”

        Under a recent law passed by the California state legislature, the Golden State must achieve 50% renewable electric generation by 2030. One of the provisions of this new law stipulates that the California Independent System Operator (ISO) is now charted to promote a renewable-friendly grid architecture for California and for the western region of the United States.

        Now that the agency has this added responsibility, would it not be appropriate for the California ISO to commission a study whose objective is to determine the present-value hard dollar implementation cost for designing, permitting, and constructing a 50% renewables grid architecture for the state of California? This study would include the possibility of attaining cooperative participation from other western states; and would include a fairly detailed project schedule, one which is nominally capable of achieving the legislated goal of 50% renewables by the year 2030.

        This kind of cost study would employ a “basis of estimate” engineering feasibility design for the 50% renewables grid architecture, a design which includes: (1) numbers, types, and locations for the additional windmills and solar panels which are needed; (2) numbers, types, and locations for the additional power transmission & distribution facilities which are needed; (3) numbers, types, and locations for the energy storage facilities which are needed; (4) any other technologies which are needed to operate a grid which meets the California ISO’s current requirements for grid stability and reliability; (5) environmental restoration costs for decommissioning and removing California’s non-renewable energy production and distribution facilities; and last but not least, (6) the administrative costs of gaining buy-in and approval from all the participating local, state, and regional stakeholders — i.e., all the affected local governments, all the affected state governments, the affected agencies of the Federal Government, plus all affected non-government and quasi-government stakeholders such as the Indian Tribes, regional commissions of various types, and a variety of environmental activist groups.

        Stephen, how much do you suppose it would cost, and how long do you suppose it would take, for the California ISO to perform this kind of very detailed hard-dollar engineering feasibility study? One-hundred million dollars and three years, possibly?

      • Wagathon — Many people present the reasonable argument that the real AGW dialogue should be: how much and how fast. We just don’t know — nobody knows.

        Dr. Molina (Nobel prize) and Dr. Ramanathan have argued that things like fast mitigation (which Dr. Curry has also written favorably on) should be implemented to give our scientists and engineers time to better understand the science and make technology breakthroughs. The number I’ve heard tossed around is that this “fast mitigation” alone could give us ~40 years. The key concept is to change the current trajectory.

        Wagathon and Othersonly want to make a straw-man argument involving only Renewable Energy (and not a portfolio of actions) applied to Models that they criticize!

      • Beta Blocker — As I have consistently said, all Regulatory Agencies and Federal, State, and local legislative bodies must insure that decisions are made using sound engineering economics. This is why I oppose a Federal Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, or any State Standard that is locked in concrete. Targets are fine. Pushing Regulated Electric Utilities to implement state of the art engineering practices (e.g. ELCC) is appropriate. Locked in Mandates are not OK.

      • Curious George — Obviously you have not read what I’ve repeatedly said year after year on this blog: “I hate top/down command/control practices such as a carbon tax (regressive tax), cap & trade schemes (another Wall St. financial derivative), or a Federal Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (taking decision making out of our engineers hands).

        I believe in Conservative approaches of bottom to top, flexible, incentive carrots.

      • SS,
        If “sound engineering economics” we’re used there would be almost no renewable energy projects. Mechanical engineers work on those kinds of things and they have to understand thermodynamics whereas politicians, freeloaders, and renewable energy hucksters do not.

      • Justin Wonder — Clearly you have no electricity integrated system planning experience. Clearly you’ve never run an integrated planning model (like from GE) or had any discussions with System Planners.

        You should try and read and learn rather than sophomoric bloviation.

      • SS,

        “You should try and read and learn rather than sophomoric ”

        I’m calling your bluff. How much is 2 x 7%? I don’t want to humiliate you (lie) by giving you anything too challenging. Btw, that’s what you get if you double the renewable contribution to electricity generation.

        It’s all in the numbers…


      • Justin Wonder — Serious people trying to constructively contribute are addressing a portfolio of at least 5 mitigation areas that I listed above. Yet, you (and others like you) want to build a strawman of only only option — renewable energy.

        You are not a serious contributor — just an obstructionist.

      • I am with the frantic Mr. SS, on this one. Renewables in the power market penetration levels are so very low because conservative deniers refuse to buy into the wonderful technologies for ideological reasons.

      • Stephen, “(1) Fast Mitigation (methane, black carbon, smog, HFCs)”
        Without the ozone this is great because most of this is done or doable with reasonable cost over the next decade or so.
        “(2) Renewable Energy decisions based on sound engineering economics;”
        I agree, but sound engineering economics and politics don’t mesh well. For example a region without hydro wouldn’t want to go crazy building roof top solar to get Solar City’s over stock off its shelves.

        (3) Energy Efficiency — especially as discussed often by engineering giant ABB (like ultra supercritical coal units).

        It would be nice to see some energy efficiency improvements getting a little press along with co-firing to start cutting into mount trashmores but they seem to have a crappy lobby.
        (4) Foreign trade incentives to Developing Countries (for lower carbon footprint products).According to Ehrlich that would be like giving an idiot child a machine gun. The traditional way is to build things that work so they can steal the technology.

        (5) Increased R&D funding Worldwide (including things like tax credits to solar as long as production costs keep on significantly dropping).

        I am all for R&D but some of the tax credits have been poorly planned. California, Arizona and Hawaii are having some utility push back since they have to absorb those generous credits. GE btw paid next to no tax thanks to those credits and are being beat up pretty bad by the dems for taking them up on the offer. How is saintly government going to deal with those evil corporate empires?

      • Stephen Segrest: “Beta Blocker — As I have consistently said, all Regulatory Agencies and Federal, State, and local legislative bodies must insure that decisions are made using sound engineering economics. This is why I oppose a Federal Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, or any State Standard that is locked in concrete. Targets are fine. Pushing Regulated Electric Utilities to implement state of the art engineering practices (e.g. ELCC) is appropriate. Locked in Mandates are not OK.”

        The point I’m making here is that in passing SB 350, California has assigned an agency of the California state government — one which has an exceptional understanding of the current capabilities of power generation and power distribution technology — to promote a policy agenda which includes a highly-ambitious locked in mandate, that of achieving 50% renewables in California by the year 2030.

        An ISO-commissioned study whose primary objective is to determine the present-value hard dollar implementation cost for designing, permitting, and constructing a 50% renewables grid architecture for California would go far in demonstrating the realities of what it will take in terms of time, money, technology, and public commitment to successfully achieve Governor Brown’s ambitious GHG reduction goals in his own state — and by extension, what it will take to successively achieve President Obama’s ambitious GHG reduction goals for the entire nation as a whole.

      • David L. Hagen

        German vs US Electricity Prices
        German electricity prices rose 42% vs US 16% from 2006 to 2013 – driven by Germany’s renewable energy buyback policies.

      • Beta Blocker — I’m not familiar with the CA legislation. But if it is a locked in concrete mandate that can never be changed (hard to believe) then I of course would be against it.

        I understand this — Per the EIA the last time I looked, California has been the biggest buyer of combined cycle natural gas units in the U.S. (second, was Florida) — giving them tremendous flexibility on Renewable generation options.

      • David Hagan — Could you discuss (and link articles) on wholesale versus retail markets/prices in Germany compared to the U.S. Thanks

      • Stephen,

        “You are not a serious contributor — just an obstructionist.”

        Thanks Stephen, I do my best.

      • Captdallas — You must think that Jon Huntsman is stupid? (who made he “chops” in Asian foreign trade)

        Mr. Huntsman talked about creating “Enterprise Zones” in Free Trade Asian Countries with developing economies (e.g., Vietnam).

        The concept was win/win — where e.g. Vietnam would buy U.S. energy technology using the Ex/Im Bank (e.g., nuclear, supercritical coal, shoot even NG combined cycle also with waiving restrictions on U.S. LNG exports to them).

        In return the U.S. would give e.g. Vietnam trade incentives into U.S. markets for the lower carbon footprint products produced in this Enterprise Zone.

        Another example I remember hearing with getting U.S. investment in rice farms in Vietnam — changing how they grew rice (e.g., flooding that creates tremendous methane emissions). With this there would be special trade benefits into U.S. markets for special blends of rice.

        Again I’ll ask: Jon Huntsman is just plain stupid for even suggesting this type of approach?

      • Stephen Segrest:

        David Hagan — Could you discuss (and link articles) on wholesale versus retail markets/prices in Germany compared to the U.S. Thanks

        Here are a couple from Climate, Etc., though you may find them too broad for your specific question. There are others if you are willing to search.



      • Stephen, whether preferred trade status is stupid or not depends on how the ROW thinks. For millennial development goals the US has used preferred trade but many don’t consider that a “cash” contribution so even though it helps get the job done, PR wise the US gets screwed.

        This “image” issue is a big deal since with the current whack-a-do election rhetoric, a lot of “Green” initiatives are being conflated with corporate welfare, but green initiatives and regulations are being push that will only increase corporate welfare.

        I personally think the green “geniuses” need a bit more rope so we can laugh at the face plants. Until that happens, no matter what you do it is wrong.

      • Stephen Segrest: “Beta Blocker — I’m not familiar with the CA legislation. [SB 350] But if it is a locked in concrete mandate that can never be changed (hard to believe) then I of course would be against it.”

        The passage of SB 350 in California, combined with Governor Brown’s recent Executive Order directing that climate change issues be included in all of California’s government planning activities and regulatory decision making activities, gives those who are pushing hard for quick adoption of the renewables direct access to the levers of power needed to decide the outcome of energy-related public policy decision making.

        Stephen Segrest: “I understand this — Per the EIA the last time I looked, California has been the biggest buyer of combined cycle natural gas units in the U.S. (second, was Florida) — giving them tremendous flexibility on Renewable generation options.”

        If the California ISO, acting in pursuit of its newly assigned responsibility for promoting a renewable-friendly grid architecture for California and for the western states, were to publish a hard-dollar estimate for what it will take to achieve 50% renewables in California by 2030 — a cost estimate whose engineering basis includes a specifically-detailed mix of gas-fired generation, wind generation, solar generation, and grid-scale energy storage facilities — that detailed engineering feasibility study would, all by itself, spark an intense debate as to just how far it is possible to go in pushing a highly-ambitious renewable energy timetable without relying upon extensive use of gas-fired power generation facilities,

    • Fast mitigation is fast white elephants.

      Never mind. Someone in Asia will burn the fossil fuels to make all that stuff you like…They’ll even build your white elephants for you! Aussie coal burnt in Asia makes solar panels and wind turbine components for Australia. Fossil fuels build gigantic sympathy-vote enterprises like Ivanaph, and Ivanapah then burns increasingly more fossil fuel for, er, technical reasons. It’s a perfect symbiosis: fossil fuels and white elephants. Any waste can be written off…and written off…

      White elephants…you know you need one now. Your planet will love you, Big Gas will love you, Big Green will love you, Big Finance will love you, Big Subsidy will love you, Big Tax will love you, Big Asia will love you and any international institution with a Superman-comic name will love you. More importantly, you can read HuffPo and the Guardian over a weekend brunch and know you’re one of the goodies. Or one of the “folks”, as elitists now like to say.

      • True, true and straw elephants too! There really, really is pollution in the world. Freeman Dyson understands that and you do not have to be a genius like Dyson to understand and agree. Unfortunately, even Dyson wonders why Western academia believe CO2 is a pollutant. “The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence [i.e., that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does far more good than harm].” ~Freemen Dyson

      • “Ivanpah”

        Don’t forget the “streamers” – the burned-in-flight birds.

  37. I find myself questioning all government pronouncements with ever increasing cynicism these days, especially international studies and anything having to do with the UN. Meat is again making headlines for causing cancer, but rest assured that only salami is rated right up there with tobacco for increasing cancer risk the most.

    The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) said the IARC “tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome”. Who’s against meat? Oh yea, every green group.

    Not coincidentally they were still able to work in the number of deaths caused by air pollution in this article, go figure.


    • Jungle,

      I the whole thing is a big conspiracy to promote meat. The Lascaux paintings are actually of vegetables and soybeans, but a vast right-wing conspiracy covered them up with paint from DuPont and petrochemicals from Exxon and and I think Monsanto too…

  38. Ethanol is another example of how issues are constantly negatively “framed” here at CE. In the ethanol dialogue no one (except me) will bring octane gasoline requirements into the discussion.

    By the omission of objectivity, the current state of ethanol dialogue here at CE is that Lead is really OK, concerns about MTBE and Benzene (and other aromatics) are another Liberal bleeding heart agenda item, costs of toluene and xylene vs. ethanol are irrelevant.

  39. Curious George — You are not a serious person — just a contrarian with nothing of substance to ever add. Look at the octane rating table of how we get to a minimum of 87.

    • Curious George

      You could still learn so much – if you wanted. Octane and “octane number” are two different things.

    • bedeverethewise — Do you have fully vetted economics and health issues analysis on your personal favorite? Should easily exist from some Congressional or OMB report.

      And the answer is no.

      Robert was critical of ethanol when the ethanol tax credit (for corn) existed which has expired — and liked methanol.

      Have you checked methanol prices, adjusted it for efficiency compared to ethanol, and then ethanol prices?

      The answer is obviously no — all you know, is how to make “lame” comments.

      • bedeverethewise

      • Stephen Segrest:

        Have you checked methanol prices, adjusted it for efficiency compared to ethanol, and then ethanol prices?

        You can’t really present ethanol as a panacea without accounting for the historical import restrictions on sugar (which harmed developing economies), the government creation of an otherwise useless high fructose corn syrup industry headed by ADM and its massive lobbying efforts, and the trade-offs between favoring the footprint of industrial agri-business over the footprint of the petrochemical industry.

        Simply comparing prices is, well, simplistic.

    • SS,

      Whew, Stephen, you are really off your game! I think you’ve been gang rope-a-doped today. Are you tired yet?

      You don’t really think a link with “greenenergy” in the URL is going to convince anybody here, do you? There’s that whole using the right voice for the audience thingy…messaging and all that.

      • Justin Wonder — Thanks for making my point. If anyone makes any positive arguments on renewable energy based on sound engineering economics — they will be negatively received by the majority of the vocal commenters here at CE who want to create an unwelcome atmosphere for any dialogue on Green Energy.

  40. Stephen,

    You can buy 99+% pure octane (100 octane, I guess) for about $100 per litre. No lead, no toluene, no xylene.

    I know you really want a Government subsidy to bring the price down to around 50c/litre, but I doubt it’s likely.

    You could convert your car to run on ethanol. Two caveats, the devil’s in the detail, and the maintenance will get you.

    You could buy something like a Tesla, and charge it from a renewable energy source. Or, just buy a horse.

    I presume you live in the USA, which has a quasi-capitalistic system. This pretty much mandates the use of the things you quite rightly find annoying. Sad, but true. Everything can have negative health impacts. You just have to choose which you prefer.

    Life is a terminal illness, but I put up with it for the benefits. Maybe I’d rather be happy than sane. What about you?


    • Mike Flynn I assume you are talking about methanol. Interesting in how you want to “frame” — not addressing the fuel efficiency or the extra wear and tear on engines versus ethanol.

      • He means:

      • Stephen, no your assumption was wrong. I meant ethanol. Why would you think otherwise?

        If you don’t like ethanol as fuel, why not use something else? If you are keen enough, you could blend your own, catch public transport, use a diesel powered vehicle, or any number of alternatives.

        Nobody forces you to use a gasoline powered vehicle. I hear bacon and salami share carcinogenic properties with asbestos and tobacco. Should I give up salami and bacon? My choice, and my answer is “no”.

        I wasn’t trying to “frame” anything. I feel sorry for you if you made such an inference.


      • bedeverethewise

        Since you brought up methanol Stephen, I like the work George Olah has done with methanol, it can be used a chemical feedstock for all sorts of processes. For a transportation fuel, you can go MeOH to gasoline (I think that was an evil ExxonMobile process, so don’t tell the greens) or you can convert to mixed alcohols, or you can just burn the methanol. For Diesel replacement you can dehydrate to DME (nice cetane rating), lots of advantages there. Of course all of this supposes that you can convert a huge old petroleum infrastructure with a huge new methanol infrastructure. And risk the new investment won’t be made obsolete by some other disruptive technology. Imagining a new infrastructure is easy, actually building it is very hard and risky. In the private sector, they expect results…

    • bedeverethewise

      No, no, no, octane, as in the octane rating is defined by iso-octane, AKA 2,2,4-Trimethylpentane with an octane rating of 100. Not n-octane

      • Michael Flynn


        You are of course right. I stand corrected. I can offer no excuse, except a complete and utter disregard for the facts.

        Woe, thrice woe,
        I’ve been brought low,
        By an I.S.O;
        One of just 18 or so –
        A mortal blow!


    • Mike Flynn — Is there an engineering question in your ramblings that I can respond to? I don’t see it.

  41. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/10/26/as-large-animals-disappear-the-loss-of-their-poop-hurts-the-planet/

    I think the danger here is vastly over stated. They have failed to take into account the contribution of the modern climate scientist community to the world supply of poop.

  42. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-poses-major-health-threat-to-children/

    Reminds me of the famous (apocryphal) New York Times headline.

    “Asteroid Obliterates New York. Women and Minorities Hardest Hit.”

  43. The new “mass media” of the global warming alarmists’ climate models have served so far only to weaken and corrupt the scientific method have proven to hinder perception, judgment and meaningful communication between individuals based on ordinary social, economic and historical experience.

  44. Even though the most vocal voices here at CE have not (A) taken a course in engineering economics, or (B) have ever run/used an integrated resource planning model (like from GE) —
    somehow they feel they are “Experts” on the viability of Renewable Energy.

    Again, the major issue of Renewable Energy is Penetration Levels which should/must always follow sound and state of the art engineering economics.

    There is no ubiquitous Penetration Level — An Electric Utility which has significant hydro resources and a fleet of shiny new natural gas combined cycle units certainly will have a higher potential penetration level on its integrated grid than a utility not having these characteristics.

    A Developing Country (e.g., in Africa) with woefully inadequate transmission/distribution infrastructure will view solar energy much different than in the U.S. & EU.

    Ultimately though in Developed Countries, it really doesn’t matter what one here at CE believes — the evolving electricity market (challenging the centralized regulated electric utility) will determine this.

    • Should have said: “many of the most vocal voices here at CE”.

    • Most of us don’t believe their is a ‘secret’ evil republican plan to export oil.

      Anyone who claims to be an energy expert who doesn’t understand that Warren Buffets trains carry oil and Warren Buffet is a heavy donor to the Democratic Party hasn’t done their homework.

      Whether or not Keystone XL gets built…the Canadian Oil will find it’s way to Cushing Oklahoma which is the nations oil pipeline hub.

    • He doesn’t really believe this:=>”Again, the major issue of Renewable Energy is Penetration Levels which should/must always follow sound and state of the art engineering economics.”

      This is BS:=>”Ultimately though in Developed Countries, it really doesn’t matter what one here at CE believes — the evolving electricity market (challenging the centralized regulated electric utility) will determine this.”

      It’s government mandates and subsidies that have been driving renewable energy penetration levels. You think that’s good/necessary. You are not being honest here, little dude.

  45. What we need here at CE is the type of dialogue Senator Lindsey Graham is proposing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvSN6pwOYeM

    But many here at CE don’t want to have this discussion — they say no to just about every potential mitigation effort (except putting a nuclear power plant on every street corner).

    • Perhaps they feel threatened by change.

    • Stephen,
      Well, SC is adding new nuclear, does have co-fired thermal to burn waste, does allow utilities to decide on solar feed in and rates and since it has hydro to load follow can have a higher percentage of intermittent power without major backup generation having to be installed. They also are raising trees for the UK to burn. They are cautiously moving in the right direction. Oh, and their electric rates are a lot lower than California. I would say that most here at CE don’t have a problem with a cautious approach but do have a problem with a California approach.

      • The Chicken Littles want the economy choking California approach, on steroids. If I was scared that the earth is going to burn up, I would be with them. Anything less than drastic government dictates will not be enough to mitigate the alleged problem.

      • Don, “Anything less than drastic government dictates will not be enough to mitigate the alleged problem.”

        Well of course, how can you save the world without a crisis? Now that bacon and other “processed” meats are group 1 carcinogens, I thought for sure there would be major sales at the grocery so I could stock up. It is almost like no one really cares about the important things any more :)

      • The lefty BAN THE BACON! and-everything-else nuts are going to lose this one, Tony. Bacon tastes better than anything. And it’s good for you,too:


      • Biofuel,
        Concentrated corn;
        Three piece chicken dinner.

      • Heh, coupla missing cogs on the flywheel. See the smooth running three banger with seventeen valves above.

      • Don, the WHO report was kind of fun to read. Near the end they mention that processed meats increase the chance of colorectal cancer, but the odds of getting colorectal cancer were pretty small unless you lived in a “developed” nation with longer life expectancy. Since processed food might contribute to the longer life expectancy, that would need to be considered. So basically, “high” processed meat consumption increases your chance of colorectal cancer from about 3% to 4% provided you live in a nation where you are expected to live to 80 years of age.

        Kind of like drastic de-carbonization in the developed world might reduce the risk of catastrophic warming from 4% to 3% provided you can expect catastrophic warming.

      • F’ing beef tenderloin went up $2 at my local store. Now I’m going to have to make two Michigan lefts during rush hour traffic to get to the mid-eastern market butcher on my way home from work. Hopefully they aren’t soon to follow suite.

        I guess it’s only an exta stop once or twice a month, but it’s still inconvenient and doesn’t seem very efficient. I supose I should be happy to support entreprenuerial recent immigrants.

  46. richardswarthout


    Seems your support of renewables is based on the fact that they are at such a low penetration level, the waste of money and resources on them is ok.


    • richardswarthout Richard — No, you misunderstand the engineering economics. Example — Solar can very well represent the lowest cost option for peaking load requirements. When Electric Utilities and their PUCs constantly tell you this — no, its not a left-wing liberal conspiracy.

      Also, a big mistake made by non System Planning Engineers on the CE Blog is to: (1) Take the operating characteristics of a Renewable; and (2) Always assume this will degrade the grid.

      As I’ve discussed with Planning Engineer where is the smoking gun? It doesn’t exist from Germany by using the internationally accepted SAIDI metric. For longer term durations, what metric does one want to use or cite? Comparing ERCOT with Germany certainly could be messy if one wants to make this point.

      Again — the issue is penetration levels — and yes, I agree that bad things can and will happen if engineering decisions do not follow sound engineering economics.

      • Richard — Really, everything needs backup, that’s what an integrated grid is all about. In my first job was at a major pulverized coal plant. I was surprised at just how often something happened like the pulverizers jamming — just briefly, which of course effected generation.

      • Stephen Segrest:

        Solar can very well represent the lowest cost option for peaking load requirements.

        Does this statement include the cost of idled backup for intermittent solar or is it a snapshot of peak demand only?

        I suppose a full accounting would attribute some portion of the cost of peaker units to the non-solar capacity, correct?

      • Opluso — One mistake that people make here at CE (non system planning engineers) is that in making generation decisions, Utilities are looking for capacity additions that are available 24X7. They are not. They are typically looking for capacity during a specific period of need (i.e., peaking).

        In the U.S., a typical decision for peaking load will be between solar and a natural gas simple combustion turbine. Outside of the U.S. where NG is not abundant, the CT will be from oil.

        I mention ELCC a lot — you should Goggle this as it represents an example of state-of-the-art engineering economics. You will find that under ELCC, that Electric Utilities in places like Nevada, California, and New York have found that certain solar applications can have an expected capacity availability of +80% when the capacity is needed.

        Many of the “catastrophic claims” on U.S. Renewables and intermittentency would have probably been valid prior to the engineering advancements and low cost of combined cycle units. The key concept with NGCC Units is their flexibility.

        As I have repeatedly stated (and knowledgeable people like Planning Engineer and Rudd have agreed) — a System Electricity Grid say in New England with availability to Canadian Hydro and a fleet of shinny new NGCC units can have much greater penetration levels for Renewables than a System not having these characteristics.

        And the Decision Making on NGCC here in the U.S. is not driven to incorporate Renewables. As old coal and nuclear units retire, NGCC units are the technology of choice (least cost) under engineering economics.

      • How about when US Natural Gas exporting is allowed and the price rises to international levels?

      • kim “How about when US Natural Gas exporting is allowed and the price rises to international levels?”

        Let’s see, that would be great for the greens, “necessarily making energy costs higher” and not so great for the economy.

        Steven, Once businesses start flocking to solar to reduce peak load costs, without tax incentives, you will know that solars time have come. Not really that hard. Until then there are improving solar PV designs that actually function as roofing which reduces overall costs. A lot of alternate energy option value is related to things other than just energy. Say you put up an old industry standard PV array on a flat commercial roof which can be fairly expensive. You have storm damage, then the cost of repairing the roof quadruples. Not a good thing.


  47. Geoff Sherrington

    Re investigation of NOAA temperature records –
    I do not know the detailed origin of these NOAA numbers at web site
    There are several hundred graphs of before adjustment (Here “raw”) and after. Data are for all the world, but I have worked on the Australian part.
    I do not know if NOAA did the adjusting, or Australia’s BOM. The BOM’s current temperature product is the homogenised ACORN-SAT.
    I extracted the 112 Acorn sites and looked at the slope of the linear fits provided on the graphs. Personally, I do not like or endorse this method of analysis, but it is now common language.
    In summary, of all 112 Acorn sites there were 60 that were warmed,33 were cooled and 19 no change.
    The average deg/century heating was –
    warmed 0.61 deg/C, cooled 0.7 deg/C and no change =0 of course.
    This is clear evidence that adjustments can lead to warming, contrary to oft-repeated assertions that it all balances out.
    The adjustments are large when compared to Australia’s “official” rate of global warming of 0.9 deg/C for the century ending about year 2010.

  48. I woke up one morning at the usual time and quite in the usual manner and all my hemoglobin had turned to chlorophyll; I had no idea what I’d done, no one to call, no way to call. Every fibre, well, every globule of my being was crying out for justice. Fortunately, the first few rays of the sun reversed the change, and the day went on again, as usual.

  49. Government policy and innovation: I’ve long thought that the best thing that government can do to promote innovation is provide a tax and regulatory regime which makes it easier for people to generate and retain the fruits of their enterprise; this can be applied to the massive government funding relating to alleged CAGW research and to developing particular forms of energy generation. Matt Ridley addresses this at morre length in the WSJ. Excerpt:

    In 2003, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a paper on the “sources of economic growth in OECD countries” between 1971 and 1998 and found, to its surprise, that whereas privately funded research and development stimulated economic growth, publicly funded research had no economic impact whatsoever. None. This earthshaking result has never been challenged or debunked. It is so inconvenient to the argument that science needs public funding that it is ignored.

    In 2007, the economist Leo Sveikauskas of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that returns from many forms of publicly financed R&D are near zero and that “many elements of university and government research have very low returns, overwhelmingly contribute to economic growth only indirectly, if at all.”

    As the economist Walter Park of American University in Washington, D.C., concluded, the explanation for this discrepancy is that public funding of research almost certainly crowds out private funding. That is to say, if the government spends money on the wrong kind of science, it tends to stop researchers from working on the right kind of science.

    To most people, the argument for public funding of science rests on a list of the discoveries made with public funds, from the Internet (defense science in the U.S.) to the Higgs boson (particle physics at CERN in Switzerland). But that is highly misleading. Given that government has funded science munificently from its huge tax take, it would be odd if it had not found out something. This tells us nothing about what would have been discovered by alternative funding arrangements.

    And we can never know what discoveries were not made because government funding crowded out philanthropic and commercial funding, which might have had different priorities. In such an alternative world, it is highly unlikely that the great questions about life, the universe and the mind would have been neglected in favor of, say, how to clone rich people’s pets.

    The perpetual-innovation machine that feeds economic growth and generates prosperity is not the result of deliberate policy at all, except in a negative sense. Governments cannot dictate either discovery or invention; they can only make sure that they don’t hinder it. Innovation emerges unbidden from the way that human beings freely interact if allowed. Deep scientific insights are the fruits that fall from the tree of technological change.


  50. Karl and Peterson take a page out of the IRS playbook and decide to stonewall Congress. Look for lots of reports of ‘inconvenient’ computer crashes and wiped files.

    Alarmists will claim the lawlessness does nothing to change the science.

  51. RE http://theamericanenergynews.com/energy-news/arctic-offshore-lease-sales-halted-no-extension-on-current-leases-interior-dept

    Deep water drilling was already dead, so this regulation doesn’t mean much of anything. It will be easily reversed when the price of oil is $100 again.